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Home  »   Latest News   »   Update for pharmacists employed at LloydsPharmacy in Sainsbury’s stores

Update for pharmacists employed at LloydsPharmacy in Sainsbury’s stores

The PDA has provided a latest update to members employed by LloydsPharmacy branches at Sainsbury’s after the company announced in January that they would all be permanently closed during 2023.

Tue 28th February 2023 The PDA

PDA members are being provided with further guidance as the company proceeds with the consultation process relating to their redundancy.

Consultation meetings

In the circumstances of potential redundancy, an employer is required to discuss with impacted employees any measures that may avoid job losses. This typically follows a series of consultation meetings at which initially the company outlines their business proposal and the possible consequences of their decisions. Employees can then ask questions and make suggestions during, or in between, meetings until all relevant points have been understood, considered and answered.

Where outstanding points have not yet been answered, further meetings should be arranged until discussion are concluded. This process can take a couple of meetings per employee, or depending on outstanding issues can require more meetings over a longer period.

Once the consultation discussions are concluded, the company can confirm if at that time it is likely the individual will be made redundant, and if so will subsequently issue them with written notice of the terms of their redundancy. However, the employer should continue to seek suitable alternative employment opportunities elsewhere within the company for the individual, up until that person’s last day of employment.

Most pharmacists at potential risk of redundancy due to the closure of Sainsbury’s based pharmacies are now approaching their second such meeting. The PDA reminds members that:

  • These meetings are important and need participants to be focused on the discussion, so this may necessitate signing out as RP for the duration of the meeting, as determined by the RP’s professional judgement.
  • Individuals should insist upon answers in writing, either in the agreed minutes of the meetings, or in separate communications.
  • If there are outstanding discussion points, further meetings should be requested before the process concludes.
  • Individuals should keep copies of all relevant documents and communications at home, so they can still be accessed, even after a redundancy.

It is important that the company answer all their employees’ questions, however the PDA will also be providing an updated FAQ document for issues raised with the union.

Former Sainsbury’s employees

A number of LloydsPharmacy staff were previously employed by Sainsbury’s and transferred into employment by LloydsPharmacy in 2016 when the company purchased all the Sainsbury’s pharmacy estate. These individual’s employment terms were protected by TUPE legislation.

Sainsburys provided enhanced redundancy terms for employees, and this transferred with the individuals into their employment by LloydsPharmacy. The company claim that this has since been changed, but members dispute this position.  The PDA have taken expert legal opinion on this issue and intend to support collective action by PDA members impacted by this dispute.  Members that wish to be part of such action will be asked to confirm their employment start date at Sainsbury’s, their age on their potential date of redundancy from LloydsPharmacy, and their current annual salary, and should ensure they have that information to hand. Please look out for further information on this.

In the meantime, those members are advised to state that the Sainsbury’s enhanced redundancy terms apply to them at their individual consultation meeting, confirm that they believe this forms part of their contract and reserve their right to lodge a grievance pending further advice from their union and to insist on a company response in writing. Members may want to direct their manager to their previous Sainsbury’s contract and the Sainsbury’s colleague handbook and redundancy policy. To assist individual members who may have not yet located copies of their personal documents, the PDA have published sample versions here.

Some ex-Sainsbury’s pharmacists have been told by local management that there is now a chance their branch may be transferred to another pharmacy business. For the same reasons as above, if that were to occur any entitlement to enhanced redundancy should also transfer again under TUPE protection and this should be raised during the TUPE consultation process.

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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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