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Home  »   Boots   »   PDA raise concerns over Redundancy Selection Process at Boots

PDA raise concerns over Redundancy Selection Process at Boots

The PDA has become aware of non-pharmacist managers scoring pharmacists, who are at risk of redundancy, using inappropriate criteria to assess individual performance. These scores then influence which pharmacists are selected for redundancy. The PDA has called upon Boots to resolve this as a matter of urgency.

Mon 7th February 2022 The PDA

Where a potential redundancy situation occurs, employers should consider all employees at potential risk of losing their jobs in a “redundancy pool”. A redundancy selection exercise then sets out objective criteria that will be applied in deciding which employees to make redundant. Each employee in the redundancy pool is then scored against each of the criteria and employees with the lowest scores are then selected for redundancy.

Any redundancy selection exercise must be fair and objective, designed to eradicate bias or subjectivity in its application. A Boots Redundancy Selection Assessment Form has been created as a template for company managers to assess individuals, at risk due to the current pharmacy hours reduction initiative.

The Redundancy Selection Assessment Form scores pharmacists in the following seven areas; Performance, Customer, Business Performance, Operational Excellence, Leadership Skills, Communication Skills and Disciplinary Record.

Unfortunately, the PDA has been told that some managers are downgrading pharmacists using examples where their professional judgement has been exercised in the interests of patient safety in accordance with GPhC/PSNI professional standards, or those issued by the Pharmacy Office.

Some members report their redundancy scores are being adversely influenced by factors including:

  • Services Diary availability
  • Pharmacy tasks not being completed at times of staff shortages
  • Not breaking off from checking complex prescriptions to complete other tasks
  • Alleged slow pace of clinical/accuracy checking of prescriptions

Pharmacists must put patients first which involves making difficult professional judgements about which activities to prioritise using the resources, time and skill mix available. The PDA believes it is inappropriate for the application of a pharmacist’s professional judgement to form any part of a process that could result in redundancy.

These concerns have been brought to the attention of senior management by the PDA and a company commitment given that a thorough review of the selection criteria will take place, involving the Professional Standards Office. Senior management have also assured the Union that the feedback of PDA members is being taken very seriously. At times of organisational change, it is critical that the workforce have confidence in the fairness of any process. On behalf of thousands of members at Boots, the PDA has reiterated to the company that it must take a step back and reassess the process.

Immediate Advice to Members

  • If a pharmacist believes their redundancy scores have been adversely impacted by issues relating to the proper application of their professional judgement in the interests of patients, a reassessment should be requested in writing. The PDA believes the reassessment should be undertaken by another manager not involved in the original scoring.
  • Discussions when completing the Redundancy Selection Assessment Form should record the rationale behind the score and include any challenges made by the pharmacist where the score is disputed.
  • There should be no surprises in a manager’s assessment of an individual’s performance; the Redundancy Selection Assessment Form should produce results in line with the “Real Time Performance Leadership Toolkit” which should be used to regularly assess pharmacists’ performance.

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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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