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PDA Union – Further advice for Alliance Boots Pharmacists

The PDA Union team would like to place on record their appreciation for the determination and courage shown by those pharmacists who took a principled stance to protect their contractual rights at the Employment Tribunal.

Fri 4th May 2012 PDA Union

We believe those Boots pharmacists who may now also benefit from their actions, owe a debt of gratitude to those individuals.


The recent Employment Tribunal decision regarding the unlawful action by Boots to slash premium payments for long serving employees last year, has generated a large amount of enquiries from PDA Union members.  Our employment team has approved a set of answers to the most commonly asked questions which are available only to members and can be found here.  Please note that the company may lodge an appeal within 42 days of the judgement.  If an appeal is granted, the information in the FAQs still applies and is in force until the appeal is heard.  If the company does not abide by the original judgement, enforcement proceedings can be taken against it.


The PDA Union has also been approached by a large number of pharmacists wishing to join and are now seeking to challenge the company for acting unlawfully.  The company quoted that the cuts were “accepted by 99.4 per cent of our colleagues“.  We believe this figure is disingenuous, because many of those colleagues were unaffected by the cuts or trusted their employer to act lawfully and therefore did not object.


The company produced statistics that showed that out of a total pharmacist population of 5144, 29% (1513) were “emotionally” affected (entitled to the premium rates, but never or rarely worked hours that attracted them).  A further 14% (709) were categorised as being financially affected and therefore more significantly affected.  Due to the large numbers of pharmacists who have been adversely affected, the PDA Union has consulted expert employment barristers to identify options for those pharmacists who did not originally complain.


For those not part of the original claim but either raised a grievance or did not raise any complaint with their line manager, we believe options are available to them which relate to the original claim.  The PDA Union believes there is merit in taking action by those who did not originally follow our advice and may be able to benefit if they act quickly.  The timescales for this action are very short and members must take action urgently if they wish to try and reinstate their premium rates.  Please visit the FAQ section here for further information.


Under delegated authority of the PDA Union Executive, the General Secretary has agreed to make an exception to normal procedure and permit pharmacists who have recently joined or applied to join the PDA Union to be considered on a case by case basis for legal support in making a claim.  Please note that no guarantees can be made as to the success of any action and we hope that pharmacists would wish to join the PDA Union in any event to enjoy the protection of a powerful trade union and defence association.

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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