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Premium Payments: PDA await judgement of Employment Tribunal

The Employment Tribunal hearing held in Nottingham concluded on Thursday 12th April in which PDA members claimed that Boots had unlawfully witheld their pay by reducing their premium payments. The Judge has deferred his ruling which will be published in the near future

Fri 13th April 2012 PDA Union

The proceedings of Blow, Jones (PDA member) Onuorah and others (the Claimants) versus Boots Management Services (the Respondents) at the Employment Tribunal in Nottingham concluded on Thursday 12th April 2012.

Their claim was for unlawful deduction of wages as a consequence of Boots reducing premium payments and other claims for discrimination are held in abeyance pending the outcome of this hearing.

The case was planned for three days and in all probability it would have been completed in good time had Boots not introduced a last minute application for amendments to their defence on the first morning of the hearing. This took up all of the first day in legal argument as to whether it should be allowed resulting in only two days left to hear witness evidence.


Boots had argued that

  • The premium payments were discretionary only, and that there was no contractual right to them
  • Even if the claimants had had a contractual right to the payments, the claimants had been working to the ‘new’ terms and conditions in any event and thereby had indicated their acceptance and agreement to them – in other words, they were trying to “cherry pick” .

By their amendment, Boots added a third argument which was that, even if there was a contractual right to the payments, Boots had a right to vary the contract without the employees’ agreement, and this (they argued) was what they had done when they reduced the premium payments.

We believe that the Judge has a good appreciation of the key issues at stake and now await his decision on the claim.  We will keep members informed as to the decision as soon as we are party to it. Regretfully, when asked when it could be expected, the judge could give no definitive answer.

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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