Date of prep: December 2020
Prescribing information and
adverse events reporting
For healthcare professionals only
An employment tribunal has unanimously decided that a pharmacy technician who had worked for Boots for 34 years has been found to have suffered discrimination and also was unfairly dismissed.
They found that the pharmacy technician in question was discriminated against contrary to section 15 Equality Act 2010 (EQA) after being issued with a PIP (performance improvement plan) on 30 September 2016.
The pharmacy technician was also found to have been discriminated against by not being allowed to have tea breaks during the working day and also because the employer failed to discount as sick leave a disability-related absence after 3 July 2016. The employer was also found to have failed to ensure a manageable workload.
The tribunal described the events that occurred in the Holyhead Boots pharmacy. The store was experiencing difficulties in 2015/2016 and had been categorised as “high-risk”, which the pharmacy technician described as being placed in “special measures”.
Mark Pitt, PDA Director of Defence Services commented:
“This pharmacy employee was treated very badly, which has resulted in the end of a long unblemished employment relationship; unfortunately, some members have reported similar experiences at work. Our aim as a recognised trade union is to stop such situations in the first place or resolve them early, but where they have occurred, we will help our members to obtain justice.
“Currently, the PDA is supporting a number of experienced Boots pharmacists through employment proceedings including complaints about unmanageable workload, disability discrimination, lack of consultation as well as harassment and whistleblowing claims. These cases have a significant impact on the mental health of pharmacists which is made worse by lengthy grievance processes and poor-quality investigations”.
Paul Day, PDA Director, commented
“If any staff member was in any doubt about the importance of belonging to a trade union, they must read this tribunal judgment. The only recognised independent trade union in Boots for pharmacists and pre-reg pharmacists is the PDAU and for all other pharmacy and shop staff the PDAU recommend joining USDAW; the support of a good trade union can be invaluable in getting treated fairly at work. Such poor management behaviour is simply unacceptable, and we will be seeking assurances from senior company representatives that lessons have been learnt from this and other cases”.
You can read the full determination below.
This tribunal is being shared under the Open Government Copyright licence.
Pharmacy in Practice is a UK pharmacy publication with its roots in Scotland.