As of Thursday 10 May, around 7,000 pharmacists employed by Boots can begin voting on their future union representation. The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDAU) has warned that the Central Arbitration Committee’s (CAC) decision not to extend the voting period could mean pharmacists who are on annual leave will miss the 23 May deadline.

The ballot will decide whether Boots employees’ current representative body, the Boots Pharmacists’ Association (BPA), is to be de-recognised. The PDAU had requested an extension of the ballot period but this was refused by the CAC.

The ballot laws require 40 per cent of those entitled to participate to return a Yes vote in order to bring about a change in representation.

PDAU assistant general secretary Mark Pitt commented: “The ballot is happening at a time close to bank holidays and is a prime period for annual leave. No sooner was the timetable announced than we heard from individuals concerned that they would be away during the ballot period.

“We encourage every eligible employee to vote and we applied for the extension to give everyone a chance to express their view. We are disappointed by the CAC decision.”

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