This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

Pharmacists bring legal claim against LloydsPharmacy over redundancy payouts


Pharmacists bring legal claim against LloydsPharmacy over redundancy payouts

Around 100 ex-Sainsbury’s pharmacists have launched a legal claim against LloydsPharmacy over what they describe as the company’s failure to uphold their redundancy rights under TUPE legislation.

They claim that the contracts they held at the time LloydsPharmacy bought the Sainsbury’s pharmacies in 2015 entitle them to ‘enhanced redundancy’ amounting to seven weeks’ pay for every full year worked, well above basic statutory entitlements.

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association, which is supporting the pharmacists in their claim, said: “The difference between statutory and enhanced redundancy equates to thousands of pounds for individual pharmacists and for long-serving employees the difference can be tens of thousands of pounds.”

The pharmacists’ attempts to secure these terms via internal grievance processes in light of all Sainsbury’s branches closing this year failed in June after chief financial officer Mark Coupland upheld the company’s previous finding that a 2015 ‘policy document’ is “not contractual” and does “not form part of ex-Sainsbury’s staff’s contracts of employment”.

The PDA maintains that the enhanced entitlements formed part of the pharmacists’ contractual rights that were transferred over in 2015, and that to make any changes the company would have had to implement a contractual change process – something the PDA says was not carried out.

TUPE legislation is “meant to prevent contractual benefits from being removed by a new employer,” it added.

PDA Union general secretary Mark Pitt said: “PDA members tell us they feel badly let down and believe LloydsPharmacy has reneged on their obligations under TUPE. Nearly 100 members impacted by the company’s position sought the support of the PDA to secure their entitlement, 

“Senior leaders in the company were given opportunities to correct this situation, firstly at a collective grievance hearing and subsequently at an appeal. However, the rejection of the grievance has left employees with no other internal options to resolve their complaints.

“Union lawyers working alongside a specialist barrister in this complex area of law have now lodged multiple claims in the employment tribunal system on behalf of PDA members. Tribunal claims related to TUPE are complex and case law is continuously evolving so we will be monitoring developments as the evidence unfolds.”

A spokesperson for LloydsPharmacy told Pharmacy Network News: “In January 2023 LloydsPharmacy announced the withdrawal of pharmacy services from all Sainsbury’s stores, to take place throughout 2023.

"Since then LloydsPharmacy has been working hard to support all colleagues affected by the process. In doing so, LloydsPharmacy has ensured that it is acting responsibly and equitably towards all colleagues impacted by the change, including paying statutory redundancy pay in line with our policies.”

Copy Link copy link button


Stay up to date with all the news, learning and insight in the world of pharmacy.