Pharmacists working for Rowlands Pharmacy have been informed they will receive a maximum pay increase of one per cent from April 1, with exact increases depending on branch turnover.
In a March 25 document seen by Pharmacy Network News, Rowlands managing director Mark Bather thanked staff for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic and provided details of the 2021-22 pay award, which comes into effect on April 1.
“Pharmacists will receive a pay increase of up to one per cent, dependent on the branch band which is based on turnover,” said the company.
The document also announces the creation of a new Pharmacy Manager role in order to “recognise that there will be colleagues that aspire to lead our branches”.
The company explained that both pharmacists and branch colleagues may apply for the new role and said: “Moving forward, colleagues accepting this position will receive a ‘leadership payment’ which is £1.44 per hour (£3k per annum pro rata) on top of either their pharmacist base pay (branch banding dependent) or qualification rate (branch colleagues).
“For existing colleagues in these roles, your regional leader will discuss how this impacts you.”
Under the new pay scheme, age-related pay rates are to be removed and standard holiday entitlement goes up from 21 days to 22 days “while maintaining the accrual of service-related holidays”.
In other changes, trainee healthcare partners will receive a new rate of £9 per hour while qualified healthcare partners will be on £9.27 per hour. In order to attract more accuracy checking pharmacy technicians, the hourly rate for this role is rising to £12.41.
The new pay structure “continues to address feedback from our colleague engagement groups and reflects our move towards a more highly skilled workforce with the ultimate vision of having an accuracy checking pharmacy technician in every branch,” Mr Bather said.
“We believe this is fair and competitive given current market conditions and Government funding constraints,” said Mr Bather.
However, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association has expressed concerns that calculating pay increases according to branch bands may mean some pharmacists will not get a raise this year.
Rowlands Pharmacy has been approached for more information.