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PDA secures ‘shocking’ sum of unpaid locum fees this year

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The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) confirmed the ‘highest’ six figures amount recovered in ten months for the first time

The pharmacists’ union has secured thousands of outstanding locum fees owed to its members by pharmacy contractors this year.

The following announcement was made on 9 November after the union recovered a “shocking” amount of £104,182 for the first time in 10 months.

Paul Day, the director of PDA, said: “Recovering unpaid fees is a longstanding area of support to pharmacists from the PDA.

“However even after accounting for inflation and higher locum rates the level of debt owed by contractors to pharmacists this year is shocking.

Day added: “Getting paid for the work you’ve undertaken is a basic right for any worker and these are the legitimate earnings due to these pharmacists.

“Just as the PDA stands up for employed pharmacists if they are unlawfully underpaid, we also represent locum members who find themselves in a situation where they have worked but the pharmacy owner doesn’t pay them,” he said.

“Pharmacy owners and the managers they employ need to ensure they pay all pharmacists, whether employees or locums, the full amount agreed for their work.”

This case spans various pharmacies from the largest multiples to single pharmacy operators.

PDA said that they have “developed a clear process in the steps required to secure members the money that they are due for their work.”

It offered guidance to secure payments, including the largest case this year, surpassing £8,000.

The highest sum reclaimed for a PDA member was over £18,000 in 2020, showcasing their commitment to securing rightful earnings.

The union said it “advises and supports” locums on how to obtain the fees they are owed.

In August, the PDA confirmed that the members have reported “wage theft” by their employees including unpaid overtime, wage deductions and withheld payment.

The employees were not paid their full holiday entitlement, or hours worked or underpaid the contractual rate.

PDA’s union general secretary, Mark Pitt said it was “unacceptable” that pharmacists have to fight to recover “legitimate” money owed by employers and pharmacy contractors.

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