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Lloyds CFO rejects redundancy appeal by ex-Sainsbury’s pharmacists

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Lloyds CFO rejects redundancy appeal by ex-Sainsbury’s pharmacists

LloydsPharmacy chief financial officer Mark Coupland has upheld the company’s previous finding that staff transferred to the multiple from Sainsbury’s in 2015 are not entitled to enhanced redundancy pay.

This follows an appeal brought by staff as part of a collective grievance process supported by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association.

In a letter sent today (June 26) to affected staff – thought to number in the hundreds, including around 100 pharmacists transferred to LloydsPharmacy under TUPE legislation when it bought Sainsbury’s pharmacies – Mr Coupland affirmed commercial director John Acland’s decision in May that a ‘policy’ document from January 13 2015 is “not contractual” and does not “form part of ex-Sainsbury’s staff’s contracts of employment”. 

This will be another blow to pharmacists who have been made redundant due to LloydsPharmacy exiting its 237 Sainsbury’s sites. The enhanced redundancy terms many believe they are entitled to amount to seven weeks’ pay for every full year worked, well above basic statutory entitlements.

However, the company maintains that while some ex-Sainsbury’s employees have enhanced terms written into their contracts, the 2015 ‘policy’ cited in the appeal does not grant these terms across the board. It also says that since a company restructure in 2020 no enhanced redundancy has been paid.

Mr Coupland acknowledged that his decision “will be disappointing for staff” but emphasised that the company is only prepared to pay statutory redundancy pay.

Writing to affected members, the PDA described the result as “disappointing but not entirely unexpected, as it continues the company’s stated position until this point”.

It said its legal team “will now assess the outcome and consider the next steps, adding: “As the appeal exhausts the process available within the company, further action would need to be via the courts, such as an employment tribunal. 

“We will provide further advice about this in due course.”

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