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Pharmacy business

Boots staff offered voluntary redundancy

Boots has announced that it has asked its support office staff to volunteer for 500 voluntary redundancies, as part of plans to cut 700 jobs.

The company has confirmed that the losses will not impact upon pharmacy-based staff but could include pharmacists in office-based support roles.

Staff in support roles will be given a one-week window from 28 November 2016 during which they can formally apply for redundancy.

In 2015, Boots announced it would cut a total of 700 roles as part of a restructuring and cost reduction programme following the 2014 merger between Alliance Boots and the US pharmacy chain Walgreens. Boots would not confirm where the remaining 200 job losses will come from but the company has previously stated that it expected to make up at least some of the total through natural wastage, such as retirements.

“In June 2015, Boots announced it would simplify its support functions in order to provide a better, more effective level of service to stores and to allow for more focused investment in key areas that improve customer experience,” says a Boots spokesperson.

“It was anticipated that this would involve a reduction of around 700 non-store based roles within a three-year period. As part of this plan, Boots has today announced the intention to continue to reduce the size of its support functions based in Nottingham by giving eligible colleagues the opportunity to apply for voluntary redundancy.”

Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham, says that the job losses will be devastating to the local community, where Boots is one of the largest employers.

“When Boots was taken over by American company Walgreens in 2014, they promised that no jobs would be lost. Yet one year later they announced over 700 ‘non-store based roles’ are being cut,” he says.

“This comes on top of their announcement in February 2016 that some 300–350 store managerial roles are going to be lost.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201830

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