LloydsPharmacy has apologised to pharmacists who have been left out of pocket due to technical problems with a new payroll system, and the chain has promised that anyone affected who incurred bank charges would be fully reimbursed.
A survey carried out in August by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association revealed that some 60% of the 80 members who responded said they were not being paid correctly by Lloyds. PDA director of defence services, Mark Pitt, said pharmacists reported being owed amounts in the £100s, with some saying they were owed three-figure sums.
A quarter of respondents said they were also experiencing problems with expenses and 60% also said they could not get payment queries resolved by the company. The survey also found that 87% of respondents did not think the new wage slips they were receiving gave enough information to check if they had been paid correctly.
Almost all (96%) said the implementation of the new payment system had not been adequate and 94% said communication about it had been inadequate. The system is currently live in two of the company’s six regions, covering approximately 4,000 of 15,000 LloydsPharmacy staff.
Hilary Stables, human resources director of Lloyds parent company Celesio UK said the Kronos payment system was introduced in a phased approach from May, resulting in technical issues in June which resulted in “an increased number of payroll queries” although overall numbers were small.
“I am really sorry that some of our colleagues did not receive the correct pay when we first introduced our payroll system,” she said.
“We have apologised to the people affected and reassured them that any errors will be put right.
“We are confident that the new system is the right one for our business. Additional rigorous testing is in place and payroll accuracy continues to be the absolute priority for the roll out of the new system.”
One Lloyds pharmacist, who did not want to be identified, told The Pharmaceutical Journal she waited five days to be paid and was then £200 out of pocket when her salary arrived.
She said there was “a complete lack of communication as to how it was going to work, what the pay structure would look like, and how we were going to get paid”.
“The payslips contain no information, you have to be an accountant to work out if you have been fairly paid. And when you complain you are waiting 20 minutes or more on the phone to payroll. The whole thing has been a shambles,” she added.
Celesio took issue with some of the PDA survey’s conclusions arguing that the survey was carried out nationally when the payroll system was still only available in two of Lloyds regions, and the PDA surveyed locums who are not paid through this system.
Stables said: “Although we had issues in June, we know that our payroll accuracy is back to normal levels for those stores on the new system. We are not aware of any colleagues who are currently owed hundreds of pounds, and certainly no colleagues who are owed thousands of pounds.”