LloydsPharmacy has placed some roles “at risk of redundancy”, owing to income losses and the impact of COVID-19, the multiple’s chief executive has said.
In letter to staff, Toby Anderson, chief executive officer of McKesson UK – parent company of LloydsPharmacy – said the multiple’s financial problems have “accelerated our need to act to protect our long-term future”.
The letter, sent on 6 July 2020 and seen by The Pharmaceutical Journal, comes after McKesson reported a 16% year-on-year increase in profit in February 2020 as a result of store and back-office efficiencies.
But Anderson said in the letter that changes need to be made as the pharmacy is “operating in a volatile marketplace, made even more challenging by the impacts of COVID-19”.
The proposed changes include standardising employee terms and conditions, which Anderson said would “make things fairer and more consistent for everyone”.
However, he added that an accompanying “redesign” of the organisation “regrettably means that some roles may be placed at risk of redundancy”.
A spokesperson for the multiple did not confirm whether these redundancies would include community pharmacy staff.
“The increased costs we’re facing, alongside a reduction in income, has accelerated our need to act to protect our long-term future,” he said.
“We have already made some changes earlier this year, including freezing recruitment of non-critical roles, restricting travel and pausing any pay increases.”
But he added that these changes, alongside the standardised terms and conditions and organisational redesign, “are just part of the transformation journey we need to go on as a business to ensure that we have a sustainable, long-term future”.
The multiple will be “entering a period of collective consultation” on 20 July 2020, enabling employees to give feedback on the proposed changes.
LloydsPhamacy was previously forced to close or sell 190 pharmacies because they were no longer considered “commercially viable” following government cuts to funding for community pharmacy.
The spokesperson for LloydsPharmacy said in a statement that the changes outlined in the letter were expected to create “a sustainable business that helps our front-line colleagues in delivering integrated healthcare services to our customers and patients”.
“Our business has evolved through the years by acquiring other companies, which has led to some contractual differences amongst our colleagues,” they said.
“We want to make things fairer and more equitable across our company, so we’ll be standardising our employee terms and conditions through a collective consultation. Our commitment is to support everyone impacted by these changes through regular two-way communication.”