More than 100 members of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) Union have contacted them for advice after being asked by LloydsPharmacy to repay a portion of their bonus payments.
At the end of August 2018, LloydsPharmacy admitted it made an error when calculating bonus payments and, as a result, some employees had been overpaid by as much as £4,800.
Mark Pitt, assistant general secretary at the PDA Union, said it had sought external specialist advice and in the meantime was advising members to refrain from repaying any money.
“It is a very complex matter … we have advised members to write to their employers to specifically object to the request to repay money until LloydsPharmacy has set out how the bonus was calculated.”
Pitt explained that LloydsPharmacy initially sent out letters to staff congratulating them and stating the bonus amount they were due to receive. As a result, he said, some may have already spent the money.
Pitt said that the PDA Union was not saying that LloydsPharmacy was not entitled to the repayments, but that the company had “an obligation” to set out how the bonuses were calculated.
“It is an evolving situation and we are gathering information and will be advising members over the next few days,” he said.
A spokesperson for LloydsPharmacy said it was “extremely sorry” that the mistake had happened and that the company is currently preparing follow-up letters that will show each impacted staff member how their individual bonus was calculated.
“We paid a bonus to all colleagues this year in recognition of their continued hard work and their commitment to our customers and communities,” the spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately, an error was made when calculating bonuses for some LloydsPharmacy managers, pharmacists and reliefs, which led to overpayments in some July salaries — the average overpayment was in the region of £900 and the largest about £4,800.”
The spokesperson explained that regional teams had had initial conversations with those affected and explained that the company wanted to recover the part of the bonus that was overpaid in a reasonable time frame, over several months. This, they said, was followed by a letter explaining how the overpayment arose.
“After receiving this explanation, a number of colleagues have asked for a more detailed breakdown of the calculation that led to the overpayment in their specific case.
“We’re very happy to provide this extra information … we appreciate that this is difficult news for people and can only apologise again for the mistake.”