Professional Pharmacists Australia’s president Dr Geoff March explains that we provide workplace advice and support to any employee pharmacist member in difficulty – regardless of where they work.
Following reports that a British supermarket had come under attack for poor treatment of a pharmacist, a local pharmacist posed this question on facebook:
Q. Professional Pharmacists Australia – are you not worried about such things happening in Australia, especially since there is a duopoly here?
Professional Pharmacists Australia takes seriously any case where an employee pharmacist finds themselves in difficulty at work.
Our Workplace Advice and Support team consists of specially trained lawyers who are available to provide assistance to any pharmacist member experiencing difficulties, regardless of whether they work in a supermarket or a community pharmacy.
Working nationally across all Professionals Australia divisions, our Workplace Advice and Support team helps over 2,000 members navigate their way through workplace challenges each year.
Here are some recent examples of the types of cases our Workplace Advice and Support team handles.
- Recently a pharmacist member was made redundant without proper redundancy entitlements being paid. Our Workplace Advice and Support team contacted the employer, informed them of their obligations and the member was paid properly within two weeks.
- One of our pharmacists was recently terminated without any reason being given. Our lawyers suspected that the pharmacist was terminated because the employer wanted to employ a less experienced pharmacist. We notified the Fair Work Commission of an unfair dismissal and in representing the member at a conciliation hearing, we obtained a settlement that saw the member paid the equivalent of redundancy.
- A member contacted us because they suspected that they were being underpaid. It turned out that they had not been paid any penalty rates or allowances for the last twelve months. Our Workplace Advice and Support team wrote to the employer seeking payment and the member was paid all of the money owed to them.
- Member commenced employment at a new workplace and very quickly found that they were being bullied and directed in how to to perform in their professional duties by a store manager, not a pharmacist. Professional Pharmacists Australia provided guidance on practical and appropriate steps to stop the bullying. As a result, the bullying stopped and we now have a happy pharmacist.
- We recently achieved a settlement in the Equal Opportunity Commission for a member who claimed they were being discriminated against due to a physical disability.
- Recently a pharmacist who had been employed as a permanent casual for more than ten years was made redundant one week before the Pharmacy Industry Award determined that all permanent casuals were required to be transferred to permanent part-time employment. This person was not paid any redundancy payment because they were a casual employee. However, our legal team saw this unfair treatment and contacted the employer. Through representation by PPA, the member received a significant redundancy payment.
Transfer of Business
- Members contacted us explaining that the pharmacy they worked for had been sold and the new owners were seeking to reduce their pay. Under the Fair Work Act it is illegal to reduce the pay of existing employees who are subject to a transmission of business. As a result of our contact the employer has agreed to maintain the existing conditions of employment for our pharmacist members.
- A member recently contacted us asking if we could help him prepare an employment contract. We were able to provide our member with a suggested employment contract and this was agreed to by his employer.
Workplace Advice and Support
Professional Pharmacists Australia is here to stand up for its pharmacist members whenever an employer demonstrates any level of poor treatment. We show no favour when employees’ rights are ignored.
If you have any concerns about your workplace rights please get in touch with our Workplace Advice and Support team – help is only a phone call or an email away.
Thanks to the pharmacist who asked us the question and the opportunity it provides to highlight the valuable work of our Workplace Advice and Support team.
Geoff March President, PPA.