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LloydsPharmacy timeline

Pharmacists and pre-regs employed at Lloyds want an independent voice at work. With trade union recognition via the PDA Union they will be able to negotiate for better working conditions and terms and conditions of employment, such as pay, hours and holiday. This timeline details how we have reached this point.

Scroll down the page to see a history of the PDA Union campaign to collectively bargain on behalf of Lloyds pharmacists for their pay, hours and holiday entitlement.

Talks make progress towards a voluntary recognition agreement

December 23, 2020

December 2020

PDA Union negotiators representing pharmacists at Lloyds Pharmacy have progressed talks with company representatives and the two sides have issued their first joint statement.  Read more

Bargaining unit decided by CAC panel

November 21, 2020

November 2020

Pharmacists at Lloyds have moved another step closer to securing an independent voice at work through their trade union, the PDAU. The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) have decided which pharmacists will be in scope of union recognition; accepting in full the PDA proposal and rejecting entirely the company’s alternative.  Read more

Lloyds breach data security

September 30, 2020

October 2020
Lloyds send a confusing update to staff about the recognition process without mentioning they have twice breached the security of pharmacists’ data.

Pharmacists’ application accepted by the CAC

September 10, 2020

September 2020
After assessing the PDAU application for recognition, the CAC determine that 43% of store pharmacists are already PDA Union members and it is likely that a majority of Lloyds pharmacists would vote for union recognition if it went to a ballot.  The application is therefore formally accepted.  

Application to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC)

July 9, 2020

July 2020
As the formal request for recognition in February has not been progressed by the company, PDA Union submit a statutory application for recognition at Lloyds to be actioned by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). The CAC are the judicial body that oversee fair and efficient arrangements in the workplace either by voluntary agreement or, if necessary, through a legal decision.  Read more

PDA exceeds 30,000 members

March 30, 2020

March 2020
PDA Union’s membership has grown in size every year since inception and ends the year with over 30,000 members

Graph showing increasing PDA membership numbers

PDA Union formally request recognition at Lloyds

February 7, 2020

February 2020
Though positive informal discussions have been continuing for months between company and union, the PDA Union write formally, but privately, to Lloyds to place on record the statutory application for recognition for pharmacists.

Pharmacists at Boots secure trade union recognition

March 11, 2019

6,500 UK pharmacists secure trade union recognition for the PDA Union at the largest community pharmacy employer. Pharmacists at Boots now have an independent voice at work and are able to negotiate for better pay and other improvements.

PDA Union membership exceeds 20,000 for first time

July 2, 2016


PDA Union AGM hears that the year end membership has passed 20,000 for the first time.

Celesio acquired by McKesson

January 1, 2014

UK business McKesson complete the acquisition of Celesio, but wait until 2017 to change the name of Celesio AG to “McKesson Europe”. The UK pharmacies continue to trade under the LloydsPharmacy brand.

Pharmacists first ask for union recognition at Lloyds

January 1, 2012

PDA Union write to LloydsPharmacy and other major employers requesting trade union recognition for pharmacists. No employer agrees, but pharmacists don’t give up.  Starting at Boots, pharmacists continue with legal action and other activity to secure trade union recognition; the Boots campaign will take 7 years.

PDA Union awarded certificate of independence

January 6, 2007

The Trades Union Certification Officer grants the PDA Union a certificate of independence, demonstrating that the PDA Union is outside the control of employers. This enabled the PDA Union to seek statutory recognition at community pharmacy employers to collectively bargain with the company on behalf of its pharmacists for better terms and conditions of employment.

PDA Union Established

January 5, 2007

The PDA Union officially registers with the Trades Union Certification Officer. The first union executive elections are held. The PDA is the only independent trade union exclusively for pharmacists in the UK.

PDA Established

January 4, 2007

Following the Peppermint Water case, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association is established to provide legal defence services to pharmacists and pre-regs. Though the PDA can achieve much for pharmacists, the employers are able to block some activity as only independent trade unions have the legal status to engage in union representation in the workplace.

Peppermint Water Case

January 3, 2007

29th April 1998
A dispensing error in the preparation of peppermint water leads to the death of a 3-week old baby. A pharmacist and a pre-registration graduate are charged with manslaughter; both are cleared but plead guilty to an offence under the Medicines Act. The pharmacist had only been qualified for 21 months; The employer had not renewed the pharmacy’s registration to provide pre-reg training and the pre-reg had worked there one day per week for several months, exceeding the maximum 7 days allowed. The company and its superintendent faced no action link This case was a major motivation for employed pharmacists to create an organsation that represented their interests and defended them, the PDA.

LloydsPharmacy acquired by Celesio AG

October 13, 1997

After 20+ years of growth and acquiring existing pharmacy businesses, LLoyds is  itself purchased by Celesio AG. Lloyds is merged with Celesio’s existing UK subsidiary AAH Pharmaceuticals’ Hills Pharmacy network to form a network of 1300 pharmacies.

LloydsPharmacy founded

October 13, 1973

Lloyds Chemist began in 1973 when Allen Lloyd
 purchased his first pharmacy in Polesworth Warwickshire

Unions form to represent workers’ rights

January 1, 1700

Skilled workers in the UK began organising themselves into trade unions, to represent workers’ rights and campaign for better treatment and working conditions from their employers.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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