Pharmacists owed thousands in ‘wages theft’

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The union for employee pharmacists is preparing legal actions to recover thousands of dollars owing to those who have been underpaid

Professional Pharmacists Australia says it is “putting pharmacy owners on notice”.

“If you don’t pay employee pharmacists their correct entitlements, we will take swift action to recover what members are owed,” says Matt Harris, PPA’s National Campaign Director.

“We’re witnessing a spike in the number of cases of underpayment of wages, and even a failure to pay wages at all.

“When the public hears about employers failing to pay employees what they have earned, it can only erode the trust that patients place in the profession.

“It is essentially wages theft, and all pharmacists – employees and owners – need to speak out, and stamp these practices out.”

Alongside several cases its legal team is working on, the union has filed proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court to recover up to $20,000 in unpaid entitlements on behalf of a pharmacist who had worked at a Melbourne CBD pharmacy for more than four years.

“$20,000 is a significant amount of money. Money towards a paying off a student loan, towards a home deposit, or another big expense,” says Harris.

“We already know the sorry state of pharmacists’ pay. It’s shocking to think that there are owners who are prepared to avoid paying even the minimum rates of pay.

“When we uncover pharmacy owners doing the wrong thing, we’ll be letting the profession and wider community know about it. And when it’s appropriate to do so, we will name the pharmacy owners responsible.

“It’s time to put a stop to these dodgy practices.

“Patients trust pharmacists’ advice every day, and would be shocked to learn that there are some pharmacy owners prepared to so blatantly avoid their obligations to those they employ.”

A spokesperson for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia told the AJP that “it is essential that the broad pharmacy sector complies with the provisions of the Pharmacy Industry Award and related workplace legal requirements”.

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