Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Nov. 29, 2017

I am currently one of the lucky ones where my retail pharmacy has more than one full-time pharmacist during work hours. We are given full 30min lunch breaks, washroom breaks as needed, sick time if needed, chairs to sit, overtime if we work >44 hours per week, and minimum 3 weeks paid vacation.

Having worked in other retail pharmacies where these basic rights are not offered, employers (usually large corporations) take advantage of the situation to save on their bottom line. Corporations tend to care more about the bottom line than actual patient care. Pharmacists are NOT at their best, nor provide their best clinical judgments when they are tired and overworked. Patient safety should always come first and things are not safe if pharmacists aren't at their cognitive best. Pharmacies are being run as purely money-oriented businesses vs. patient care nowadays. While we're at it, quotas should not be given on MedChecks nor expanded scopes of practice (prescription adaptations, renewals, flu shots, vaccinations) - it is a waste of healthcare dollars and should be done when a pharmacist deems those services necessary for the patient.

Nothing is so urgent that a pharmacist cannot take a break. If it is that urgent, the person should be at the ER and not the community pharmacy. I do agree the pharmacist should stay on-site and be available if someone does have an emergency that requires CPR/first aid in order to assist while awaiting an ambulance. Doctors are able to create their own schedules and have 1 to 2 hour lunch breaks. Hospital employees (including other healthcare professionals such as pharmacists, nurses, OT, PT, dieticians, etc.) are given mandated breaks, vacation, overtime, etc. Why should retail pharmacists be any different?

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