Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Dec. 3, 2017

Most of the complaints here are that pharmacists are too busy to eat/drink/ go to washroom etc. But if we take 30min lunch and 15 min breaks wouldn't the workload per hour just increase? The same amount of work must be done but the hours of work has decreased and I feel like this will put even more stress on the pharmacist. There is no law that currently prohibits the pharmacist to go to the washroom or eat. If they need to, the pharmacist can (under current exemption) just give longer wait times and go eat a quick lunch. if you don't do that it is because the workload is too high, not because pharmacists are exempted from having breaks. And if your workload is too high right now, having mandatory breaks and lunch will inevitably make your workload higher. Some people are complaining about the low wage. Most employers do not pay for lunch breaks. So having mandatory lunch breaks would also decrease your pay by another 30min per day. Most employers already offer 4+% vacation pay and sick pay so I don't think that area needs to be changed. In terms of work hours. There should not be a cap on the number of hours worked. Because some pharmacies are only open for 10-12h and putting a cap would either force the pharmacy to close earlier or have split 5-6 hour shifts. Both of which would negatively impact patients and pharmacists. Also, most overnight pharmacists rely on working longer hours per day and working week on week off. Putting a cap on number of hours worked per day or per week would negatively impact most overnight positions. Currently I work 12h shifts but only 3 to 4 days a week and I would like to continue this rather than work 6 hour shifts for 5-6 days a week. It would be very hard for pharmacists to keep full time hours in pharmacies that open for 10-12 hours because there is often no overlap allowed (if there was a 8h cap on work hours). In conclusion I think the exemption should be maintained. Although I do think lunch and other breaks are important, I feel like mandatory breaks would simply increase the workload per hour. This would put more stress on the pharmacist which would increase medication errors and affect patient safety. The pharmacist should eat when it is not busy, but be available if they are needed for something urgent.

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