Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Dec. 15, 2017

I will keep this short, but make no mistake that this is a crucial topic that I am very much in favour of putting pharmacists back on the employment standards act. As many people have already alluded to, the majority of pharmacists working in retail setting work for a larger organization. Organizations only look at bottom line and in the last 5-7 years, have made the working conditions of pharmacists so bad that many can attest to working without a lunch break - munching on food while constantly being bombarded with questions and scripts to sign. When pharmacists work without adequate breaks, ISMP can attest to this being a major risk factor for medication incidents. Pharmacists try their best to be careful but we are not robots. We cannot be our best when we are light headed from hunger most of the time. Many pharmacists I know are on a PPI. It is not humane to keep pharmacists off the employment standards act where we are spending PROLONGED periods (12h or 14 hr shifts without a lunch break at a reasonable time - a time that is usually busy but stomach is complaining, so one must work through the light headedness and stomach aches because patients don't wait more than 20 minutes before complaining to head office and there is no sign that says the pharmacy is closed for break). There is NO NEED for pharmacists to be off of the employment standards act. We are not EMS. Doctor offices, optometrists, dentists, ALL have lunch breaks where they don't schedule work in that time. If pharmacies are closed for lunch, people will be trained to not come during that time. Now, companies with only dollar signs in their eyes will object to that or even pressure pharmacists to skip breaks by piling on the expectations/quotas/ etc. These companies should be fined for violating the ESA. A precedence needs to be set for greedy companies that only have dollar signs in their eyes. It is time that pharmacists need to be treated like a professional, like human again so that we can best serve our patients with a smile and not as an interruption to our much needed break time.

The SECOND step that should happen is to make Pharmacies 100% owned by pharmacists again ! Not this 50.00001% ownership where the other half is owned by people in suits without a healthcare background and just a business background- who try to squeeze every dime out of pharmacy as a business and trample on pharmacy as a profession (ie. relentlessly pushing meds checks and script count with threats of repercussions - more labour cuts!!- if the said quotas are not met. Billable government services should be a pull- in that patients ASK us for it, not a PUSH where we push a pile of paper to people who don't feel the need nor want to discuss their medications).

Please, give pharmacies BACK TO PHARMACISTS and guaranteed, patients will be better served by HAPPY, HEALTHY, SMILING PHARMACISTS.

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