Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Nov. 17, 2017

I cannot agree more with my pharmacy colleague who wrote: "...Bullied to violate our code of ethics in order to increase revenues by doing more medreviews, vaccinations, and refills with less-and-less staffing..." There is no longer any excuse for short-staffing pharmacies except for more remote locations and very small stores. It is indefensible that big pharmacy chains are reporting record incomes on the backs of exploited pharmacists. Perhaps OCP should look into the putative 'output' from a single pharmacist. What is a reasonable number of prescriptions for a single pharmacist to handle while also giving vaccinations, medreviews and OTC counselling? After all, how long can a pharmacist spend on a medreview when he/she is the only pharmacist, or perhaps even the only staff member, on shift? Where does a pharmacist turn to if forced to compromise our code of ethics? Exemptions to the ESA not only means no rights to basic breaks and sick leave, it can also mean no protection for your hours. There has been a lot of input regarding excessively long shifts and excessive number of hours. The reverse can also be true. You can end up with a short shifts, irregular shifts, and loss of hours as punishment for not meeting quotas. After all, there is no shortage of pharmacists and there is always someone willing to work for less. It is time that pharmacists have basic worker rights. It would definitely improve morale in the workforce, and positively impact the quality and safety of pharmacy care. We are professionals, and should be treated as such.

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