Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Nov. 17, 2017

As an owner who also works as a Designated Manager at a store I do not own, I realize that it is time for change with regard to employment standards as the current situation can be detrimental to quality patient care.

Among independent employers there seems to be a migration toward contract employment where an hourly rate is paid with no payroll deductions and no provision for accrued vacation pay. The problems with this are as follow:

1) This becomes a disincentive for individual to take regular vacation to "recharge." This can lead to a decline in patient care.

2) I many cases there is no overtime or shift premium paid. These tend to be disincentive for employers to over work individual but in the absence of these perks, pharmacists will tend to work too many hours and possibly burn out...leading to declining patient care.

3) On a larger scale, the lack of reasonable and fair remuneration (vacation pay, overtime, shift premiums) seems to be part of the reason for the proliferation of small pharmacies. At first glance this may seem like a good thing with more practitioners available to the public. The problem is that the pharmacy model in Ontario is based upon volume sales. With lack of volume, pharmacists are working longer hours. Further, there may be "corner cutting" to survive that is not in the best interests of the patient.

Solutions:

There is very little that can be done about the length of shift in the retail environment and legislating breaks is also difficult given the "on demand" nature of the business.

It should however, be mandatory that Designated Managers and pharmacists that work full time hours in a single location be placed on payroll with appropriate deductions and vacation pay accruing. Appropriate premium pay for hours in excess of a defined maximum would prevent abuse of pharmacist employees and lessen the potential burn out. All of the aforementioned and appropriate pay for statutory holidays would provide hard working pharmacist a needed breather and likely improve patient care.

Just my two cents.

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