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Boots UK and PDAU sign voluntary recognition agreement

12 July 2019
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Boots UK and thePharmacists’ Defence Association Union (PDAU) today signed their first voluntary recognition agreement.  This means the PDAU will now have collective bargaining rights for negotiation on pay, hours and holiday, as well as consultative meetings on a range of topics, representing PDAU members who are store based Boots pharmacists and pre-registration pharmacists.

The formal agreement means that the PDAU will negotiate the annual pay for these roles with Boots, starting with the forthcoming annual pay review for the financial year 19/20.

The agreement means

  • The PDAU will have one regional representative per region, with one per division stepping up to fulfil a broader role and also participate in annual pay negotiations
  • A Joint Consultative Committee will be set up, which all reps will attend.  It will meet four times per year to discuss proposals for any material changes to people policies against an agreed list, and to discuss health and safety matters relating to the Bargaining Unit
  • There will be a Joint Negotiating Board made up of a smaller subset of reps for the purpose of negotiations relating to pay, hours and holidays
  • We have also agreed a list of policy items which Boots will inform the PDAU about if there are any changes.  This includes items such as bonus payment, and changes to some HR policies.

Commenting on the announcement, Anne Higgins, Director of Stores Scotland and Northern Ireland, who co-chaired the meetings on the agreement said, “This is the start of new, more positive relationship between Boots UK and the PDAU.  We look forward to working with them with a new spirit of partnership in the years ahead, working together for the long term sustainable success of our pharmacists and Boots UK.”

The signing took place at the Boots Store, Victoria Centre Nottingham. Present for Boots UK were Kirsty Pitcher, Director of HR Retail & Opticians and Anne Higgins, Director of Stores Scotland and Northern Ireland – Boots UK. 

Representatives of the PDA Union were Mark Pitt, Assistant General Secretary, Paul Day, National Officer and Helen Lewis, Regional Officer.


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023