Your Rights: Pharmacy Guild Protest action

Professional Pharmacists Australia recognises that employee pharmacists have personal opinions about the changes to the dispensing policy that were announced today by the Federal Minister for Health.

We have received enquiries from both members and non-members who have expressed concerns about being approached to join the Pharmacy Guild campaign on the basis that they could lose their jobs as a result of the changes.

We object to employee pharmacists feeling pressured to take part in the Pharmacy Guild’s campaign and as employees you have the right to abstain from political campaigns.

Make sure you are aware of your rights if you are approached to join the Guild’s campaign:

  1. Ascertain if you are being required and directed to take specific actions as an employee or whether you are being invited to join in, which you are free to accept or not. Depending on the nature of the action which you are being directed to undertake, it may not be lawful for the employer to be issuing that direction.

  2. Any members who feel they are being coerced, manipulated or threatened into joining such action should contact PPA immediately. Actions you may not wish to be involved in include use of your images, social media accounts, media interviews and public protest actions including sharing surveys and petitions.

  3. Lobbying about this change to patients as a registered pharmacist whilst working or even in your own time including though social media, potentially could fall within unprofessional conduct as per the standards developed by AHPRA. You should take this account before becoming engaged in such activity and we encourage members to get in touch with PPA to discuss this more fully.

  4. It will depend on the specific circumstances but a closure of a pharmacy for a proposed stop work activity instigated by the employer does not alter your entitlement to pay for that time whether you attend the protest or not.

  5. Any action on a proposed on a public holiday would be paid as per your normal entitlements. Subject to your specific contractual entitlements, if that public holiday is one of your regular shifts if employed in a part-time position you are entitled to receive your full pay for that day as well as pay for any hours of protest activity by your employer. The same applies to any other penalty or normal work hours as per the National Employment Standards and the Pharmacy Industry Award.

If you are a member of PPA and would like advice about your rights at work, you can contact the Workplace Advice and Support (WAS) Team on 1300 273 762, or email

If you are not a union member, join PPA today.