Industry sector:

Pharmacy: Wages

Money which you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses is known as 'Drawings'. This should not be included here, but will be dealt with elsewhere in the cash flow.

Before you can make an estimate of the wages you will pay each month to your employees you will need to identify the work that must be done and how many people will be needed to do it. If you are not the pharmacist you will need to employ one if you wish to dispense prescriptions.

Staff duties

You may need staff to:

  • help in the dispensary (dispensing or pharmacy technicians)
  • serve customers and answer queries (medicine and general retail counter assistants)
  • process and fulfil any online orders
  • unpack stock, load shelves, monitor stock
  • collect and deliver prescriptions
  • help with administrative matters

You will also have to make sure that you have cover (a locum) when you (or your pharmacist) are away. Members can download the Employing a Locum fact sheet from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) website.

The wages you pay your staff will depend to some extent on what is the going rate in your area. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is carried out by the government, gives average weekly wages (national and regional) for a wide range of different types of job. The Survey is available online on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Don't forget:

  • you must make sure that counter staff serving medicines receive the appropriate training. Dispensing technicians must have an accredited qualification and must be registered with the GPhC (this is not currently a requirement in Northern Ireland)
  • you could use a combination of full and part-time staff. Part-time work is often attractive to parents with children at school
  • the National Minimum Wage Act sets a minimum amount that you must pay your staff. Workers aged 25 and over receive a Living Wage premium on top of the standard National Minimum Wage
  • there is employment legislation which you should be aware of
  • you will have to pay employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you will have to operate PAYE in 'real time'. You may have to make employers' minimum contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too

In the cash flow, just put the amounts you will actually pay to staff after you have deducted NICs and PAYE - you will show these separately. You should also include here the cost of staff pensions.