Sunday, April 05, 2009

New law to force pharmacies to close for lunch?

A new law about rest breaks may force some pharmacies to close for lunch, the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand says.

Changes to the Employment Relations Act come into force tomorrow, meaning a person working more than four hours is entitled to an unpaid half-hour meal break.

Pharmacy Guild chief executive Annabel Young said under the Medicines Act a pharmacy must be operated with the "immediate supervision and control of a pharmacist".

This meant small pharmacies where only one pharmacist worked would have to close when that person took a lunch break, she said.

However, a spokesman for Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said the Act covered this kind of situation.

"Our advice from the Department of Labour is that the legislation is flexible enough to deal with these concerns in that if breaks can't be scheduled due to certain requirements or commitments then they should be taken 'where reasonable and practicable'." ...more

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