Monday 1 February 2016 1:12 pm

Boots to cut up to 350 jobs as part of plans to simplify chemist business

Boots is to cut between 300 and 350 managerial roles from its UK stores as part of a wider move to simplify the business. 

The chemist, which was bought by Walgreens in 2014, has started consultation with its assistant store managers in the larger stores across the country. Although it admitted some of the job cuts would come through redundancy, the Walgreens Boots Alliance said it hoped some of the reduction in head count would come through "natural attrition", while some staff will be redeployed. 

As part of the move, Boots is moving towards a "multi-skilled adviser model", which will require investment in new training academies, with a particular focus on the own brand beauty range No7. This will help the business "to better respond to customer and patient needs".

In addition, Boots is outsourcing its customer service centre to Teleperformance, which will take on around 400 staff, who will transfer to it from 14 March. Affected staff will remain in the Nottingham office and retain their existing pay and benefits.

Boots also announced today a new reward package which includes improved base rates for all hourly paid employees in the UK.

"This announcement will make sure that all hourly paid Boots colleagues joining the business regardless of their age will be on the same base rate of pay," the company said. "This is above the living wage recommendation and reflects the level of care our employees give to customers."

The starting base rate for a customer assistant outside London is increasing by seven per cent from £7.20 to £7.70, while the starting base rate for a customer assistant in London is increasing by 3.4 per cent, from £8.77 to £9.07.

Simon Roberts, president of Boots, said: “Everything we do at Boots is about helping people feel good. So many of our colleagues deliver amazing care for our patients, customers and communities everyday and we are actively working to make sure our people are rewarded for the great work they continue to do.

"I believe our plans will enable us to build an even better Boots and drive future growth.”