During Long Weekends and Holidays, Why Do Our Rates for Relief Pharmacists Tend to Go Up?

The holiday season is quickly approaching. As business owners, we tend to think that we have everything covered when it comes to having staff on-hand to work on holidays or long weekends. But what if something changes last minute? Read more to understand why our rates are slightly higher for these occasions.

As much as we would like to give our clients certainty about costs throughout the year, there are times when our rates will fluctuate temporarily. Times when our rates temporarily change include:

  • statutory holidays
  • long weekends
  • holidays for specific cultural groups
  • conferences that are held for Canada’s major drug store chains

If you are a client that has last minute needs for any of these types of dates, you can expect a slight increase in our normal rates. There is a very simple reason for this. Recruiting a relief pharmacist for any of the above mentioned dates works through a system of supply and demand. Pharmacists that work through us generally request higher rates and premiums to work on these days. In our experience, we have found that Christmas and New Year’s Eve have the most dramatic affect on our rates. It’s no secret that everybody, including relief pharmacists, would love to have these days off as well.  

When a pharmacist is approached to work on a day that they could potentially take off, they will charge us more for their services. When it costs us more to recruit a candidate, it will cost you more money to hire a candidate. On the other hand, if you are a client who plans ahead and commits to booking pharmacists several months in advance, you will most likely be able to secure a pharmacist at a more reasonable rate.

Pharmacies who find a relief pharmacist earlier on will pay less because the pharmacist has more competition. The closer you approach the date you want to fill, more candidates will have made plans that prevent them for working on that day. Again, because of supply and demand, relief pharmacists cannot charge as much for their services. There are other applicants who will take on the position for a lower price.

However, because of the potential for last-minute changes in availability, it is imperative for pharmacy owners and managers to schedule relief staff as soon as possible, to avoid having to pay an increased service fee to keep their pharmacies open.

This can be done by speaking with your staff to arrange days off, sick days, vacation days, and holidays well in advance. But it is always good to keep in mind that nothing is absolute. There will sometimes be hiccups that need to be addressed. This is why RPI Consulting Group is here. As a pharmacy placement agency, we can step in and solve these hiccups for you at any time. We also pay for WSIB coverage for all of our candidates, so that you are never liable for a workplace accident during a relief assignment.

Written by Leon Alexander (leon@rpigroup.ca)

RPI Consulting Group Inc. 416.850.9809 (ext. 317)

Toll-free: 1-866-505-3383 (ext. 317)

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