Coronavirus: how we're protecting our staff and customers

Last updated 20 April 2020

Coronavirus: how we're protecting our staff and customers

Last updated 20 April 2020

Royal Mail‘s number one priority is keeping our people and our customers safe. We have already committed around £25 million on buying equipment such as hand sanitiser, gloves and other items designed to keep our people safe. We continue to follow the preventative guidance of public health authorities. We are doing everything we can to protect our people while remaining open for business and offering delivery services throughout the UK. We have made a number of changes to our processes, and wanted to let you know about a few of them here:

 

What are you doing about social distancing?

We have introduced a range of new social distancing measures aimed at offering further protection for our colleagues. Standard ways of working are being revised to ensure that, wherever possible, colleagues stay two metres apart. We are implementing a new rule that means there will only be one person in a Royal Mail delivery vehicle at any one time. Processes have been further reviewed to minimise the passing of work between colleagues. 

In order to protect both our people and customers, we are temporarily not handing over our hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures. Postmen and postwomen will instead log the name of the person accepting the item, and can sign on their behalf. This will apply to all deliveries that require a signature. Additionally, for all customers (including those who are self-isolating) where we need to deliver any parcel that won’t fit through their letterbox, we will place their item at their door. Having knocked on the door, we will then step aside to a safe distance while they retrieve their item. This will ensure the item is delivered securely rather than being left outside. 

If they are unable to come to the door at all, we will issue a ‘Something for You’ card, advising them to stay home and book a free redelivery of their item. Only in essential circumstances should a parcel be collected from the Customer Service Point at their local delivery office. In this situation, and to keep their mail as secure as possible, they will need to bring along the card we left and a form of ID in the name of the person the item is addressed to.  

We are also temporarily changing the opening times of our Customer Service Points from Monday, 6 April. To support the Government’s advice to stay home and avoid non-essential contact, we are urging customers to only visit Customer Service Points where absolutely necessary. Customers can request free redelivery for their items via royalmail.com.

 

What advice are you providing to staff when working?

In line with guidance from the UK's Chief Medical Officer and public health authorities, we are advising colleagues that good hand hygiene is the first and most important line of defence. We have taken a number of measures and provided preventative guidance to our colleagues. This includes promoting regular hand washing with soap and water. We have good supplies of soap and paper towels. We are also providing disposable latex gloves, available to anyone who wants to use them. We are keeping colleagues informed through notices, and internal TV updates. 

 

Will you pay sick pay to staff who are infected?

Our normal approach to sick pay will continue to apply to all Royal Mail Group employees with over a year’s service. Exceptionally, to support employees who should not be attending work, Royal Mail has temporarily changed the sick pay for employees with less than a year’s service. Where the absence is related to coronavirus, these employees will receive the same sick pay as employees with over a year’s service. This will be in place until mid April 2020, although we will continue to monitor the situation and may change this. 

We are pleased that the government has given Royal Mail key worker status, allowing their children to continue attending school. This underlines the importance of Royal Mail to UK society.