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Booking ad-hoc Annual Leave through the People App – Joint Statement

No. 355/22

6th September 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Booking ad-hoc Annual Leave through the People App – Joint Statement

Further to LTB 318/21 that was circulated to Branches and Representatives on 3rd August 2021, colleagues will be aware that a joint trial took place in a number of delivery offices for members to book ad-hoc annual leave through the People App.

The trial was covered by an agreed Terms of Reference with the outputs of the trial being judged against a number of key success criteria. Throughout the trial local representatives at the designated sites had full involvement to ensure that the agreed Terms of Reference were followed, local agreements around resourcing were honoured, weekly resourcing meetings discussed annual leave and to be certain that those who did not use the app were not disadvantaged in any way.

The main outputs from the trial against the success criteria are captured below for the information of Branches and Representatives:

  • The trial demonstrated that there has been no change to local approaches for allocating ad-hoc annual leave.

  • Initially 107 employees used the App to submit 320 requests but this increased to 142 employees and 451 requests. This provided significant data and demonstrated that the agreed approach was popular.

  • The feedback from joint sessions and questionnaires showed that there was no favouritism with requests being treated fairly regardless of the method of submission.

  • The feedback also demonstrated that there was no negative impact as a result of requesting ad-hoc annual leave through the People App.

The success criteria were therefore met and the positive feedback from those involved indicated that this new approach is beneficial. Members who want to use the People App can and it offers them flexibility outside of work, whilst those who don’t haven’t seen any detriment.

The trial did reveal a few technical issues around the visibility of digital requests, such as where a unit allocates leave through a bookroom, or when there are a number of managers aligned through PSP for individuals but who do not have authority to book leave e.g. a DOM supports considers and inputs according to agreed levels. This led to a solution being developed which is referred to as the dashboard.

This resolved that particular matter and pulled all leave requests together onto a single screen.

The technicalities caused the trial to originally be delayed and then subsequently extended.

Since the conclusion of the trial talks have continued in order to reach a Joint Statement prior to rollout although this was complicated by the fact that on 12th July 2022 the Chief People Officer unilaterally issued communications to introduce the People App process.

Whilst this delayed the talks, I am now pleased to report that the Postal Executive have endorsed the attached Joint Statement for the rollout of this initiative that builds in the important safeguards our members and representatives require.

Key Joint Principles for Rollout

It is jointly agreed that the following key principles will apply for rollout:

  • Employees applying for ad-hoc A/L will be considered and treated in the same way whether they use the People App or not.

  • Where they know they will require ad-hoc day(s), colleagues are encouraged to provide as much notification as possible to help with the advanced planning of resource.

  • Special consideration will be given to accommodate requests for exceptional reasons (which would breach the agreed leave ceiling) for those people who have a need for urgent short-term ad-hoc leave for example due to family bereavements and medical appointments. In such circumstances both parties shall actively and jointly look at all options to accommodate the request.

  • The People App should be used for requesting ad–hoc annual leave only. All other annual leave should continue to be requested and allocated in line with the national Way Forward Agreement.

  • Levels of A/L and the ability to take short-term leave shall continue to be a key matter for discussion at the mandatory weekly resourcing meetings between Unit Managers and CWU.

  • Where requests cannot be granted (regardless of the way the request was made) employees shall receive feedback so they understand why. Managers and CWU representatives should always look at how leave can be granted and barriers preventing leave being approved are overcome.

  • Managers and CWU representatives should display available A/L slots up to 1 month into the future to enable employee visibility of what opportunities exist to request ad-hoc leave.

There is also a 6-month joint review after rollout, which ensures that any issues that arise during deployment can be highlighted and then addressed.

Finally, I would like to place on record my thanks to Steve Halliwell, Mick Kavanagh and Katrina Quirke for their work throughout the trial and ensuring that a Joint Statement was concluded.

Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary Postal

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