National Roll Out of Coronavirus/Covid-19 – LFD Workforce Testing in Royal Mail Group

No. 183/2021

7 May 2021

Our Ref: E1/21

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

National Roll Out of Coronavirus/Covid-19 – LFD Workforce Testing in Royal Mail Group:

Branches and Regions will be aware from reports published in LTBs 581/20, 54/21 and 102/21 that Royal Mail Group has been running a number of RMG/CWU Jointly supported Covid-19 Workforce LFD (Lateral Flow Device) Testing Pilots/Trials in Sheffield City DO, Birmingham Mail Centre and finally across 150 plus Royal Mail and Parcelforce Offices (including RMSS, RM Fleet, RM Engineering and RMP&FS) in CM, SS, CO, NR, IP, NN and AL postcode areas).

Since last year the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department has been pressing for the introduction of ‘Workforce Testing’ for Covid-19/Coronavirus as a positive, proactive way of improving ‘Covid-Secure’ workplace standards and ‘Covid-Safety’ by combatting the spread and transmission of the virus in the workplace by quickly identifying those infected but asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) and getting them into self-isolation promptly, so as to firstly protect the individual and secondly reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to others, bearing in mind that many people, estimated as one in three, may be infected but are either ‘pre-symptomatic’ or ‘asymptomatic’ and will not know they have the virus and are transmitting it to others.

A positive test early in the course of the illness enables individuals to isolate themselves, reducing the chances that they will infect others and allows them to seek treatment earlier, likely reducing disease severity and the risk of long-term disability, or death.

Since it is recognised that a third of all Covid-19 infections are transmitted by people who are not showing any symptoms, identifying infected individuals via testing while they are pre-symptomatic, as well as those who are asymptomatic, via workforce testing in Royal Mail Group, one of the UK’s largest employers, could therefore play a major role in helping stop the virus spread.

A ‘tripartite’ agreement was reached involving the CWU, Unite CMA, Royal Mail Group and the Department of Health and Social Care for Royal Mail to be involved in a wider Government initiative, running a number of pilots to test the concept of regular weekly Covid-19 testing in the workplace. The pilots formed part of the Government plan and subsequent decision, announced by the Prime Minister recently, to roll out mass testing technology across the UK.

Royal Mail and CWU nationally and locally in the Pilot/Trial areas, have jointly been working together to bring about the succ