12th October 2021
POST OFFICE: COVID-19 UPDATE – JOINT STATEMENT
Branches are advised that the following Joint Statement has been agreed in relation to Covid-19 and specifically the easing of some of the associated safety controls such as the wearing of face coverings which we believe is now appropriate in the current circumstances:
JOINT STATEMENT POST OFFICE, CWU AND UNITE
COVID 19 Update
The Post Office, CWU and Unite continue to work together to ensure we prioritise making the workplace as Covid-secure as possible and provide colleagues with the most up to date information regarding COVID 19.
The Government, backed by medical and scientific evidence, set out a step by step roadmap, easing restrictions in order to provide a route back to a normal way of life underpinned by the Covid-19 vaccination and testing programme. The Post Office, CWU and Unite have maintained at each stage a cautious approach with regards to PPE and testing to maintain a consistent approach across all four devolved powers within the UK.
Confirmed cases within Post Office have dropped significantly since January 2021. Whilst carefully monitoring this number and tracking the UK Governments guidance collectively Post Office, CWU and Unite believe that it is now safe to start easing some of the COVID 19 safety controls, with the built in safeguard of being ready to react and re-introduce Covid-secure controls should the need arise if the infections should increase in the workplace and/or nationally.
Face coverings no longer need to be worn behind the counter when safety screens are in place, however, for consistency across the nations face coverings or visors will still be required when working on the public side of the office and in communal areas such as meeting rooms, welfare facilities, corridors etc where social distancing is difficult. Colleagues should continue to follow good practices such as keeping hands clean, maintaining social distancing where possible and making use of the lateral flow tests that are available for all colleagues. It will remain a personal choice to wear a face covering behind counters should colleagues choose to do so and PPE and face coverings will continue to be made available. Vulnerable colleagues should continue to undertake the relevant risk assessments.
We will continue to monitor case numbers and Government guidance with the aim to keep infection rates under control in the workplace as best we can but if infection rates should rise to a level of concern, or if outbreaks occur, restrictions can and will be re-imposed in order to help stop the spread and transmissions as far as is practicable this includes the reintroduction of face coverings.
If you are unsure or need further clarification on the above, please speak to your manager or union rep who will advise you. You can also find further details on the Hub Coronavirus microsite.
Head of DMB Network
CWU Assistant Secretary
Branches and Representatives are urged to bring this LTB and associated Joint Statement to the attention of our Crown Office members.