POST OFFICE: JOINT STATEMENT – COMPULSORY WEARING OF FACE COVERINGS AND CLINICALLY EXTREMELY VULNERABLE
Branches and members are advised that due to increasing levels of Covid-19 infections across the UK, the Post Office, CWU and Unite have jointly agreed to put in place, until further notice, the compulsory wearing of face coverings for members working in Crown Offices and indoor operations in Supply Chain.
I want to stress that the measure to introduce compulsory wearing of face coverings is not an end in itself and does not replace other preventative, risk control measures and must be seen as one of the steps to safer working and a Covid-19 Secure workplace. The compulsory wearing of masks will give our members added personal protection and will work in conjunction with:
• Social distancing measures
• Robust risk assessments
• Regular and comprehensive sanitising fogging (cleaning) arrangements
• Effective reporting processes already in place throughout the Post Office.
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable – Paid Special Leave
As a further precaution, members that are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable will be placed on paid special leave from Thursday 5th November for the four weeks of the lockdown period. For Admin members who are able to work from home, this arrangement will continue.
Attached is a Joint Statement to our members in Crown Offices outlining the health conditions that fall into the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable category. It also highlights further safe ways of working that help to reduce risk as well as reiterates our commitment to making the operations in the workplace as Covid secure as possible.
As the arrangements agreed are generic across the Post Office, our members in Supply Chain have received similar communications, albeit in two separate Joint Statements.
Regular Covid Engagement Meetings
The overriding objective of both CWU and Post Office is our members’ health, safety and well-being in the workplace. Consequently, since the initial lockdown in March, we have put apparatus in place whereby we discuss Covid-19 with management on at least three separate occasions per week. We will continue to carefully monitor all developments from Government and where appropriate raise with management if it is in the best interests of our members’ well-being.
Finally, I would like to thank Lynn Simpson, Postal Executive member, for her endeavours in working with management on the measures and policies contained within these Joint Statements.
Andy Furey Assistant Secretary