Re-Introduction of Driver In-Cab Training in All Vehicles and Update on The Road Map Out Of Lockdown

No. 188/2021

7 May 2021

Our Ref: V4 /21

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

Royal Mail Group – Re-Introduction of Driver In-Cab Training in All Vehicles and Update on The Road Map Out Of Lockdown: (Includes New Driver Induction Training & Post Accident Driver Training etc., – Managing Occupational Road Risk)

In February, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s four-step roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions and provide a route back to a more normal way of life. Each step is to be assessed before restrictions ease, with a review and decision at each stage, which will be based on the Covid-19 infection case data not dates. The Government states that it will move cautiously, aiming to keep infection rates under control. Infection rates and deaths in the UK are reducing and the numbers vaccinated are increasing rapidly with around 70% of the population now vaccinated.

As the country is now on the Government’s staged roadmap out of lockdown, Royal Mail indicated its need and intention to re-start the full programme of Driver Training because of it being essential and ‘legally required’. When lockdown commenced last year, Royal Mail Group suspended a range of tasks including vehicle in-cab training. As the country moves through the stages of the UK Government and devolved administrations’ roadmaps, a range of restrictions are being lifted.

One of these restrictions is driving lessons and examinations which are now permitted across all nations. Collectively, Royal Mail and Parcelforce with the CWU and Unite/CMA believe that it is now safe to reintroduce in-cab driver training with Covid-Secure controls retained at this stage.

Royal Mail Group operates the largest commercial fleet in the UK and Europe. CWU fully acknowledges the importance of the business needing to meet its obligations in law requiring it to discharge its HSAW Act general duties and its specific MHSAW Regulations obligations in respect of occupational road risk and driver safety plus the need to provide information, instruction and training to drivers under S2 of the HSAW Act.

The HSE sets out clear requirements in their legal guidance ‘Managing work-related road safety’ (INDG382) regarding their expectations in respect of effective management of work-related road safety in order to ensure driver competency and fewer injuries to drivers through a system of road risk controls to ensure drivers have the right skills, knowledge and experience.