7 January 2021
Our Ref: E1/21
To: All Branches
Shared Vans – Withdrawal By Royal Mail in All UK Tier 4/5 Lockdown Areas:
This is a further update on Shared Vans and is being issued further to LTB 602/2020 dated 21.12.20, LTB 611/20 dated 23.12.20, LTB 489/20 dated 6.10.20 – And more recently e-mails to all ASRs over the Christmas/New Year period dated 29 December 2020 and 31 December 2020.
As Branches and Regions will know, there have been a series of recent Government announcements in quick succession via national TV and media, initially with more areas of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland brought under the toughest Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions, followed by Tier 5 lockdown in order to limit the spread of the virus as case rates continue to rise at an alarming rate across the country, reaching over 60,000 cases a day and 1000 deaths.
As a result of those Government decisions, the Royal Mail Executive Board have withdrawn ‘shared vans’ in all Tier4/Tier5 Lockdown areas without exception.
A small number of reports have been received regarding certain Units ignoring the Royal Mail Executive instruction and these instances have been raised with RMHQ and dealt with. If there should be any Delivery Offices reportedly ignoring the Royal Mail mandatory instruction, ASRs/ADRs need to verify it then it should be taken up with the DOM, OM and SHE/BP to immediately to get it stopped or failing that escalate the matter to CWU/HQ without delay.
I would also stress that if there are any local managers claiming to have ‘dispensation’ from the withdrawal of ‘Shared Vans’ during the Covid-19 lockdown – THIS IS UNTRUE. The decision to withdraw ‘shared-vans’ in these high transmission risk areas has been taken by the Royal Mail Executive Board, as an ‘emergency measure’. This will be kept under review but can only be changed with national RM Executive Board authorisation.
In a statement by the Royal Mail Executive, the following has been communicated nationally through Royal Mail Group Communications:
“Royal Mail Shared Van Policy Change” – “As a result of the announcements from the UK Governments regarding the introduction of the Lockdown arrangements to tackle the rapidly rising Covid-19 infection numbers and faster transmission rate of the newly detected Covid-19 Virus strain, the Royal Mail Executive Board have decided, as an ‘emergency measure’ to withdraw their current shared van arrangements on the basis of putting the safety of the workforce and communities Royal Mail operates in first.”
The Union welcomes that prompt reaction to the Government announcements as the Union’s position has remained that shared vans should not have been reintroduced in the first place (See LTB No. 489/20 dated 6 October 2020). Royal Mail further state that this is a ‘temporary cessation’ of the use of shared vans in Lockdown areas which will be kept under review.
See attached communications from Dr. Shaun Davis Global Director SHE, C&S issued on 20, 23 and 30 December 2020 plus most recently on 5 January 2021, for your reference, information and assistance.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer