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Uniform ‘Mini’ Proof of Concept Trial on a revised Female Skirt

No. 311/21

29th July 2021

Dear Colleagues,

CWU/Royal Mail National Terms of Reference – Uniform ‘Mini’ Proof of Concept Trial on a revised Female Skirt

Branches will recall that Letter To Branches 264/21, Addendum to the Code of Practice between Royal Mail & CWU on Dress Standards (Revised Uniform Agreement 2018): Covering the New Range of Uniform Allocation (The New Performance Wardrobe), dated the 25th of June, outlined the details and timeline of the switch over to a new uniform range following extensive trial activity.

Whilst the new uniform range is seen as a welcomed development and a major overhaul of the current range, both Royal Mail and CWU do not see this as an end state in terms of further and ongoing improvements to the uniform. As such, the attached Terms of Reference set out a ‘Mini’ Proof of Concept Trial on a revised Female Skirt.

Back in 2018 Royal Mail removed the female skirt from the uniform range due to it being an extremely slow-moving product, with less than 50 order requests a year at that point in time. However, Royal Mail still retained ‘off the shelf’ alternatives based on two skirt designs for those colleagues who requested them.

Whilst the demand for the skirts remains very low it has become clear that the two current off the shelf designs available are limited in their operational suitability, in particular, for colleagues that work outdoors.

With this in mind, talks have been taking place between Royal Mail and the CWU on possible alterative options which would be more suitable for the wider operational roles. However, it has become clear during these talks and the wider procurement process that there is very limited ‘commercial or occupational’ skirt styles and designs which would suit the diverse roles within Royal Mail.

Nonetheless, talks have now concluded and resulted in these TOR and the outlined trial of a new off the shelf skirt design. The design selected is a black skirt which features a small split at the back, two side pockets, two pockets at the back and belt loops. Those who have agreed to be involved in the trial will be issued with two skirts, they will also be used with one flexi belt and one holster pocket.

This outlined ‘Mini’ Proof of Concept Trial will take place from August and will run for 6 weeks following which a joint CWU/Royal Mail review will then be held on the trial feedback against the standard success criteria as outlined.

Any enquiries regarding this subject matter or uniform matters in general should be directed to the Outdoor Department, reference 500, email address:

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch

CWU Assistant Secretary

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