Members need honesty about Royal Mail sick pay, CWU warns management


The CWU is calling on Royal Mail to be “honest” over whether workers sharing vans will receive full sick pay if they are forced to self-isolate.

CWU Acting Assistant Secretary Carl Maden has demanded clarity from management after Royal Mail returned to van sharing practices on Monday.

The stance, which management insists is a purely voluntary role for workers who feel comfortable sharing vehicles, was opposed by the CWU.

CWU Acting Assistant Secretary Carl Maden said: “At a time when Covid-19 cases are increasing and further lock downs are in the pipeline, the CWU did not agree with van sharing.

“However, Royal Mail have gone ahead with it.”

“Therefore, I have asked Royal Mail to guarantee anyone who volunteers will have full sick pay.”

Carl pointed out a recent Royal Mail document sent to managers stated the provision of enhanced sick pay is “dependent on the absence not being caused by or aggravated by the employee”.

The document goes on to say: “Where, in the reasonable view of the company, there is evidence of an employee’s disregard for public health guidance which then leads to them needing to self-isolate, Royal Mail Sick Pay will not be paid.”

Furthermore, in a meeting last Friday which attended by five directors/senior managers, Carl asked them to confirm whether full sick pay would be paid to members forced to self-isolate after volunteering for van sharing roles.

He also asked them to release a communication explaining any circumstances where sick pay will not be paid.

At the time of writing, nothing has been received from Royal Mail.

Carl called on Royal Mail to publish a statement as soon as possible, so members can make informed decisions about volunteering in vans.

He said: “We want guaranteed full sick pay and assurances any absence will not count against you on an attendance review or consideration of dismissal”, and added the union also wants those guarantees applied to members working in Fleet services.

He added: “I am sure I will be accused of scaremongering.

“However, all Royal Mail have to do is publish a document which states clearly: if you have to self-isolate due to van sharing, full sick pay will be paid and the absence will not count against you within the attendance agreement or stipulate when sick pay will not be paid.

“This would be an honest position.”

Carl also reminded workers they are entitled to read risk assessments and safe systems of work, and managers are obliged to provide you with a copy if requested.