Safe return process agreed for vulnerable Royal Mail Group workers

Postal, Royal Mail Group (EMP)

Thursday 9th July 2020

A four-step process to assist the rest of our ‘shielding’ Royal Mail Group members to return to duty will come into operation next month, on a similar basis to the protocols introduced for others last month.

Those who have been either categorised as or are the carers for ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ people will be able to commence the process from July 31 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and from August 16 in Wales – and the agreed arrangements for this were announced by CWU acting assistant secretary Carl Maden.

“As with the non-extremely vulnerable category members, we have a four-step plan set out, the overall aim of which is to ensure that any stress or apprehensions are addressed and these members are enabled to resume their duties as smoothly and safely as possible,” Carl told CWU News.

The plan opens with an informal conversation between the manager and the shielding worker to understand how the member is feeling, how they have coped with shielding and to discuss any anxieties or concerns.

A further conversation (Step Two) with the manager can discuss any concerns, or issues that may need resolving – which may also include altered start and finish times and/or shift patterns

Step Three will assess whether there is a requirement for occupational health advice and Step Four will formulate the return-to-work arrangements and finalise or ‘sign-off’ the plan.

“What’s really important here is the mental wellbeing of members, as well as their physical health and the specific practicalities too,” Carl continues, adding that the role of our CWU unit reps is extremely important in making this adjustment a success.

“It’s really good the business is working positively with us in this and our frontline reps, who’ve done a superb job in all aspects of dealing with Covid-19 issues and are also going to be playing a key role in this return-to-work process.

“Now the four-step plan is fully agreed for all members returning from shielding, it must happen in every case. If this hasn’t happened, or if the agreed adjustments are not in place, then the return to work can’t happen either,” he explains, adding: “At national level, the business has fully endorsed this.

“Our reps have been fantastic all though this crisis – and particularly at this time, when they’re assisting members in vulnerable situations in getting back into work.

So, a big thank you – once again – to all of them,” Carl concludes.

·    This protocol covers all Royal Mail Group employees, including Parcelforce and RMPFS. Quadrant will be covered by Compass Group Policy.

·    For full details, please see LTB 357 & LTB 298