Vote ‘YES’ for a fair deal on holiday pay in Royal Mail Group


Regular non-contractual overtime to be included within annual leave remuneration, if proposed agreement is endorsed in national branch ballot…

Voting opens next week on a proposed Royal Mail Group-wide agreement for average pay on annual leave (holiday pay). This has been endorsed by the postal executive and is being recommended for acceptance through a national branch ballot. Branches are being urged to ‘Vote Yes’ in the branch ballot, which will run from next Monday (28th June) until mid-day on Friday 16th July.

The union has been pressing for a solution on this matter since at least 2014, when the issue was first raised with the business, and the crux of the matter has always been an agreed definition of regularity as there is no absolute legal definition. There was little in the way of legal precedence, or ‘case law’ that the CWU had been able to use as the few individual cases being cited were not necessarily representative and there were not clear answers to the key questions: ‘How much and how often?’ in terms of overtime being worked.

Terry Pullinger, deputy general secretary (postal) tells CWU News: “Royal Mail Group failed to do what was morally right throughout this period and increase the contracted hours of the part-time workforce to reflect the hours that had been worked and, instead, used part-time as a flexible resource.”

Management continued to “drag their feet on the matter of average pay on annual leave,” Terry continues, “but, with over 7,000 registered Employment Tribunal cases registered nationally and the prospect of an imminent court hearing, they returned to the negotiating table and the result is that a significant agreement has been concluded that; defines ‘regularity’ and ‘quantity’ criteria in terms of overtime worked, provides a clear calculation method, and takes into account periods of maternity, adoption or shared parental leave.”

This milestone agreement allows for an interim solution that provides two lump-sum payments a year – in May and November – and a longer-term resolution. Once a qualifying threshold is met for regularity then all non-contractual overtime that is performed is included in the calculation. Full-time members get paid for the first four weeks of annual leave and, crucially, part-time members will receive holiday pay up to their contractual annual leave, which our DGSP describes as a “massive achievement.”

There is also a maximum of two years’ backpay – subject to the qualification criteria being met – and this meets the legal entitlement.

Putting the agreement in context, Terry says: “It has to be said that the change in attitude which has enabled this agreement is a direct result of the new RMG leadership and our joint commitment to change the culture in all our workplaces and to ensure everyone is treated fairly and with respect. This agreement, running alongside our recent joint statement on resourcing, if applied professionally, will deal with many of the issues that have demoralised and frustrated an excellent workforce for far too long and will now drive the right management behaviours.

“It is important, however, that locally as a union, we continue to raise challenges where this does not occur.”

Terry concludes: “As over 70,000 members work regular overtime hours, many from across the country will benefit and receive payments. This is fantastic news and this agreement is a testimony to the hard work that reps throughout the union have put into highlighting the issue of average pay on annual leave and maximising claims.

“Additionally, I would like to thank CWU Legal Services, Unionline and our legal representatives for their support in achieving this agreement. I have no hesitation in recommending this agreement and would encourage the maximum possible ‘Yes’ vote in favour.”

Further details:  – LTB 245

                                  – LTB 257