Royal Mail Footwear Reimbursement Policy (due to Medical/Health Reasons) and Reimbursement Arrangements for Individuals Covered Under the Equality Act
For some time now and as part of the Outdoor Department’s ongoing talks with Royal Mail on general uniform matters, representation has been made on the need to increase the limit of £30 linked to the Footwear Reimbursement Policy.
As a result of this representation, Royal Mail agreed to increase the limit under the Footwear Reimbursement Policy to £34, and whilst this increase falls well short of the CWU’s aspirations and the actual costs faced by members who for medical/health reasons are unable to wear Royal Mail issued footwear, it is nonetheless an actual increase of some 13 percent to the current reimbursement level. Equally, this increase in the level reflects the average costs to the company of non-safety footwear.
The updated Royal Mail Footwear Reimbursement process which set out the arrangements to be followed, is attached for the assistance of Branches and Representatives. It should also be noted that under the process, the company will pay any reasonable costs incurred by members in relation to providing the necessary medical supporting evidence, such as a GP, podiatrist or chiropodist letter.
Whilst the actual increase for footwear reimbursement was agreed back in October last year and was applied from that date in terms of individual applications made, there has been a delay in this development being formally reported to Branches due to further clarification sought by the Department in respect to Royal Mail policy on footwear reimbursement for members who are covered by the Equality Act, and the arrangements to be followed. This has now been given by the company and confirms that in the case of individuals covered under the Equality Act (and who therefore require a reasonable adjustment under the legislation) and have specialist footwear requirements (which could include any required footwear insoles), then the company will meet the full costs in respect to footwear reimbursement and above the £34 level set out in the Footwear Reimbursement Process.
In cases involving members covered by the Equality Act, applications on footwear reimbursement should be made via their local manager who can arrange for these to be purchased via the Royal Mail Disability Helpline. Again, and as with the Footwear Reimbursement process, members would be required to provide the necessary medical supporting evidence, with any reasonable costs incurred due to this being met by Royal Mail.
In the case of reported difficulties raised by members linked to the Footwear Reimbursement process, Branches and Representatives are advised to email the Royal Mail Uniform Team at: email@example.com.
In the case of reported difficulties raised by members linked to the footwear purchase or reimbursement under the Equality Act, Branches and Representatives are advised to contact Royal Mail’s Disability Helpline on: 0800 0286142 (to arrange for a sign or language interpreter, call: 01142 414731).
As set out above, whilst the increase in the level of the Footwear Reimbursement Policy does not meet the CWU aspirations it does nonetheless mark an overall increase against the backdrop of years of no movement. It is therefore hoped that this limited increase is welcomed by Branches, Representatives and members alike in addition to the further clarification set out in relation to members covered under the Equality Act.
Any enquires in relation to this LTB should be directed to the Outdoor Department, reference 500, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CWU Assistant Secretary