Royal Mail Group Holiday Pay
Further to LTB 123/19 issued on 22nd February 2019 which detailed the Union’s approach to addressing the long-standing issue of average earnings for holiday pay whilst on annual leave and getting management back to the table to negotiate a collective agreement.
As part of the aforementioned LTB, an eleven step process (that had been produced in conjunction with the Legal Services Department and presented to Divisional Representatives at the meeting in York on 20th February 2019) was circulated.
In effect, this strategy formed the first phase of our activity and we can confirm that a number of cases have already been identified and are being processed. Whilst these are at an early stage, Royal Mail Group (RMG) are continuing to settle existing claims with individuals for periods of annual leave that have been taken where they believe average pay has not been received however this is not part of an ongoing agreement. In short, this means that each member will have to continue submitting a separate claim for each week(s) of annual leave they take.
A further consideration is that the twelve previous weeks of average earnings are only applicable to the first four weeks of holiday pay inclusive of bank holidays and this is a time of the year when most people have already taken more than four weeks of annual leave.
That said, the initial activity has had the desired effect as RMG have indicated that they now want to engage with the Union to progress this issue. We have now agreed that our respective legal teams will meet again to commence drafting an outline of an overall agreement and meetings are due to commence.
There is however a need to supplement our strategy with a second phase of activity in order to ensure any negotiations maintain momentum and an agreement is concluded at pace. This is a particular necessity given that the new annual leave year commences in April and members will be taking some of their four weeks allocation that currently qualify for average pay earnings. The Union therefore want to ensure that everyone taking annual leave from April will not be penalised in respect of not being paid their average earnings whilst on leave.
We therefore need to be in a position by the start of April where every member of the Union is made fully aware of their rights and how to commence individual claims against the business. We need Branches to give this LTB the widest possible circulation in order to kick-start this process and make members aware of their rights. This will also be supported via a communication strategy utilising Facebook and Twitter.
Following this, Branches will need to work in tandem with their Legal and Medical Officer (where applicable) and Lead Divisional Representative to ensure that the number of claims is maximised and together with our members identified in LTB 123/19 receive the holiday pay they are legally entitled to.
Please find attached to this LTB a flowchart that members making a claim need to follow, as well as paperwork containing hints that can form the basis of each grievance and the completion of the ET1 pro-forma. Branches will also find attached a control sheet that can be used to keep a record of the claims as they are lodged.
We realise that this will be a significant piece of work but RMG must be made to appreciate that the issue of average pay on leave will not go away and that they must now sit down to reach an acceptable collective agreement with your Union.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department and further updates will be issued in due course.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)