£200 COVID-19 Recognition Payment
I write following the publication of LTB 290/20, in which it was advised that further representation was being made with the business regarding the criteria for calculating payment for those part time members who worked in excess of their conditioned hours during the 8 week reference period (Monday 16th March – Sunday 10th May). In addition further clarification was sought regarding those members required to self-isolate for a 14 day period. A response has now been received and is reproduced below for ease of reference.
Q: I would respectfully request that the company reconsider the qualification criteria for payment for our part time colleagues and exceptionally apply the terms of the agreed criteria we have in place?
A: The purpose of making the one-time discretionary Covid-19 payment was to make a meaningful acknowledgement to as many colleagues as possible who worked through this challenging period.
As you acknowledge, this payment was not planned. In order to make the payment in the timeframe eligibility criteria needed to be used. We have used a structure that is simple to understand, given the short timeline before payment.
Just to reiterate what I said in my previous letter, there are some similarities in terms of eligibility and calculation with the Christmas Supplement, that is paid to just OPGs, albeit not directly the same. This is a one-off discretionary non-contractual payment. This payment is based on appropriate eligibility criteria linked to colleagues contracted duty hours.
This does not change the agreements reached as part of the Guiding Principles Agreement (which you refer to as Four Pillars Agreement).
Q: If someone has been forced to isolate for a two week period only, do they still get a pro rata payment?
A: In short, they will be eligible for the payment and the amount will depend on what type of leave they used for the isolation period. The Christmas Supplement was used to help inform the eligibiity approach for this one-off discretionary payment. Therefore, eligibility is based on the type of leave taken in that two-week period. For example, for each full week an individual receives no pay during the period (e.g unpaid Special Leave etc) the individual will lose one-eighth of the discretionary payment).
In summary, only those colleagues that agreed to vary their conditioned hours of employment for the reference period up to or pro rata to 38 hours will be entitled to receive the £200 payment.
Colleagues who were self-isolating on no pay will be abated 1/8th for each week they were not at work. Colleagues who were self-isolating on full sick pay will receive the full £200.
I am aware that some individuals will be disappointed at this response, however as previously pointed out, this is a non-contractual/one-off discretionary payment to acknowledge the contribution made by those CWU members who were able to support the operation throughout the above period.
The union has as far as reasonably possible endeavoured to ensure that the payment criteria be extended to cover as many members as possible. Against that backdrop it is time to put a line under this particular issue and concentrate our efforts on dealing with the real challenges that the union and its members will need to address in a postal market that has dramatically changed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)