RE: CORONAVIRUS – COVID-19 GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT – SPAIN
Branches will be aware the Government abruptly announced a 14 day self-isolation
period for anyone returning from Spain, the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands over
We contacted Royal Mail yesterday morning and have since seen the communication
published by Royal Mail yesterday which can be seen in Appendix A.
I have formally written to Royal Mail last night requesting a meeting to discuss the
Government announcement and their policy.
Whilst I acknowledge the announcement will have caught everyone by surprise and the
Government have a lot to answer for in the way this has been handled, I do not believe
Royal Mail’s response is taking into account the circumstances some of our members
have found themselves in.
The policy of taking annual leave or unpaid leave is actually against the Government
advice. The Government have stated they are relying on the goodwill of employers.
When making the announcement, quotes from the Government include:
“No worker following quarantine guidance should be penalised by employers.”
“If someone is following the law in relation to quarantine and self-isolating the way they
should, they can’t have penalties taken against them.”
“No employee should be penalised for following the rules and self-isolating.”
The irony will not be lost on our members if Royal Mail attempt to invoke the
Government guidance on self-isolation and then do not follow the rest of the advice
where employees should not be penalised.
We have also made Royal Mail aware in previous discussions and correspondence, some
of our members cannot afford to take time off unpaid and will be forced to go to work,
when they should be self-isolating.
There is a huge risk to other members if an employee feels they cannot afford to take
unpaid leave and have to take the chance of coming to work, even if that means
potentially spreading the virus and infecting other members within their office. Should
this happen, Royal Mail will end up paying them and all of their colleagues sick pay,
plus there will obviously be a disruption to the service.
Throughout the pandemic Royal Mail have continually told employees to follow
Government advice. Their latest policy will be telling you to follow Government advice
on self-isolation, however, Royal Mail will not be following the same advice and will end
up penalising members who had no notice of the Government decision which requires
members to self-isolate for 14 days on returning from Spain.
I have requested a meeting with the aim of discussing a mutually beneficial resolution.
We will keep members updated on any developments.
All enquiries regarding the content of this LTB should be addressed to the PTCS
Department, quoting reference 420. Email address: email@example.com.
Assistant Secretary (Acting)