Further to LTB 250/20 dated 12th May. Branches will be aware many of our Customer Experience members have been working from home during the pandemic with all sites operating at a greatly reduced capacity to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to. We have been in discussions with management throughout this difficult period with the safety and well-being of our members being our clear priority.

Given the recent Government announcements including an encouragement to return to the workplace, our discussions have included the steps needed to be taken to plan the gradual return to the CE Units. Steve Keeley, Newcastle Amal (our Doxford Health & Safety Representative), has been leading on these talks and I am grateful to Steve for his efforts in engagement with management to ensure the appropriate procedures and measures are being taken. The following Joint Statement has been agreed:

Welcoming you into the office… step by step
It’s hard to believe less than three months ago, many of you were leaving your places of work to continue providing an essential service to our customers, from your own homes. It’s been an unsettling time for all of us, and we’re proud of how everyone has continued to support our customers – often in challenging circumstances.

Whether you’ve been working from home, remained working in your site, or returned to it more recently, we appreciate that recent government announcements, encouraging an earlier return to offices, will have caused uncertainty and anxiety for many of you. Consequently we want to share with you our plans on how we aim to move forward over the coming months.

Customer Experience has an important role as our business and our customers face difficult challenges in these uncertain economic times. We’re keen to ensure we all move forward with a continued focus on supporting our customers as effectively as possible, and your wellbeing is vital to us. Over the coming weeks we’ll be welcoming everyone back into their office environment, safely and on a gradual, considered basis.

COVID Secure: It’s different
We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure all sites are clean,
safe and fully certified as COVID Secure in readiness for you to return. To ensure
everyone’s safety, changes have been made to both the physical environment
and how we plan for you to work within it. The changes you can expect to see
at your site are:

1. Your site will have been Covid-19 safety checked with a COVID Secure
certificate on display.
2. To ensure social distancing, each site has a reduced capacity limit, so
bringing staff back will be planned on a gradual basis.
3. The ongoing cleaning schedules will be more regular, thorough and
4. There will be new signage, one way systems and Perspex screens located
around the building.

A clean and clear desk policy will be in operation – to support this you will find
any personal items left on desks prior to leaving will have been removed, placed
in bags and labelled for you.

Working with you to achieve a gradual transition
Locally, managers and union reps will continue to work together and involve
teams at each stage to enable us to move forward at a sensible pace.
What you can expect over the coming weeks:
• You’ll start to hear more from your site teams about local arrangements, as
well as site welcome communications to give you an insight into how the
working environment looks and feels.
• From mid-August, we will start to bring in teams, depending on site capacity
this may be on a rotational basis. This will enable you to prepare together,
with your team leader and colleagues, and support each other. Your line
manager will talk to you more about this in due course.
• To support this rotational approach, we’ll aim to re-allocate all available non
specialist equipment so that, wherever possible, you’ll be able to leave
equipment at home when returning to sites temporarily.
• If you wish to return to work in your office earlier than mid August, you’ll
be very welcome. Please let your line manager know and they will help
make arrangements.

If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your line manager or your
Union Representative in the first instance. You’ll be receiving further
communications from your local site teams as we move forward safely, together.

Lastly, we wish to thank you for all your hard work and efforts.

We will continually monitor the effectiveness of the above arrangements. In the
meantime, all CE Reps are encouraged to engage with their local Unit managers
regarding the specific practicalities for the members in their site.

Yours sincerely

Andy Furey
Assistant Secretary

LTB 404/20 – Royal Mail – Customer Experience, Gradual Return to the Workplace

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