TERMS OF REFERENCE BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL LOGISTICS AND THE CWU REGARDING A PROOF OF CONCEPT TRIAL BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL AND THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Branches and representatives will be aware that there that is currently a shortage of LGV drivers in the UK and that this position is not anticipated to improve in the short term.
Issues such as an aging demographic, the introduction of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) and difficulty in candidates gaining the relevant experience employers seek has reduced the supply of new drivers to the industry.
This clearly presents challenges for Royal Mail going forward in respect of recruitment and retention of Professional Drivers. In an attempt to address this issue, for some years the business and the Union have worked together via the Driver Career Path agreement and recruitment opportunities to develop internal driver abilities and progression to try to address this issue and this will continue in the future.
It is recognised however that the use of agency is still required, particularly at peak times of year. Discussions have therefore been taking place in respect of possible solutions that would provide RM with the additional cover required at peak times and also make them more attractive in the recruitment market going forward.
The opportunity that has been identified involves the Royal Logistics Core (RLC) who has over 500 drivers with the Class 1 Licence available in a younger age range. However, due to the nature of the activities that RLC perform their drivers do not hold the required DCPC as they do not drive on public highways and this would of course need to be rectified before they could drive for any haulage company.
The MoD have approached Royal Mail with a mutually beneficial proposal to trial the use of their drivers at RM sites at peak times of year. The trial would enable the RLC drivers to obtain the required DCPC and gain experience of driving commercially, which would open employment opportunities for them when they leave the service. Royal Mail are one of 4 companies who would be involved in the Proof of Concept trial.
The department has therefore been in discussion with the business in relation to securing a Terms of Reference for the trial activity and an agreement has now been concluded, a copy of which is attached for information.
In summary the trial phase is expected to commence in January 2021, this may however be subject to change due to support that the army is providing to the Government in relation to Covid-19 test kit activity. The trial will involve the following Royal Mail VOCs:
- Swindon VOC
- Greenford VOC
- Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre
8 MoD drivers with the required licences will be assessed by an ADC as per the agency driver induction standard for their suitability and capability for the trial. If the driver is unable to drive to the required standard, they will not be able to participate in the trial.
Once drivers have been assessed and are deemed suitable for the trial they will have a two-week period of job shadowing to ensure they fully understand Royal Mail processes and procedures. The drivers involved in the trial activity who pass the training and assessment stages will be available to drive commercially for Royal Mail.
It has been confirmed that while on secondment with Royal Mail army personnel will be wearing appropriate civilian clothing with the required PPE for their duty. They will not be wearing their army uniform.
The trial will not have any impact on employee earnings, i.e. SA etc., or duty numbers during the trial period. To this end MoD drivers will only be utilised after all internal coverage has been exhausted and prior to agency drivers being facilitated for cover.
All Health & Safety Procedures and SSoW will be maintained throughout the trial activity. Ministry of Defence drivers involved in the Proof of Concept trial will be subject to the same security procedures as Royal Mail and Agency drivers and will be required to maintain Royal Mail business standards throughout their involvement in the trial activity. Drivers will be subject to all current rules that underpin driver CPC and all legal requirements supporting this activity including the recording of driving and working hours on Vision.
The CWU will have full involvement at all levels and will be involved in all aspects of the initiative including implementation, monitoring and assessment of the trial. The local CWU Representative will be given the appropriate release to ensure their full involvement in the process.
The trial activity will be overseen by the joint Network Working Group (NWG) supported by local, Divisional and ADC expertise where necessary.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference: 211.07