JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL GROUP AND THE COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION IN REGARD TO A JOINT VERIFICATION OF ANNUAL LEAVE CARRY FORWARD BALANCES
Branches and Representatives will be aware that Section 8 of the Guiding Principles of Employment Security and Mutual Interest Approach to Future Challenges and Opportunities Agreement committed both parties to a joint review of annual leave arrangements. A number of reviews have taken place however these to varying degrees have not resolved outstanding leave or provided a definitive, accurate picture of every employee’s leave record.
Therefore, discussions on a further review have been progressing with the business and have now culminated in the attached Joint Statement.
Joint review activity will therefore take place in all Royal Mail Group units which have employees who have carried forward more than 1.5 contractual weeks of annual leave from the 2020/21 annual leave year.
It is expected that some units will have a high number of conversations whilst others may be small although this can mean a high amount of investigations however the number of conversations required is expected to be around 22k across Royal Mail Group. As a result, sufficient paid release time is agreed and should be granted locally for the CWU Representative to fully participate.
The main objectives of the review are:
- Establish the current state nationally in regard to outstanding annual leave, correct any individual discrepancies and to agree the level of leave outstanding.
- The review will include a CWU Representative with sufficient paid release provided to ensure the activity is undertaken and successfully deployed.
- The individual discussions will include supplying the recent leave card and the currently recorded annual leave including the previous carried forward amount of leave. Where there is not agreement to the recorded levels of leave, investigations will take place to ascertain evidence of leave being taken or untaken, this can include electronic and/or local records, overtime claims, signing on sheets etc. The aim will be to establish the correct amount and reach agreement on the accurate level of carry forward leave from previous years.
- The discussion will also include dialogue on finding mutually beneficial periods of when the leave will be taken over a reasonable period of time. For clarity, this does not require all outstanding leave to be taken in the 2021/22 leave year.
- It is also agreed that where employees have already agreed a burn off plan with their manager, they will not require a further conversation unless they request one.
- Once the activity has been completed, the line manager will be required to complete a short, online document detailing the outputs of the discussion. This will include correcting any discrepancies in the leave recorded on PSP. HR Services shall make the necessary corrections to leave records on PSP following receipt of the information.
- Any resourcing issues arising from the review should be discussed and agreed with the local CWU Representative to ensure resourcing solutions are in place to accommodate the arrangements agreed.
- The review will begin on the 17th May 2021 and conclude on the 4th June 2021.
- Leave plans should be displayed in every workplace. Just as importantly updated lists of available slots of annual leave should also be displayed, communicated via huddles and made available for employees to request short-term leave.
- At the end of the 2021/22 leave year, managers will be required to authorise carry over of annual leave in excess of 5 days as per the Way Forward on the PSP system.
This review comes at a timely period as the pandemic restrictions begin to subside allowing UK and international holidays as well as the forthcoming Summer leave period. Therefore, it is anticipated that employees will want to take the opportunity to take a well-deserved rest in the July, August and September period or during the remainder of the leave year. Managers and Representatives should look at all available opportunities to facilitate leave requests and burn off opportunities that are mutually beneficial to all parties.
The Joint Working Group are available to assist with any enquiries.
Ongoing work and discussions are taking place to improve current annual leave arrangements which are anticipated to be concluded in readiness for the October allocation process for the 2022/23 leave year.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)