CWU Submission to Ofcom Review of Postal Regulation – Call for Inputs
The CWU has made the attached submission to Ofcom on its Review of Postal Regulation – Call for inputs.
In March this year Ofcom launched an extensive review of postal regulation to ensure that it keeps pace with market changes and remains fit for purpose. The review will continue for approximately one year, and will determine Ofcom’s overall approach to postal regulation for the five years from 2022 to 2027. The Call for inputs represents the first phase of this process and there are no policy proposals from Ofcom at this stage.
The CWU’s submission emphasises the importance of securing the universal postal service through growth and innovation rather than cost cutting. It calls for adjustments to postal regulation to meet the evolving needs of postal users, including an extension of parcel delivery to six days under the universal service obligation (USO).
The submission also underlines the CWU’s concerns about labour market exploitation and environmental standards in the postal market, and the need for regulation to support better corporate social responsibility across the sector. We argue that Royal Mail’s commitments to invest in decent labour and environmental standards must not be treated as cost inefficient in comparison with low cost postal competitors. We urge Ofcom to take a lead in addressing these issues, and to push for more powers and duties in this area if necessary.
The CWU’s submission has been drawn up in close collaboration with the General Secretary’s Department and the Postal Department, and was endorsed by the NEC in June. In preparing the document, the CWU held meetings with Royal Mail to explore the potential impact of regulation on the business and to identify areas of common interest.
It is welcome that the CWU and Royal Mail are aligned in many of our priorities for postal regulation, especially around the need for regulation to support the universal postal service and to fully recognise the efficiency improvements that Royal Mail has delivered with the cooperation of its workforce. Royal Mail has also called on Ofcom to address social and environmental issues in the postal sector. It is also helpful that the Post Office has contributed to the review and is aligned with the CWU on some key issues, in particular the importance of safeguarding the universal service.
Ofcom will consider the responses to its ‘Call for inputs’ before publishing a full consultation on the future regulation of postal services later this year. The CWU will also engage with this next stage of the process and will keep Branches updated accordingly. The review will then conclude in 2022.
The CWU’s submission has been published on Ofcom’s website alongside other responses to this consultation, including those from Royal Mail and the Post Office, at the following link:
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Head of Research