Royal Mail/CWU National Joint Statement Covid-19 Pandemic – Next Steps in Easing Lockdown Restrictions in Royal Mail Group and Re-Introduction of Shared Vans and Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) – Update

Royal Mail/CWU National Joint Statement Covid-19 Pandemic – Next Steps in Easing Lockdown Restrictions in Royal Mail Group and Re-Introduction of Shared Vans and Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) – Update

Branches will be aware that LTB 301/21 Royal Mail/CWU National Joint Statement/Covid-19 Pandemic – Next Steps in Easing Lockdown Restrictions in Royal Mail Group and Re-Introduction of Shared Vans and Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) provided information in respect of the changes associated to the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. 

At the time of issue the Joint Statement highlighted the following and that measures in some of the devolved nations were still to be announced:

The return to Shared Vans and LGVs will therefore commence from (taking account of any individual and operational issues which must be jointly resolved in each unit beforehand) as follows: 

England w/c 19th July 2021. 

Northern Ireland w/c 26th July 2021 (subject to final confirmation on the 22nd July 2021). 

Wales 7th August 2021 (subject to final confirmation). 

Scotland 9th August 2021. 

The attached Royal Mail Communication now provides an update in respect of the following:

Scotland

The position in Scotland has now been confirmed by the Scottish First Minister as follows, effective from 9 August 2021:

In line with the approach used in England, the legal lockdown restrictions, regarding social distancing have been lifted enabling a return to permitted shared vans in RMG Scotland. 

Therefore, fully in line with the terms of the RMG/CWU Joint Statement of 20 July, Royal Mail Group and the CWU will adopt a gradual approach to the return to shared vans and LGVs, Managers in full consultation with CWU Area and Workplace Safety Reps, Delivery Reps and Distribution Reps, ensuring safe working instructions are applied and further infections are minimised. Both Managers and CWU Reps should commence discussions on Monday 9 August, based on the Joint Statement with a gradual re-introduction of shared vans and LGVs, dealing with any practical, operational and safety issues plus recognising any individual circumstances. Special consideration should be given to any Covid-19 high impact Offices.

Face coverings remain mandatory in Royal Mail Group in Scotland. 

Wales

The situation in Wales is to be announced by the Welsh First Minister on 6 August. Whilst RMG await final confirmation of lockdown restriction changes for Wales, which are now expected to be effective from Saturday 7 August 2021, there remains no change. Therefore there is no return to shared vans plus mandatory masks and social distancing remains in place. RMG will await the outcome of the Welsh Government. 

Northern Ireland

Social distancing restrictions remain in place in Royal Mail Group in Northern Ireland. 

Facemasks remain mandatory in Royal Mail Group in Northern Ireland. 

There will not be a return to shared vans in Royal Mail Group in Northern Ireland currently and we await further updates from the Northern Ireland administration. 

Royal Mail Group in consultation with the CWU and Unite will review this again on 12 August 2021 in line with the next Northern Ireland Government review. 

All changes will be undertaken in line with the principles contained in the Joint Statement issued via LTB 301/21, which ensures that a correct and supportive approach is adopted in all workplaces, which includes an agreed process for all the safety, operational, and individuals’ concerns and issues are being dealt with and resolved. Royal Mail Group and the CWU will adopt a gradual approach which aims to ensure that this will minimise further infections of the virus and any harm to the health of the workforce – maintaining our joint ‘safety first’ philosophy.

Both parties will continue to meet weekly at National level and review the measures outlined above in order to monitor arrangements. This will include the monitoring of any local trends and increases in the spread of the virus and seeking to resolve any operational or individual issues that may be raised by either party.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact:

Deliveries/Collections: Outdoor Department reference 600, email address: njones@cwu.org

Processing/Distribution/Parcelforce: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary email: dwyatt@cwu.org, ref: 014.14

Yours sincerely

Mick Kavanagh – CWU Assistant Secretary (Acting)

Davie Robertson – CWU Assistant Secretary

Dave Joyce – National Health, Safety & Environment Officer, Health, Safety & Environment Dept.

Attached Comms

05 August 2021

Update of the lifting of Covid-19 Lockdown Restrictions in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland Regarding Shared Vans, Face Coverings and Social Distancing:

This follows the communication issued on 23 July and the RMG/CWU Joint Statement dated 20 July.

Scotland

The position in Scotland has now been confirmed by the Scottish First Minister as follows, effective from 9 August 2021.

•In line with the approach used in England, the legal lockdown restrictions, regarding social distancing have been lifted enabling a return to permitted shared vans in RMG Scotland.

•Therefore, fully in line with the terms of the RMG/CWU Joint Statement of 20 July, Royal Mail Group and the CWU will adopt a gradual approach to the return to shared vans and LGVs, Managers in full consultation with CWU Area and Workplace Safety Reps, Delivery Reps and Distribution Reps, ensuring safe working instructions are applied and further infections are minimised. Both Managers and CWU Reps should commence discussions on Monday 9 August, based on the joint statement with a gradual re-introduction of shared vans and LGVs, dealing with any practical, operational and safety issues plus recognising any individual circumstances. Special consideration should be given to any Covid-19 high impact Offices.

•Face coverings remain mandatory in Royal Mail Group in Scotland.

Wales

•The situation in Wales is to be announced by the Welsh First Minister on 6 August. Whilst RMG await final confirmation of lockdown restriction changes for Wales, which are now expected to be effective from Saturday 7 August 2021, there remains no change. Therefore there is no return to shared vans plus mandatory masks and social distancing remain in place. RMG will await the outcome of the Welsh Government.

Northern Ireland

•Social distancing restrictions remain in place in Royal Mail Group in Northern Ireland.

•Facemasks remain mandatory in Royal Mail Group in Northern Ireland

•There will not be a return to shared vans in Royal Mail Group in Northern Ireland currently and we await further updates from the Northern Ireland administration.

•Royal Mail Group in consultation with the CWU and Unite will review this again on 12 August 2021 in line with the next Northern Ireland Government review.

As a result of the lifting of social distancing legal restrictions in England, Scotland and Wales Royal Mail, CWU and Unite will continue to discuss how that impacts on the wider operational tasks, with a view of working together and consider operational tasks that are currently restricted.

By way of a reminder:

•A further Royal Mail Group/CWU and Unite joint communications will follow – once England and the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland make further announcements on Covid-secure controls.

•Royal Mail Group will continue to reflect Government (central and devolved nations) and their agencies advice and guidance.

•Royal Mail Group will support Government messaging through internal communications and engagement strategy.

•Royal Mail Group risk management and risk assessment procedures will be jointly reviewed and be regularly monitored with full CWU and Unite ASR/WSR involvement and engagement across all Units.

•Royal Mail Group will retain contingency measures. Infection rate data will be monitored and Shared Vans/LGVs may be removed and other controls put in place should the infection rate rise to a level considered to require that course of action, if assessed to be a necessary infection control measure either locally or nationally.

•Royal Mail Group strategy will continue to review World Health Organization (WHO) Covid-19 guidance.

•Further Royal Mail Group, CWU and Unite joint communications will follow as the devolved nations update their positions on such things as face coverings, social distancing and other Covid-secure controls.

The National Joint Statement of 20 July should be read in conjunction with the previous CWU Joint Statements and Joint Communications (plus attachments) on returning to Van Sharing, issued on 11th and 17th June 2021 and the joint commitments to Health & Safety, approach to Individuals, along with the Operational issues contained within these National documents which must be fully applied in all workplaces.

Royal Mail Group, CWU and Unite will continue to meet regularly at National level and review the measures outlined above in order to monitor infection rates, and any local trends and increases in the spread of the virus, along with resolving any operational or individual issues that are raised by either party.

LTB 327/21

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