Ofcom Exception to Royal Mail USO 1st January 2022
Following representations from the CWU and Royal Mail, Ofcom has today announced that it will grant an exception to the postal universal service obligation (USO) across the UK for 1st January 2022 because this day falls on a Saturday.
This means that Royal Mail will not have to collect or deliver mail on 1st January 2022, in addition to observing the non-working day on Monday 3rd January 2022. This is welcome news and it will ensure that CWU members in Royal Mail can take an uninterrupted break over the New Year weekend.
When 1st January falls on a Saturday, the following Monday has been designated as the official public holiday. Therefore in the absence of a direction from Ofcom, Saturday 1st January 2022 would be a normal working day on which Royal Mail would be required to deliver and collect letters under the universal service obligation.
Ofcom launched a consultation on this issue in November after Royal Mail requested that the regulator issue a direction to make 1st January 2022 an exception to the USO. Royal Mail argued that mail volumes are likely to be relatively low on 1stJanuary 2022 and that the non-working day would be consistent with its duty of care to staff who need a break over the New Year period.
The CWU’s submission to Ofcom’s consultation supported Royal Mail’s request and said that CWU members in Royal Mail need and deserve a rest over the holiday period, having worked extremely hard under difficult conditions throughout the pandemic.
The CWU’s full submission can be found on Ofcom’s website at the following link: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/229625/cwu.pdf
Ofcom’s statement can be found at the following link: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-3/2022-royal-mail-uso-exception
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS (P) or GS Department.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)