Ofcom Decision – Saturday 1stJanuary – Revised Peak Christmas Arrangements
Further to and LTB 350/21 circulated on the 6th December 2021 on Peak Christmas Arrangements 2021, Branches will be aware of the well documented issues created by the late application by Royal Mail to seek Ofcom dispensation to grant an additional Non USO day for Saturday 1st January 2022.
Branches will be aware from the contents of LTB 312/21 circulated on the 26th November 2021 that both departments had taken Royal Mail to task over the failure to engage with Ofcom on the Non USO day for 1stJanuary 2022 even though the precedent had been set the last time this pattern occurred in 2010/11. Our position had been and remained that we could not support any solution which would entail mandatory attendance of our members who are covered by this agreement on either Saturday 1st January or Monday 3rd January (Tuesday 4th January in Scotland) 2022.
The matter became the subject of a public consultation exercise by Ofcom which closed on the 13th December and Ofcom published their decision to allow the dispensation yesterday, 16thDecember 2021. The interim Peak arrangements circulated in LTB 350/21 included the following paragraph.
In 2011 Saturday 1st January was designated a non USO Day by the regulator and Ofcom have published their intention to do so again for the 1st January 2022. Formal consultation on this dispensation will conclude on the 13th December 2021 with a final decision announced no later than December 17th 2021. While both parties anticipate a positive outcome, national discussions will continue on establishing contingency operational arrangements, should the non USO day not be confirmed. Arrangements for Saturday 1stJanuary 2022 through to 4thJanuary 2022 will therefore be part of an addendum to the arrangements that will be communicated following the Ofcom Announcement.
Both departments met Royal Mail yesterday afternoon following the Ofcom announcement and concluded a revised Peak arrangements document which now includes guidance on the arrangements for the New Year Weekend. The arrangements include confirmation of the non USO day for 1st January 2022 and Royal Mail have confirmed that like Christmas Day they do not intend to run any USO or test kit service on that day.
Sunday 2nd January 2022 is considered a normal working day and a Covid Test kit operation will be required, however it has been agreed that Sunday Tracked 24 HV Deliveries will be deferred to Monday 3rd January 2022. As that is now confirmed as a Bank Holiday this will ensure that attendance is voluntary and will attract Bank Holiday Options. All other resumption arrangements are consistent with the content agreed for the Christmas Bank Holiday on the 28th December and as in previous years the arrangements for the additional Bank Holiday in Scotland (4th January 2022) are confirmed.
Attached for the information of Branches is the revised document which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive and we would be grateful if Branches ensure that the contents are brought to the attention of Representatives and members.
The relevant changes can be found at paragraphs 2.6 – 3.9 and 3.12 of the Attendance and Resourcing Section of the agreement
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to:
Processing/Distribution: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference 706A.14
Deliveries/Collections: Mark Baulch, Assistant Secretary, email: email@example.com quoting reference 170.
Davie Robertson – Assistant Secretary
Mark Baulch – Assistant Secretary