JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN PARCELFORCE WORLDWIDE AND THE CWU IN RELATION TO THE PILOT INTRODUCTION OF DELIVERY OF PERISHABLE ITEMS FOR ACCOUNT CUSTOMERS
Branches and representatives will be aware that our agreed Table of Success processes with Parcelforce have established a structure that strengthens the partnership approach and involves the CWU in the widest set of business issues.
Recently, the business approached the department to advise that it was their intention to re-introduce the delivery of perishable items due to the potential for growth and indications that customer demand exists. The product offering had been available previously, but was ceased in 2019 due to operational challenges.
The business proposal for the reintroduction of the product offering was to allow drivers to leave items in the ‘safest place’ in order to ensure first time delivery, minimise waste and items being returned to the depot, which created some concerns for the department due to the potential for members to be held responsible for missing or damaged items.
In the view of the department, the proposal for drivers to be given the autonomy to select a ‘safest place’, differed significantly from the use of ‘safe place’, where a customer designates where they wish the item to be left.
Therefore, extensive discussions have taken place with the business in relation to the product offering, delivery specifications, what is considered a ‘safest place’ and, most importantly, ensuring that our members are protected. A Joint Statement has now been concluded and endorsed by the Postal Executive, a copy of which is attached for your information.
The department believes that the protections achieved in the Joint Statement are both crucial and far-reaching. It was only on the basis of the words below that the document was concluded:
Both parties accept there is a mutual obligation of confidence and trust applied to every contract of employment. In line with this principle it is accepted that where a driver has made an informed decision on a safest place this has been done in good faith and that no responsibility will be placed on the driver for damaged or missing items.
It is accepted that a driver could unintentionally make an incorrect assessment of a safest place, and it is therefore agreed that in such circumstances the driver will not be held responsible but will, where necessary, be offered further training.
Colleagues will note that the Joint Statement also outlines that the delivery specification will be dependent on the posting customer either designating a nominated safe place or accepting a level of risk and liability where a driver will have authority to select a ‘safest place’, should the customer choose not to nominate. This will be a contractual commitment that the customer will be required to sign up to.
The product offering will be available from July 2022 to account customers only, who have been given operational concurrence and a process has been developed to ensure the following:
- that the customer is using appropriate packaging;
- that there is still the option to select a ‘safe place’;
- that customers will be notified by text that their item(s) are being delivered;
- that a new delivery option will be introduced giving Drivers the authority to leave item(s) in the ‘safest place’;
- that new labels will be used to identify that the item is perishable and a new report will be used to ensure that these items can be identified;
- a new process for managing waste that will include items being sent through to the National Hub.
The Joint Statement also contains an agreed process that will seek to maximise first time delivery through the application of Delivery Options that are included in the document.
For absolute clarity, the Joint Statement confirms that the use of ‘safest place’ is allowed for this perishable product offering only and will not be used in relation to any other item for delivery.
Operating procedures and Guidelines will be jointly developed and training will be supported by the Depot Trainer.
The normal commitment in terms of H&S involvement has also been included in the Joint Statement.
The Table of Success Working Group will continue to monitor the deployment of the product offering and provide advice and support where necessary.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference: 114.23