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Branches will be aware due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic a lot of members will have been/are on sick leave, furlough or shielding. This has led to an accumulation of annual leave. Also, at the start of the pandemic, members were moving their annual leave until later in the year.
Due to the accumulation of leave, plus some members moving leave and not having leave booked, Royal Mail informed us they were going to be writing to all members within Royal Mail Letters stating they wanted all members to have 75% of their annual leave booked into PSP by 31st July.
During the discussion, it was clear Royal Mail believed they could do this without adding any extra leave slots into units and without allowing members to carry over any more than the current 5 days into next year. We advised Royal Mail this will lead to chaos in the workplace, as it would be a national directive and therefore a one size fits all scenario would not work as units would be in different situations with regard to sick leave, furlough etc.
We offered to work with Royal Mail to see if we could agree a process for the annual leave backlog, however stated the issues will need to be agreed and managed locally and not via a national directive.
Over the last few weeks we have been discussing this issue and have agreed a draft joint statement, attached at Appendix A.
The draft joint statement commits to:-
• Discussions to be held at local level with 75% of leave to be booked into PSP by end of July 2020. Each unit will have the opportunity to maximise choice to accommodate the leave.
• Once all leave applications have been received a joint exercise taking place where leave will be allocated by 10th August 2020, release will be provided to CWU reps to ensure this can take place.
• Accommodating members who may have received vouchers for holidays next year in place of a refund.
• Looking at next year’s annual leave to ensure carry-over of leave is accommodated.
The process will be reviewed at the weekly resourcing meeting and adjustments made where appropriate. To ensure the process remains within the parameters, spirit and intent of this joint statement it will be overseen by the Service Delivery Leader and nominated CWU Divisional Representative or equivalent Representative and Manager for other I.R. Structures. This will also be supported with national reviews of the process.
It is clearly much better for our reps and members to be able to discuss local arrangements rather than have a national directive and a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. This joint statement should allow this to happen.
This LTB applies to members in Royal Mail Letters, not Royal Mail Group.