Royal Mail staff sickness rates grow rapidly

Royal Mail is dealing with backlogs in deliveries across the country as thousands of its staff fall ill or self-isolate due to COVID-19. Earlier in January as many as 15,000 postal staff were off sick or absent due to the pandemic.

According to ITV News, some Royal Mail delivery offices have seen absence rates as high as 50%, leading to major delays in delivering parcels and letters.

At the same time the postal operator has been delivering up to 900,000 COVID testing kits a day, adding to its workload for a weakened workforce.

The postal operator says that the delays are impacting 38 of its delivery offices – a relatively small number – but the delays are such that regulator Ofcom has said it is monitoring the situation closely. If delivery delays increase, there is a risk of sanctions from the regulator, unless Royal Mail take measures to tackle the problem.

Speaking to ITV News, UK consumer champion Citizen Advice’s spokesperson, “Posties are working really hard to deliver our mail on time… but it’s really time for Royal Mail to up their game and if they don’t Ofcom, the regulator, should step in and launch an investigation”.

Saying that only a small percentage of its delivery offices have been impacted, the postal operator has apologised to those who have been directly affected by the issue.

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