Royal Mail (RM) is to temporarily halt letter delivery on a Saturday as the mails provider navigates the coronavirus crisis.
The move has been promoted by high levels of staff absence, RM said in a statement, and is one of a number of measures. RM also confirmed that it will not be furloughing staff.
The statement said: “As a key part of the UK’s infrastructure, Royal Mail remains open for business. The delivery of parcels and letters is a way of keeping the country together, businesses operating, and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes.
“We continue to work hard to collect, process and deliver the UK’s mail in unprecedented times. However, we are experiencing increased levels of employee absence due to illness and self-isolation. Absence rates are significantly higher than what we normally expect at this time of year.
“To manage these severe absence levels, we are implementing a range of mitigations. These include changing the time guarantee on Special Delivery, deploying non-operational managers in delivery and temporarily no longer delivering letters on a Saturday.
“Our delivery operation is a key part of keeping the country moving. So, we have chosen not to avail of the UK government’s furlough scheme. In fact, we have put even more resources in to keep delivering. This includes additional overtime provision and a very significant investment in protective equipment for our colleagues.”