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Postal Services: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 67765, tabled on 1 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the safety of postal workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

13 July 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Local Authorities (LAs) are jointly responsible for health and safety regulation of Royal Mail’s activities. Broadly, HSE regulate larger distribution centre and mail delivery activities and LAs regulate Post Offices and delivery offices/sorting centres.

HSE has carried out assessment of compliance at individual locations around the country and through liaison with Royal Mail’s Global Director for Compliance and Sustainability. Complaints (referred to as ‘concerns’ by HSE) have been raised about the management of Covid-19 risks at Royal Mail sites, and HSE responds to any concerns notified by Royal Mail’s workforce by assessing Royal Mail’s risk controls against the standards set out in government guidelines addressing social distancing, handling mail, cleaning, and hygiene.

As part of HSE’s assessment of compliance, investigation of these concerns have involved a mixture of visits to premises and contact through email or telephone. Where improvements in the measures to protect workers from Covid-19 have been identified, HSE staff have secured compliance with the law by providing advice or writing to Royal Mail to require improvements.

HSE has advised LAs to ensure a coordinated approach in applying consistent and proportionate standards to securing compliance against Covid-19 risks in Royal Mail premises

Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.