While the vast majority of mail is delivered safely and on time, a number of factors impacted our service levels during the period, including the ongoing impact of the pandemic and COVID related self-isolation and absence.
At the peak of Omicron, absence levels were double what we would expect to see at that time of the year pre-pandemic, with around 15,000 people off sick or self isolating. As a result, our Quality of Service has not been as we would have wished. Whilst deliveries are operating as normal in most areas, in some local offices this has led to around one third of employees being absent from work which made delivering our usual high standards of service challenging. We apologise for any delays that our customers may have experienced in their local area.
We are working hard to improve our service levels having spent over £340 million on overtime, additional temporary staff and sick pay, as well as providing targeted support for the offices most impacted. As levels of absence stabilise, our Quality of Service is improving. During January, we saw steady improvements in First Class performance, reaching 85.6% by the last week of the month – the highest level since July 2021.
Ricky McAulay, Operations Development Director, Royal Mail said: “It has been a challenging period and I would like to apologise to any of our customers who have experienced delays in their local areas recently. Improving service levels is our number one priority and having invested over £340 million on overtime, additional temporary staff, sick pay and targeted support for the offices most impacted, I’m pleased to say the situation is improving. I would like to thank our customers for their patience and of course our postmen and women for their continued hard work and dedication.”
Source: Royal Mail