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Attendance and sick pay policy approach

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The safety, health and wellbeing of our employees, members of the public and the communities in which we operate remains paramount.

The normal level of support that we provide for colleagues who are unfortunately unable to attend work due to sickness is one of the best in our industry and against other sectors.

Since mid-March 2020, we have had in place a different approach on how we treat sickness absence for absences related to coronavirus (Covid-19). This approach has now been extended until mid-April 2020.

Our approach has been to support colleagues who have needed to self-isolate either because they have symptoms or someone within their household has symptoms, or because they are a vulnerable employee. As a reminder, our approach for all Royal Mail Group Ltd colleagues is as follows:

Our current sick pay approach

Our normal approach to sick pay continues to apply to all colleagues with over a year’s service.

You will receive sick pay if:

  • You have confirmed coronavirus.
  • You have coronavirus symptoms and need to isolate at home for seven days.
  • You are a vulnerable person: this includes pregnant colleagues, those who are over 70 and those who have received a letter from the NHS confirming that they are a vulnerable person and must self-isolate for 12 weeks.

We would expect the vast majority of coronavirus absences to be discounted from the normal attendance procedure.

Specific circumstances

Colleagues with less than a year’s service:

  • Where the absence is related to coronavirus, these colleagues will receive the same sick pay as employees with over a year’s service.
  • This policy is in place until mid-April, when it will be reviewed and may be extended. We will continue to monitor the situation and may change this.

Where a colleague has to look after a dependent, such as a child

  • Our normal approach applies. Colleagues can take holiday, unpaid time off, or work flexibly. A range of options can be considered, for example, working on a different shift or day, or at a different time. You should discuss and agree what you can do with your manager.

Where a colleague has decided to shield a vulnerable member of their household by not attending work.

  • Colleagues can take holiday or unpaid time off work. You should discuss and agree this with your line manager.
  • We understand that many colleagues are concerned about family members who may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus.
  • Click here for comprehensive guidance on the recommended steps to protect vulnerable people.

We are keeping the current approach under review. Therefore, we may be required to temporarily update some of our policies and practices. We will continue to keep you informed of any changes.

The latest version of our coronavirus Q&As is now available via