Royal Mail to cut 700 senior roles as part of restructuring

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

Royal Mail plans to cut around 700 senior positions across the business as part of cost-cutting measures, the company said.

Bosses said the plans would cut costs by around £40million a year and they would enter negotiations with unions over the proposed job cuts.

The move came as the company revealed staff absences peaked at 15,000 in early January due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has left some postal services struggling.

Royal Mail has been one of the big winners from the Covid-19 crisis, with a huge increase in online shopping and deliveries.

However, the company revealed that last year’s high spikes eased over the Christmas period as more stores were open, resulting in a 4.9% drop in parcel revenue and a 7% drop in volumes in the last three months of 2021.

That was still well up from pre-pandemic levels, at 43.9% of revenue and 33% of volume, Royal Mail added.

Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson said: “As Omicron ramped up, absence was around double pre-Covid levels, with around 15,000 staff sick or in isolation at the start of January. Fortunately, it is improving now.”

He added: “We are firmly focused on resolving these issues that have affected our service in some parts of the country.

“Since the start of the year, we have spent over £340 million on overtime, additional temporary staff and sick pay, as well as providing targeted support to the most affected offices.

On the planned job cuts, he said: “We have today entered into a formal consultation on a management reorganization to further streamline our operations and, at the same time, better focus on local performance.

“We are committed to leading the process with sensitivity, in close collaboration with our employees and their representatives.

“We are used to making changes through natural turnover, redeployment and voluntary departure whenever possible.”

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