Post Office today said it will guarantee remuneration for all independent postmasters who keep their branches open to serve their local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Every independent postmaster wanting to serve their community during the coronavirus outbreak should not face having to close their Post Office because of concerns over financial support,” said Nick Read, chief executive at the Post Office.
“This remuneration guarantee backs postmasters for their dedication and hard work in keeping their Post Office open and making sure that some of the country’s most vulnerable people can benefit from essential services.”
Post Office is guaranteeing 100% of the remuneration in April and 90% in May for all independent postmasters. Nearly 8,000 main and local branches operated by independent agents will benefit from this.
The guarantee will cover both the fixed and variable remuneration and will be based on an average of the monthly remuneration for the previous quarter. It will be paid at the end of each month consistent with the normal schedule for remuneration, Post Office said.
The rate of remuneration will also reflect the previously announced increases that come into effect from today (1 April).
Post Office said most of its 11,500 branches are remaining open during the outbreak, although some branches do have to close at short notice to allow for self-isolation whilst others have reduced their opening hours.
The remuneration guarantee is irrespective of whether branches are open or not, or have reduced their hours, and it will be kept under review if public health advice to stay at home continues, the firm added.
As part of the protective measures, Post Office will be delivering additional protective equipment including protective screens and gloves to postmasters this week. Perspex screens are also starting to be sent to independent branches this week and more are on order, it said.