Royal Mail has issued their Universal Service Obligation (USO) Full Year Quality of Service report for 2021-22 for First and Second Class mail. Royal Mail notes that the full-year outcome on Quality of Service for First and Second Class mail was materially impacted by the exceptional ongoing effects of the pandemic resulting in increased COVID related absence and self-isolation and social distancing in line with Government guidance, as well as a radically different traffic mix with more parcels and fewer letters, which made delivering our usual standards of service very challenging.
During the financial year 2021-22, Royal Mail delivered 81.8 percent of First Class mail the next working day (74.7 percent in 2020-21). In the same period, Royal Mail delivered 95.4 percent of Second Class mail within three working days (93.7 percent in 2020-21).
The impact of COVID had a more prolonged impact on our business than expected, with high levels of absence during the ‘pingdemic’ and the rise of Omicron in particular.
Royal Mail Still Plagued with Covid Challenges
At the peak of Omicron, absence levels were double what Royal Mail would expect to see at that time of the year pre-pandemic, reaching over 15,000 employees off sick or self-isolating in January 2022. Royal Mail took immediate steps to restore a comprehensive service, including recruiting additional temporary staff and establishing a specialized dedicated delivery task force to provide targeted support to the most impacted offices.
We know there is more to do to return Quality of Service to the levels our customers expect. Recent results are showing improvements, with Royal Mail delivering more than 86 percent of First Class mail the next working day and more than 97 percent of Second Class mail within three working days in the last week of April 2022.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a once-in-a-generation crisis. Our people have played a crucial role in keeping the country connected throughout the pandemic and our performance in this period, like many other large employers, was impacted significantly by high levels of staff absence. We’re sorry to any customers who were impacted by service levels during this time.
“We know that we need to improve our performance and some of the steps we have taken to address the issues are bearing fruit. Our ongoing transformation program is introducing new ways of working, and a new delivery model will optimize our network for parcels. As we return to more normal ways of working and deliver on our transformation program, we are confident that we are doing the right things to enable service levels to improve going forward.”Grant McPherson, Chief Operating Officer, Royal Mail.
The latest independent report on performance was published today on Royal Mail’s website at: https://www.royalmailgroup.com/customers/quality-service/quality-service-reports
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