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LTB 448/17 - Working Time Directive - 48 Hour Opt Out/70 Hour Limit

05 Aug 2017, 13:19

LTB 448/17 - Working Time Directive – 48 Hour Opt Out/70 Hour Limit

No. 448/17

4th August 2017




Dear Colleague,

Working Time Directive – 48 Hour Opt Out/70 Hour Limit

The purpose of this LTB is to update Branches and Representatives on recent activity and dialogue that has taken place between the business and the union regarding the above elements of the Working Time Directive.

I can confirm that the 48 hour opt out exercise is nearing completion with only a small number of members having not returned their completed opt out forms. The employer has therefore written again to these individuals requesting that they either voluntarily sign and return their form or comply with the 48 hour per week working time limit.

In addition to the above the union can further advise that a number of employees have been identified as working in excess of the 70 hour limit. Our understanding is that there are a total number of 152 CWU grades spread across the UK, some of which are working over 95 hours per week.

Whilst we have acknowledged that these hours are excessive, we have made it clear that any approach made to address these hours should not be set against a backdrop that increases the use of agency/casuals, managers performing CWU graded work or result in USO failures.

The union have outlined that we would like to approach this matter jointly, in a pragmatic and open-minded manner to assist individuals in reducing their hours without causing any immediate and unnecessary financial pressures and in a way that looks to address the practices which may be the underlying cause of the situation, for example;

 Non adherence to the Resourcing Joint Statement.
 Weekly Resourcing Meetings not taking place.
 USO Failures.
 Checks and processes to monitor individuals’ hours across functions.



For ease of reference and to assist Branches/Representatives, the Royal Mail Areas and numbers of individuals who will be receiving a communication from the business regarding excessive hours are detailed below:

Area Number of people to get letter
West Midlands 43
Birmingham 20
DR West Midlands 8
Hereford Worcestershire 8
Stoke & Walsall 4
Wolverhampton & Dudley 3
South Coast 31
DR South Coast 14
SC East 14
SC West 3
S Wales W England 26
Bristol 4
Cardiff & The Valleys 8
DR S Wales W England 3
Gloucester & Newport 5
Swansea 6
North West England 18
DR North West England 4
Lancashire 7
Manchester 2
Stockport and Oldham 5
Yorkshire 9
Central Yorkshire 3
DR Yorkshire 3
West Yorkshire 3
Cheshire Merseyside N Wales 8
DR Cheshire Merseyside N Wales 1
Liverpool 2
Wirral & Coast 5
NE England and Carlisle 6
DR NE England and Carlisle 5
Newcastle 1
Process & Collections 6
Birmingham Mail Centre 1
Inverness Plant 1
Northern Ireland Plant 3
West Collections 1
West & North Scotland 3
Aberdeen and Shetland 1
DR West and North Scotland 2
South West 1
Devon 1
East Scotland and NI 1
NI West 1
Grand Total 152

We trust that the above information will assist local Representatives in making any necessary representations thereby ensuring that these members are supported and that management are compliant with the terms of National Agreements going forward.

Additionally, the union can confirm that we will continue discussions with the employer on other elements of the Working Time Directive i.e. daily/weekly rest periods, night workers etc. However, it has been pointed out to the business that while the Working Time Directive seeks to address members working excessive hours and the issue of taking proper rest periods, it should also ensure that our members are able to take their annual leave entitlement, as well as having access to single/odd days leave at short notice.

In closing the DGS(P) Department would like to place on record its thanks to Postal Executive Members Mick Kavanagh and Steve Halliwell for their work and assistance in respect of this matter and for their continued support going forward.

Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.

Yours sincerely

Terry Pullinger
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)


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