All independent Postmasters in the UK keeping open their branches to serve the local community during the Coronavirus outbreak, will receive guaranteed remuneration by the Post Office.
As key workers, independent Postmasters and their staff are continuing to keep branches open to provide their vital service, particularly for elderly and vulnerable people, despite an overall reduction on transactions and revenue.
They ensure that customers can still:
- Have continued access to cash.The Post Office is the largest network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined. In more rural areas, the Post Office is often the only banking service for miles.
- Continue to top up gas and electricity key cards. The Post Office is the largest network of energy payment facilities.
- Receive weekly social benefits in cash.
- Continue to post and pick up letters and parcels, which is particularly important during the Coronavirus outbreak to keep in contact with each other.
Post Office has guaranteed that all independent Postmasters will receive 100% of their remuneration in April and 90% in May. In total, eight thousand Post Offices will benefit from this guarantee, which will be kept under review if the public health advise to continue to stay at home.
The guarantee for independent agents covers both their fixed and variable remuneration and will be based on an average of their monthly remuneration for the previous quarter. The guaranteed remuneration will be paid at the end of each month consistent with the normal schedule for remuneration. The rate of remuneration will also reflect the previously announced increases that come into effect from yesterday (1 April).
Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said:
“I’m incredibly proud of our postmasters and branch staff for their dedication to serving customers and keeping the largest retail network in the UK open for business during this difficult time. 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. 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.”
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak some branches have has to close at short notice to allow for self-isolation whilst others have reduced their opening hours. Most Post Offices throughout the UK have been able to remain open.
The Post Office network includes a mixed estate of main, local and outreach formats. Nearly 8,000 main and local branches are operated by independent agents that also offer a wide variety of complementary essential and non-essential retail. The remuneration guarantee is irrespective of whether branches are open or not, or have reduced their hours. Post Office recognises that some branches have had to close through circumstances outside of their control such as self-isolation or sickness.
A further 1,900 branches within multiple retailers benefit from different commercial arrangements, and over 1,600 outreach branches are contracted directly with fixed remuneration for the services they provide.