Coronavirus: Post Office promises to pay Postmasters

Post Office fascia

All independent Postmasters who keep their branches open during the coronavirus pandemic will receive guaranteed remuneration by the Post Office.

Postmasters will receive 100% of their remuneration in April and 90% in May. Eight thousand independent Post Offices will benefit from this guarantee, which will be kept under review if public health advice to stay at home continues.

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 today (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.”

With over 11,500 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined. Most Post Offices are remaining open during the Coronavirus outbreak, although some branches do have to close at short notice to allow for self-isolation whilst others have reduced their opening hours.

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.

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