Post Office guarantees independent Postmasters remuneration

Press releases   •   Apr 01, 2020 10:38 BST

All independent Postmasters across the UK who are keeping their branches open to serve their local communities during the coronavirus pandemic will receive guaranteed remuneration by the Post Office.

As critical service providers or key workers, independent Postmasters and their staff are continuing to keep their branches open to provide vital services, particularly to elderly and vulnerable people, despite an overall reduction in transactions and revenue. They are ensuring that customers can:

  • Continue to have access to cash. The Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined. The Post Office is often the only banking service for several miles, particularly in rural communities.
  • Continue to top up gas or electricity key cards. The Post Office is the widest network of energy payment facilities. Together with its Payzone outlets, the Post Office has the widest network of energy payment facilities.
  • Continue to receive weekly social benefits in cash through their Post Office Card Account.
  • Continue to post and pick up letters and parcels. This is particularly important for relatives trying to keep in contact with each other during this pandemic.

Post Office is guaranteeing that all independent 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 from tomorrow (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.

Post Office openings

To help Post Office branches remain open, customers are advised to follow public health guidance for social distancing. Many Post Offices have floor markers and other reminders to help customers stay two metres apart. Additional protective equipment including protective screens and gloves is being delivered to Postmasters this week. Perspex screens are also starting to be sent to independent branches this week and more are on order

As independent agents, it is for these Postmasters to decide what hours they are able to operate. The Post Office has a small number of Directly Managed Branches. Their opening hours have been reduced to Monday – Friday (9am to 3pm) and Saturday (9.30am – 12pm). The first hour is reserved for elderly or vulnerable customers and NHS or care workers.

Post Office customers can see how coronavirus may affect Post Office services on its website and can find the latest information on branch opening hours on its Branch Finder. Customers can also find their nearest Payzone outlet using the store locator

Ends

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

All independent Postmasters across the UK who are keeping their branches open to serve their local communities during the coronavirus pandemic will receive guaranteed remuneration by the Post Office.

Read more »

Post Office Travel Money Card can be used to access cash during coronavirus

Press releases   •   Mar 31, 2020 11:59 BST

The Post Office is reminding its 700,000 plus Post Office Travel Money Card customers that any foreign currency held on their card can be transferred back to Pound Sterling to use during the coronavirus pandemic

Start of Post Office historical shortfall scheme postponed

Press releases   •   Mar 23, 2020 15:41 GMT

Post Office said today (23 March 2020) that because of the current Covid-19 outbreak, today’s planned launch of a scheme to independently assess applications from current and former postmasters who believe they have experienced shortfalls related to previous versions of its computer system Horizon is being postponed.

A Post Office spokesman said:

“The Historical Shortfall Scheme was due to open for applications today. However, our immediate focus is to prioritise support for our postmasters through the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. Some postmasters are self-isolating as a precaution. Many other postmasters are busy implementing plans to keep their Post Office open with appropriate social distancing measures in place so that vital community services, including access to cash, can continue throughout the UK.

“We will keep the situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) under close review and currently plan to open the scheme on Friday 1 May 2020. We are planning widespread advertising, as well as direct communications to both current and former postmasters when the scheme goes live.”

The scheme follows the agreed joint settlement last year of group litigation between Post Office and 555 mainly former postmasters. During the Court proceedings the current version of Horizon, an electronic point of sale system, was found to be robust relative to comparable systems, but the Court highlighted issues regarding previous versions that had the potential to affect branch accounting.

Note to editors:

Group Litigation

The principles and scope of the historical shortfall scheme have been endorsed by the mediators who helped to negotiate the settlement of the group litigation between Post Office and 555 mainly former postmasters who reached agreement in December 2019.

As part of the proceedings, the Court determined a number of generic, technical matters concerning historic Horizon systems used since around 2000. It did not determine individual cases.

A joint press statement was issued on 11 December 2019 by both parties involved in the litigation. 

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

Post Office said today (23 March 2020) that because of the current Covid-19 outbreak, today’s planned launch of a scheme to independently assess applications from current and former postmasters who believe they have experienced shortfalls related to previous versions of its computer system Horizon is being postponed.

Read more »

Post Office statement on travel insurance products for new and existing customers

Press releases   •   Mar 16, 2020 16:34 GMT

As of today (Monday 16 March 2020), the Post Office has suspended selling travel insurance. This applies to customers seeking travel insurance either online or in a branch.

The Post Office has taken this difficult decision as it is unfair to sell travel insurance products to new customers who may not be able to claim due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Post Office Travel insurance products will therefore be unavailable to new customers for the foreseeable future.

Existing Post Office customers who have purchased travel insurance

Customers who have already purchased travel insurance with the Post Office will continue to have cover and are unaffected by the withdrawal of Post Office travel insurance.

A Post Office spokesperson said:

“We recognise that this is an anxious time for travellers. The decision to suspend issuing travel insurance for new customers was not taken lightly. However, we believe it would be irresponsible to sell a product to a customer who would not be able to claim against Covid-19 given the number of countries that the FCO is advising against all but essential travel to. We urge all of our existing customers to monitor our travel alerts page on our website for all the latest information relating to their policy.”

The Post Office continues to advise existing customers that:

  • Customers should contact their airline, travel agent, hotel provider, tour organiser to try and rearrange their trip to a later date or organise a refund.
  • Anyone who has already purchased a Post Office Travel Insurance policy can amend their trip dates to within 6 months of the original trip. If there is a change in destination or duration from the original booking, any fees would be payable.

Post Office customers should visit its Travel Alerts page for the latest information relating to travel insurance and travel currency.

Any holidaymakers who are booked to travel can claim a full refund on foreign currency purchased with the Post Office if their holiday is cancelled. Customers need to submit both their currency purchase and sell receipts and evidence their holiday was cancelled to qualify. Loading currency onto our Travel Money Card is another way to safeguard cash as this can be held over for future travel.

Ends

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

As of today (Monday 16 March 2020), the Post Office has suspended selling travel insurance.

Read more »

Overseas destinations that will give ‘more bang for your buck’

Press releases   •   Feb 08, 2020 00:01 GMT

New owner wanted for world’s oldest Post Office in Sanquhar

Press releases   •   Feb 04, 2020 09:52 GMT

The opportunity to own and operate the world’s oldest Post Office in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway remains available.

Holiday forecast looks brighter as prices fall abroad

Press releases   •   Jan 11, 2020 00:01 GMT

Best bargains for a New Year winter sun holiday

Press releases   •   Dec 26, 2019 00:01 GMT

Post Office branches gear up for busiest day of the year for cash withdrawals

Press releases   •   Dec 19, 2019 09:40 GMT

Friday (20 December) is set to be busiest day of the year for cash withdrawals at the Post Office. At the same point last year, Friday 21 December 2018, Post Office branches handled 400,000 cash withdrawals in a single day.

Joint Press Statement - Resolution to the Group Litigation proceedings (Bates v Post Office Limited)

News   •   Dec 11, 2019 10:50 GMT

The Parties to the Group Litigation in Bates v Post Office are pleased to report that they have reached a comprehensive resolution to their long-running litigation in the High Court, following several days of respectful, challenging, and ultimately successful mediation during which the parties engaged with each other in good faith.

The Post Office would like to express its gratitude to claimants, and particularly those who attended the mediation in person to share their experiences with us, for holding us to account in circumstances where, in the past, we have fallen short and we apologise to those affected.

The Post Office is committed to applying the lessons it has learnt. Its new Chief Executive Officer, who joined in September and led this drive to a mediated resolution, is undertaking an ambitious and sustained programme of changes to the Post Office’s relationship with postmasters whose role we recognise as being core to our future success. We look forward to working in genuine partnership with postmasters to seize the opportunities ahead of us and to continue to serve communities across the country.

Post Office Chairman, Tim Parker, said:

“We are grateful to the claimants for taking part in this mediation and agreeing a settlement, bringing the Group Litigation to a close. I am grateful to Nick Read for his important engagement in the mediation process. We accept that, in the past, we got things wrong in our dealings with a number of postmasters and we look forward to moving ahead now, with our new CEO currently leading a major overhaul of our engagement and relationship with postmasters.”

Nick Read commented:

“I am very pleased we have been able to find a resolution to this longstanding dispute. Our business needs to take on board some important lessons about the way we work with postmasters, and I am determined that it will do so.

We are committed to a reset in our relationship with postmasters, placing them alongside our customers at the centre of our business. As we agree to close this difficult chapter, we look forward to continuing the hard work ahead of us in shaping a modern and dynamic Post Office, serving customers in a genuine commercial partnership with postmasters, for the benefit of communities across the UK.”

Alan Bates commented:

“The Steering Committee would like to thank Nick Read, the new CEO of Post Office, for his leadership, engagement and determination in helping to reach a settlement of this long running dispute. During the mediation, it became clear that he intends to reset the relationship between the Post Office and its Subpostmasters and put in place new processes and support for them, as part of a wider programme of improvements. It would seem that from the positive discussions with Post Office’s new CEO, Nick Read, that there is a genuine desire to move on from these legacy issues and learn lessons from the past.”

Ends

The Parties to the Group Litigation in Bates v Post Office are pleased to report that they have reached a comprehensive resolution to their long-running litigation in the High Court.

Read more »

Images & Videos 8 images, 1 video

Contacts 7 contacts

  • Press Contact
  • pryoesvesoybffzzicupe@vepoxxstuyofsgfiudcecy.crko.gxuknp
  • 0207 012 3456

  • Press Contact
  • Newsdesk Manager
  • kawrriomm.ciazazizlw@pqposbatoryfffnickme.nqcoqc.uraktv
  • 07890534043
  • 0207 012 3456

  • Press Contact
  • Press Officer
  • shseeigplasm.tfyapijstmderco@pamosvrtoxkffelicxee.nscovg.uprkxx
  • 07436038445

  • Press Contact
  • Senior PR & Campaigns Manager
  • Lirslyuk.Ciiunxwnigqngwtharvm@hkpocpstnzofrofiaxceaw.cqfo.whukpc
  • 07967 240 604

  • Press Contact
  • Retail Engagement Manager
  • Trade Press
  • k.nqhorwlldxinkdgsdwwovorthyh@twpopqstvxofkrfijgcejg.czbo.nyukbk
  • 07436 547206

About Post Office Media

Welcome to the Post Office Media Centre, our online resource for news, information, photos and footage for journalists across the UK.

Post Office Limited has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of many communities across the country. The Post Office has made a commitment to no more branch closure programmes. It provides around 170 different services and products spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards. Post Office also offers Government services; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services. It serves around 18 million customers a week and half of all small businesses. 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office. For many rural communities the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices remain highly valued and trusted and are the focal point for many communities.
For more information, visit www.postoffice.co.uk

Address

  • Post Office Media
  • 1st Floor Finsbury Dials, 20 Finsbury Street
  • EC2Y 9AQ London
  • For Post Office switchboard please call 0333 665 3001  Press Office ( Please note this line is strictly for Media enquiries ONLY) - 0207 012 3456