GSP 17-20 COVID-19 and on-the-job Training Requirements



The Union has been in discussion with the Company in relation to the provision of on the job training in the context of COVID-19 and the following has been agreed.

Mails and Parcels  

The DSM to engage immediately with the local Branch in relation to the training requirements for the remainder of the year. Agreement to be reached on the measures to ensure that cover is maintained for the summer leave period and that new recruits where considered necessary will receive the required training / familiarisation. The local Manager will be aware of the annual leave allocation at their DSU and agreement will need to be reached on the training requirements taking into consideration the points below whilst adhering to the HSE guidelines.

  • A transparent training plan should be agreed following full consultation at local level which puts in place a plan for the duration of the summer period
  • Up to date route manifests for routes should be developed where a new person is training on the route
  • The existing training agreement parameters should apply but should be implemented in the most flexible manner to best serve specific DSU requirements
  • There should be an increased focus on updating familiarisation of existing trained staff at the preparation stage of the process in addition to training on the route

Any plan developed should be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

In the area of on the job training, the primary concern relates to having two people in a van. This should be kept to an absolute minimum and only utilised when all other options have been examined. If anyone has an underlying medical condition or particular domestic circumstances then this should be taken into account when agreeing the training requirements. The protocols for on the job training are as follows:

Training at the Delivery Bench
Both the Postal Operative and the trainee must wear face masks for the sort and prep of mail on the route. Where possible the Operative should attempt to observe social distancing when the trainee is working alone to sort and prep the route. If necessary, (i.e. where social distancing cannot be assured during the period of training) the Operatives at adjacent delivery benches should also wear face masks. Once the delivery route has been cleared from the frame, the Operative must wipe down the bench with disinfectant wipes that will be provided for this purpose.

Training on the Road in a van
The Operative and trainee should sit as far apart as possible. Shared time in the van should be minimised where possible. The windows should be opened where possible to provide for ventilation. The ventilation re-circulation setting should not be used. As detailed above this should be kept to a minimum and only agreed when all other options have been examined.

Face masks must be worn by both the Operative and the trainee.  Surfaces in the cab of the van should be wiped down regularly with disinfectant wipes that will be provided for this purpose (i.e. when driving responsibilities are shared, at the end of each delivery, at the start of a delivery where the van and been used by another staff member since it was last wiped down.

Training on the Road (Foot or Cycle)
The Operative should arrange the route in such a way as to create social distancing between him/her and the trainee (separate bags, bundles etc). Where this is not possible, face masks should be worn by both employees.

Retail Operations Training 
Again, as with mails and parcels we have also discussed with the Company the requirement for on the job training and the following has been agreed:

New Hire Clerks are trained by a work colleague in Provincial Branch Offices by way of a buddy system for two weeks. The new recruit watches initially while transactions are explained and is then supervised while doing the transactions.

Rehire Clerks generally receive two days’ refresher support within their work office from a local clerk.

New Postmasters are generally trained on site by a Clerk from a Regional Office or local Branch Office.

Ripostes will be brought to particular Branch Offices, which can provide classroom training safely in a separate room, within which at least 2-meter physical distancing can be maintained.  In some cases, new hires/Postmasters may have to travel to a particular Branch Office where the classroom training can be provided in the safe manner required.

In attending at a Post Office for the provision of the essential training, a risk based approach will be applied, as suggested in the attached document, which provides an overview for the safe delivery of these essential training requirements.


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