A message from Hermes CEO about COVID-19
"The interests of our customers, our people and our communities are at the centre of everything we do and this is particularly important during these challenging times.
With this in mind, we wanted to reach out and reassure you that we are putting in place a number of robust measures designed to make health and safety a top priority whilst still enabling people to send and receive parcels. We understand that deliveries to homes are not only convenient but could also prove to be a lifeline for many people and we take this responsibility extremely seriously.
So, we are making some changes to the way our couriers deliver parcels to offer 'contact-free delivery' right to everyone's doorsteps. These include:
- Asking customers to choose a safe place for deliveries. Anybody due to receive a parcel should visit the tracking section and choose 'divert' to select a safe place. This can also be done through our app, within the MyPlaces section.
- If a safe place hasn't been chosen but there is somewhere safe to deliver the parcel, then couriers will leave it there, even when there is someone in the property. A photo will be taken and this will be included in the delivery notification email.
- For parcels requiring a signature, our couriers can temporarily do this on behalf of the customer to avoid unnecessary contact via hand-held devices. This will only happen when the customer opens the door and gives their name for security reasons. The courier will stay at least two steps away.
- If there is no safe place available, please be assured that we will always attempt delivery 3 times.
Finally, I want to thank you for your co-operation, understanding and patience during these uncertain times. It is down to your continued support that our fantastic parcel people are able to keep deliveries moving across the country. I hope this update will give those of you sending and receiving parcels through our network just 'one less thing' to worry about. We will continue to publish updates on our website.
Stay safe and look out for those around you.
On behalf of everyone at Hermes,
Martijn De Lange
CEO, Hermes UK"
Royal Mail Coronavirus update
Changes to service
We are seeking to deliver as comprehensive a service as possible at all times
We are committed to ensuring we deliver for the country. Our colleagues are keeping the mail moving – delivering letters and parcels across the UK, including to those who find it difficult to leave their homes.
Throughout this crisis, we will continue to deliver the most comprehensive service we can to all our customers. However, as cases of coronavirus increase across the UK we, along with other organisations, are experiencing increased levels of employee absence due to illness and self-isolation.
Absence rates are currently significantly higher than what we normally expect at this time of year. To manage these severe absence levels, we are implementing a range of mitigations. These include changing the time guarantee on Special Delivery and deploying non-operational managers in delivery.
Our delivery operation is a key part of keeping the country moving. So, we have chosen not to avail of the UK Government’s furlough scheme. In fact, we have put even more resources in to keep delivering. This includes additional overtime provision and a very significant investment in protective equipment for our colleagues.
We are working closely with approximately 11,000 Post Offices that remain open to provide another avenue – where appropriate – for you to access essential mail services. Please click here to find out information on Post Office opening .
Despite our best endeavours, it is likely that some areas of the country will experience a reduction in service levels due to coronavirus-related absences at their local mail centre or delivery office.
We will continue to actively monitor this rapidly evolving crisis. We will keep talking to you. And, we will continue to focus on the delivery of our two priorities: i) safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our people and the communities we serve; and ii) delivering as comprehensive a service as possible at all times.
Thank you for your support and patience.
Customer Service Points – Temporary Change in Opening Hours
We have changed the opening times of our Customer Services Points in our local delivery offices. Our largest locations will be open between 07:00-11:00am. All other Customer Service Points will be open between 07:00-09:00am. All will be closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
To support the Government’s advice to stay at home and avoid non-essential journeys, we urge customers to only visit Customer Service Points where absolutely necessary. As a reminder, we can also redeliver your item(s) for free. Schedule your redelivery here.
Longer retention periods in Customer Service Points
To give you longer to collect or have your item redelivered, from Monday 6 April we have temporarily extended the retention period to 30 calendar days before items are returned to sender.
This applies to the following:
- Items we’ve left a ‘Something for You’ card
- Items that have a ‘Surcharge to Pay’
- Items that have a ‘Customs Charge to Pay’
- Local Collect items where the parcel is addressed to the Customer Service Point
Changes to Special Delivery Guaranteed
Due to increased absence levels, we’ve reviewed our timed guarantees for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9am and 1pm services and will make the following changes:
- For items posted from Tuesday 31 March 2020 onwards, our guaranteed delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9.00am the next working day will change to by 12.00pm the next working day*.
- Our guaranteed delivery for Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1.00pm will change to by 9.00pm the next working day*.
*existing postcode exceptions apply
Business Redirection and Diversion refund
We would like to reassure any company that has taken out a Business Redirection or Diversion during the COVID-19 crisis, after 16 March 2020, that should they return to their usual premises before their Business Redirection or Diversion expires, they will be refunded for any remaining time. Further information can be viewed here.
Signing for and receiving items
In order to protect both our people and customers as much as possible, we are minimising contact during delivery. We will not be handing over our hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures but instead log the name of the person accepting the item. Additionally, for all customers where we need to deliver any item that won’t fit through your letterbox, we will place your item at your door. Having knocked on your door, we will then step aside to a safe distance while you retrieve your item. This will ensure your item is delivered securely rather than being left outside.
More information about this change can be found in the Domestic section below or on product pages.
Delivering to care homes
The Government has introduced measures to protect our most vulnerable groups, including those in residential care. These include limiting all but essential access to care homes for external contractors.
We recognise that post is important to the elderly, particularly those away from their friends and families in care homes. Therefore, to support the effort to keep the mail moving but prevent the spread of Coronavirus, we are making arrangements to deliver to a central point (e.g. reception) rather than individual addresses within care homes from 19th March. These changes will help to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our people and the vulnerable in society.
Changes to Door to door mailings
We will deliver unaddressed door to door advertising mailings to customers who are receiving addressed letters or parcels at the same time, wherever practically possible.
Door to door mailings provide a very valuable service to small businesses and companies of all kinds as they seek to provide their goods and services. Many small businesses need that support now more than ever. They want to send it, many consumers want to receive it. Door to door mailings also include important communications from local government.