The UK has around 90,000 postal workers and Royal Mail typically employs 20,000 seasonal workers. This year, the additional staff will work mainly in sorting offices, delivery vans and data centers.
Sally Ashford, Director of Human Resources at Royal Mail said: “In these unprecedented times we believe it is essential that Royal Mail continues to deliver. We want to do our best to bring Christmas to our customers and support the pandemic effort. It helps the whole country celebrate and stay safe during these trying times.
The company aims to fill over 13,000 vacancies in mail sorting offices in England, 1,400 in Scotland, 700 in Wales and 500 in Northern Ireland. Around 1,000 additional employees are also needed for Royal Mail’s dedicated Covid-19 test kit collection team, while further triage and pilot roles are offered in logistics and at its international hub at Heathrow. There are also temporary positions in data entry.
The pandemic has accelerated the shift to online shopping, with restrictions closing non-essential stores on high streets for months in 2020 and other closures not being ruled out. Royal Mail staff have worked throughout the pandemic, despite significant security concerns from unions.
Last week, Royal Mail announced that its postal workers would be picking up parcels at the door for the first time, in one of the biggest changes to the service as it adapts to the drop in letters and rapid growth in purchases online.
Royal Mail reported a £ 139million increase in total turnover in the five months to August 30 as the pandemic caused an increase in parcel deliveries. As letter deliveries collapsed, parcel volumes during this period increased for a third year on a year-over-year basis, an increase of 177 million packages. It normally transports 1.3 billion packages per year. Competitors such as Amazon and other parcel companies, however, have helped erode its market share.