Royal Mail warns up to 1,000 people could lose their jobs under proposals to cut second class service

Royal Mail logo

Royal has announced proposed changes to improve efficiency of their delivery service

Temi Laleye

By Temi Laleye

Published: 03/04/2024

- 10:16

Updated: 03/04/2024

- 12:17

Royal Mail’s First Class letters will continue to delivered daily, six days a week

Royal Mail has proposed changes to their services, which it claims would provide a more efficient service to customers

Under the new proposal, all non-First Class letter deliveries, including Second Class, would be delivered every other weekday.

These changes could 1,000 people lose their jobs as the delivery service gets cuts.

The proposals, which also include extending the delivery speed for bulk business mail to arrive within three days instead of two, would save it up to £300million a year, according to Royal Mail.

It said the plans, if approved by Ofcom, would mean daily delivery routes cut by between 7,000 to 9,000 within two years, which would likely lead to job cuts.

It said there would be “fewer than 1,000” voluntary redundancies but expects no compulsory redundancies as part of the proposed overhaul.

As well as a change in the delivery day, the delivery speed of standard bulk business mail (used by large mail shippers for bulk mailings such as bills and statements) would be aligned to Second Class.

Royal Mail building

The mailing company said they developed the proposals after listening to thousands of customer needs


The mailing company said they developed the proposals after listening to thousands of customer needs.

The changes aim to provide a more reliable and more financially sustainable service.

Royal Mail is urgently calling for Ofcom to act faster on implementing change, with the introduction of new regulations by April 2025 at the latest.

Martin Seidenberg, Group CEO of International Distributions Services plc, said: “The fact that letter volumes have dropped from 20 billion to seven billion a year means that the Universal Service is now unsustainable.

“If we want to save the Universal Service, we have to change the Universal Service. Reform gives us a fighting chance and will help us on the path to sustainability.

“Our proposal is based on listening to thousands of people across the United Kingdom to ensure it meets their needs. We have worked hard to come up with a proposal that is good for our customers, good for our people and would allow Royal Mail to invest in products and services that the UK wants.

“We have serious concerns that the urgency of the situation is not properly recognised by Ofcom. With no need for legislation there is no need to wait.”

The proposals are a response to Ofcom’s call for input into the Universal Service.

Given letter volumes have declined from a peak of 20 billion a year in 2004/2005 to seven billion in 2022/2003, Ofcom concluded the Universal Service needs to be reformed.

Volumes will likely drop to around four billion in the next five years, they found.


Royal Mail said the basis of the proposals come from listening to a wide range of consumers, businesses and stakeholders as they wish to protect consumer interests.

Royal Mail said: “The proposal is designed to create a more financially stable future for the business and its shareholders, protecting tens of thousands of jobs and the best terms and conditions in the industry.

“It closely aligns to changes successfully made in comparable countries – in Europe and around the world – over recent years, with limited changes for customers.”

You may like