The union has been advised that Royal Mail has revised its contract with OH Assist (formerly Atos) and will be reshaping the OH Service from April 2017.
I attach a letter from Dr Shaun Davis, the Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing & Sustainability, Royal Mail Group, which outlines in brief the changes planned:
- Royal Mail will continue to work with OH Assist (formerly Atos) but with a reduced portfolio of services
- The key issues for Royal Mail are:
- The way in which Occupational Health Services are accessed and the workload this creates for operational managers
- Value for money and controls over spend levels
- The new approach has two major themes:
- Royal Mail will insource some of the service lines (Bullying and Harassment Helpline and the Rowland Hill Fund) into the HR Services team in Sheffield
- Access to other service lines will be controlled by using the HR Services team as the interface to OH Assist
- Case management for musculoskeletal and mental health related absence will cease. Physiotherapy (on a “capped and controlled basis”) and face to face counselling will continue to be provided but via HR Services referral The union is seeking further detail of the planned changes and their implications for members but we have expressed our view that this looks like an opportunity missed. Treating Operational Manager workload and “value for money and control over spending” as the key issues – rather than provision of a high quality occupational health service for employees – seems to be a further step in making OH support even more remote and faceless, driven by short term cost cutting imperatives.
Royal Mail has confirmed that medical referrals will continue to take place “where we have legal or RMG policy reasons for doing so. This includes driver medical assessments, Night Workers/Airside
Health Questionnaires and Risk Assessments, Pre-Employment Health Checks, Medico-Legal Reports, Workstation and Workplace Assessments (all legal requirements), and Leaving The Business Due to Ill Health, Deferred Pension Policy support and Attendance Policy/Consideration of Dismissal support (all RMG policy requirements).”
Branches and representatives should remain vigilant in ensuring that health & safety, attendance procedure and long term ill health referrals take place in line with the relevant procedures and legal requirements.
All enquiries regarding the content of this LTB should be addressed to the PTCS Department, quoting reference 415. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org