Consultation: Proposal to grant an exception to Royal Mail’s universal service obligations

  • Start: 12 November 2021
  • Status: Open
  • End: 13 December 2021

As the Designated Universal Service Provider (DUSP), Royal Mail is required to provide a universal postal service, including delivery and collection of letters, six days per week, Monday to Saturday. This obligation does not however apply on public holidays, which includes bank holidays and any other date which Ofcom directs. These are known as ‘exceptions’.

Royal Mail has requested that Ofcom issue a direction to make 1 January 2022 an ‘exception’ because this date falls on a Saturday. 1 January is generally a public holiday. However, in 2022, when this date falls on a Saturday, the following Monday has been designated as the official public holiday. This would mean that, in the absence of a direction from Ofcom, Saturday 1 January 2022 would be a normal working day on which Royal Mail would be required to deliver and collect letters. Royal Mail’s request is that Ofcom grants this exception in addition to it observing the non-working day on Monday 3 January 2022.

Having considered Royal Mail’s request, including its submissions regarding the likely volumes of mail on 1 January 2022 and the impact on consumers of this exception (including that most businesses and public sector organisations will be closed on that date), Ofcom is minded to grant Royal Mail’s request. Ofcom has also taken into account that a comparable direction was issued by Postcomm in 2010.

We invite comments on this proposal by midday on 13 December 2021.

Responding to this consultation

Please submit responses using the consultation response form (ODT, 48.4 KB).

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