Royal Mail to hire fewer seasonal staff


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The Independent Online

Fresh evidence that rival postal operators are eating into Royal Mail’s business will emerge today when the company unveils plans to hire 19,000 extra staff for Christmas – 2,000 fewer than last year.

The seasonal workers, brought in to help sort the surge in mail around the festive period, work alongside Royal Mail’s permanent 124,000 postmen who sort and deliver all year round.

But while Royal Mail is to recruit 15,000 workers across England, 1,100 in Scotland, 600 in Wales and 400 in Northern Ireland, as well as another 2,000 for its express parcels business, Parcelforce Worldwide, it is considerably fewer than the 21,100 bought in to deal with last year’s festive rush.

The reduction in staff growth comes after Royal Mail warned of lower revenues after blaming falling parcel volumes on Amazon’s decision to introduce a £10 minimum spend for free delivery, as well as the online giant’s expansion of its own delivery network.

Royal Mail also faces growing competition from rivals including  TNT, UPS, and Yodel.

The group’s shares closed at 431.7p on Friday, above the 330p they were valued at by the Coalition during its privatisation last October.