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Royal Mail warns of delivery delays as 115,000 workers walk out - here's a list of strike days and what to do if you're facing delays


Royal Mail has warned that households across the UK could face delays to both parcel and letter deliveries between 24 November and Christmas Eve as 115,000 postal workers walk out for 11 days during the period, which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here's what you need to know and what you can do if you're facing delays.

The postal service said it aims to deliver as many Special Delivery and Tracked24 parcels (prioritising delivery of Covid test kits and medical items) as possible on strike days but any other letters or parcels will not be delivered. Delivery offices and Customer Service Points (collection offices) will be closed.

Royal Mail said it intends to have services running as normal on non-strike days, but has warned there may still be delays. Usually, Royal Mail aims to deliver post six days a week.

See our Cheap Parcel Delivery guide for tips sending post via Royal Mail, discount web couriers and online retailers. 

Strike days announced by the Communication Workers Union

The Communication Workers Union has already confirmed there will strike action across the Black Friday shopping weekend meaning deliveries of parcels and letters will be impacted on those dates, and has now announced it plans for more strike dates over the Christmas period.

In total, there are 11 dates of strike action planned on the following days:

  • Thursday 24 November
  • Friday 25 November
  • Wednesday 30 November
  • Thursday 1 December
  • Friday 2 December
  • Friday 9 December
  • Sunday 11 December
  • Wednesday 14 December
  • Thursday 15 December
  • Friday 23 December
  • Saturday 24 December

What to do if your delivery is delayed

If you have any concerns about your post being delayed, you can contact Royal Mail's customer services team. However, it is unlikely this will speed up deliveries until the strikes are over.

For those whose post is lost, damaged, or delayed, while there are no guarantees, you can also submit a compensation form via the Royal Mail website. You need to make sure you have the full details of the sender and recipient, the Royal Mail service used (e.g. 1st Class, Royal Mail Signed For, International Standard etc.), the date and location of posting, the proof of postage and (where relevant) proof of value/cost price.

It's also worth trying the following:

  • If you're waiting for a parcel that's been delayed, contact the retailer. Remember, even though it's Royal Mail delivering your parcel, it's the retailer's responsibility to make sure it arrives. Under Consumer Contracts Regulations, you are entitled to a refund if your parcel arrives later than promised. If you ordered online or over the phone, you also have the right to cancel within 14 calendar days and get a full refund, though you may need to pay return delivery costs. You may also be entitled to compensation if you had to take time off for a rearranged delivery. See our Delivery Rights guide for more on your rights.
  • Try avoiding delivery via Royal Mail. If you have the option to avoid using Royal Mail, and can opt for a different courier, this may also be a faster option. As the strikes are UK-wide, it may not be possible to avoid delays simply by ordering to a different address.
  • If you need to send a letter or parcel via Royal Mail, try to avoid posting the day before or on strike days. Post your items as early as possible ahead of strike days, as any items posted the day before, or on or after strike days will likely be delayed. 
  • If you're receiving a bill by post and you're worried about late payment, contact your service provider. Discuss your options - you may be able to pay the bill online or over the phone. Similarly, if you're expecting important documents through the post, it might be worth checking if you can receive them via email instead.

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