Royal Mail strikes: How to get Christmas parcels delivered as last post dates brought forward

Royal Mail workers are striking in a dispute over pay and conditions  (James Manning/PA Wire)
Royal Mail workers are striking in a dispute over pay and conditions (James Manning/PA Wire)

Royal Mail workers are set to strike on six days in December, causing disruption to the delivery of Christmas letters and parcels.

It’s always important to remember the final Christmas posting dates, but even more so this year amid the strikes in the run-up to the festive period.

Royal Mail has advised people to send their cards and gifts earlier than usual to ensure they reach their destinations before Christmas.

Find out below when Royal Mail staff are striking and the dates you need to post your parcels.

When are Royal Mail workers striking?

Royal Mail workers will strike on Friday, December 9, Sunday, December 11, Wednesday, December 14, Thursday, December 15, Friday, December 23 and Saturday, December 24.

The strikes will affect workers who collect, sort, and deliver parcels and letters.

When are the last days to post before Christmas?

To ensure your Christmas letters and parcels arrive in time for the festive period, they need to be posted by the following dates:

  • Royal Mail Bulk Mail Economy: Monday, December 12

  • 2nd Class, 2nd Class Signed For, Royal Mail 48: Monday, December 12

  • 1st Class, 1st Class Signed For, Royal Mail 24, Royal Mail Tracked 48: Friday, December 16

  • Special Delivery Guaranteed, Royal Mail Tracked 24: Wednesday, December 21

  • Special Delivery Guaranteed with Saturday Guarantee: Wednesday, December 21

However, the Royal Mail strikes may affect these dates. To ensure your gifts arrive on time, post them as soon as possible.

How to get parcels delivered during the strikes

No parcels and letters will be delivered during strike days unless they are sent by special delivery, Royal Mail says.

Medical prescriptions, Covid tests, and Tracked 24 packages will also be given priority on these days. Minor delays are still to be expected.

If you use Royal Mail for your business shipping, you could choose an alternative courier service such as Parcelforce during the strikes so your sales aren’t affected.

Why are Royal Mail workers striking?

Royal Mail workers are striking because they say the Royal Mail Group has withdrawn from significant national agreements and reduce terms and conditions for employees.

For example, they say the majority of cleaners who received the Real Living Wage adjustment in April didn’t receive an annual pay rise. Instead, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said 10 per cent of cleaners were offered a 50p-an-hour pay increase.

Royal Mail responded by saying the CWU had ignored an offer for talks facilitated by Acas, the arbitration service.

“This evening, rather than responding to our offer of Acas talks, the CWU announced further damaging industrial action, once again taking the path of prolonging disruption over resolution,” a Royal Mail representative said.

“Royal Mail is losing £1 million a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands. We operate in a competitive market, and our customers have choices.”

The company said the strikes would worsen its financial situation and apologised to customers for the inconvenience.