I own and run a Convenience Store and Local+ somewhere in the Midlands.
I have talked before about the fantasy of PO workload figures and their impact on my staffing costs.
For 15 years I worked in what was then called Work Study, so I decided it was time to apply my skills to POL work.
With the NLW a mere 6 months away, I felt I needed to get a grip NOW on what that’s going to do to my business.
How? I have analysed my last few payslips to establish how many transactions I am doing, and what those transactions are. I have then timed the most numerous transactions, in some cased doing them myself, then timing my staff doing the same transaction and averaging the two.
Those things paid for by value I have used my local knowledge of what the average transaction value is to arrive at a quantity.
To all of this, I have then added times for REMMING in, loading cash into cartridges for Bidi safe use, end of day/month procedures etc etc. There will be plenty of things I have missed; giving out forms, passport queries (which we can’t handle) and the other social elements like explaining official letters to customers who cannot read or write.
I have made 2 major assumptions which I believe are reasonable
1 The current label trial will be extended to all parcels without any increase in pay
2 POL will neither increase or decrease any other transaction rates
When I have fully finalised the work, I intend to forward it to CABPost for their information.
The bottom line is, at £7.20 an hour, POL will only be paying me for 93% of the work I actually do on their behalf.
As the NLW increases, that % of paid for activity drops; at £8, it is 85%, £8.50, 81%, and at £9, 77%.
So by April, every SPMR in the country (on the Local style contracts) will be subsidising POL, RM , the Government (DVLA, MOJ etc) and the banks for the honour of having a Post Office. And that subsidy will get larger and larger with each year that passes.
It is striking (though not at all unexpected) that neither POL nor the supposed NFSP have published any work at all on NLW impact – I suspect that means my own analysis is over generous. And if they think my analysis is wrong, then I look forward to POL publishing their own, but if it is as close to reality as the workload figures they used to “persuade” us to convert to LOCAL+, I will take a lot of convincing.
There will be 2 arguments advanced to try and justify any shortfall:
The first is the “POL activity is happening in free time”
The second is the footfall driver argument
In my own case, POL activity, based on my analysis, taked 27 hours a week, so effectively 1 FTE, so the free time argument doesn’t wash, particularly as I am paying other staff for over 30 hours.
The footfall argument is less clearcut, but many of my POL customers only come in for low value transactions like electricity, and many others are shoppers first, POL customers occasionally, so I would reverse the argument and say that 65% of my shop customers use POL because of me.
Another shop owner recently demolished the similarly spurious Paypoint footfall driver argument by analysing his transactions from PP customers.