You’ve got too much mail: should employers crack down on personal employee deliveries?

Paul Holcroft, Associate Director at HR consultancy, Croner, considers whether employers should allow personal parcel deliveries at work:

With Christmas edging ever closer, many businesses may be facing the dilemma as to whether they should allow staff to receive personal deliveries at work. Some may want to avoid it, concerned that their company mailroom could become a sorting office for Amazon. Although the law places no entitlement on them to do this, employers should not be too hasty in making a decision either way.

One reason employers could wish to avoid an influx of Christmas deliveries is the concern that sorting out employee deliveries will take time away from the primary duties of individual members of staff, leading to an overall decrease in productivity and, potentially, a loss for the business. There are also security issues to consider; it may be difficult for a company to monitor potentially dangerous items that are coming in and out of the premises and the company is unlikely to want to be responsible for expensive Christmas gifts.

Employers might also want to consider the positives associated with helping out employees in their annual Christmas shop. Provided employees are encouraged not to abuse the privilege, letting them have packages delivered to work can be a big help for those who may struggle to get everything they need, such as individuals with young families. Allowing personal deliveries can also be an excellent method of keeping a workforce happy and productive over the festive period and discourage them from ‘throwing a sickie’ to go shopping.

If this is something employers want to allow, the best thing they can do is introduce a clear policy which outlines the right to receive packages and any limitations they wish to put in place. For example, they may prohibit deliveries of items of certain sizes and weights, or only allow a certain number of items per employee.

If managed properly, allowing this practice can be a useful way for employers to maintain good relations with staff. After all, Christmas only rolls around once a year and businesses should work to be ready for it

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