Postal deliveries in Wales are facing disruption after an extraordinary row over a whistleblower who was fired during an investigation into a ‘fake hours’ scam.
An office administrator in Royal Mail’s Llanelli depot was fired after sounding the alarm over posties being paid for overtime they had not worked, The Mail on Sunday understands.
His colleagues at the office, which employs 120, went on strike last Wednesday and plan further action later this month.
Writing on the wall: A ten-strong team is investigating an alleged ‘fake hours’ scam at post depots in Wales, and studying paperwork going back more than five years
It is alleged that a senior manager responsible for the Swansea area fired the administrator during an internal probe.
The whistleblower had been allegedly instructed by his managers to fraudulently pay staff for overtime which had not been worked.
The plan was said to have been aimed at allowing bosses to keep budgets artificially high during quiet periods – such as the summer months – to ensure that delivery targets could be hit during busier periods such as Christmas.
The Mail on Sunday has been told that the administrator made the payments on the instruction of two managers, but he later had second thoughts and alerted Royal Mail’s internal investigations unit.
One manager is now off work with stress, while the other has been suspended.
A ten-strong team is investigating the matter and studying paperwork going back more than five years.
The administrator has appealed against his dismissal and is yet to learn his fate.
Royal Mail was forced to apologise to customers affected by the strike and said it was ‘disappointed’ by the action.
A source close to Royal Mail said: ‘The senior manager has tried to keep his budgets healthy by getting the guys in the office to pay postmen for fake overtime hours which they haven’t worked.
‘The guy who did it then became uneasy. He’s tried to blow the whistle on his bosses and been fired.
‘The big question is if the investigation finds misconduct, is Llanelli the only office where this has happened?’
Royal Mail has a network of more than 1,200 delivery offices across the country.
Chief executive Simon Thompson has identified a core group of underperforming offices at which he hopes to improve efficiency.
Thompson is also attempting to tackle longstanding issues with bullying within the organisation.
A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: ‘Due to an ongoing appeals process, we are unable to comment.’
Royal Mail rocked by claims of ‘fake hours’ staff scam
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