Royal Mail is to recruit more than 21,000 seasonal staff to help sort the Christmas post.
Around 18,000 will be in England, 2,000 in Scotland, 700 in Wales and 400 in Northern Ireland, available between early November and January 2014.
The temporary jobs will support Royal Mail’s permanent 124,000 postmen and women who sort and deliver the mail all year round, including Christmas which is the busiest time of the year for the postal service.
Royal Mail’s managing director of operations and modernisation, Mark Higson, said: “Christmas is the busiest time of the year for Royal Mail and we plan all year round to help ensure we deliver the best possible service to our customers.’’
Meanwhile, delivery of letters and parcels could be disrupted in the run-up to Christmas in the biggest strike at Royal Mail for four years. The strike could start as early as October 10, potentially forcing the Government to delay any plans to privatise Royal Mail until the New Year. The Communication Workers Union said 125,000 of its members will be balloted over p from September 20, with the result due on October 3.