Postal Services Act 2011

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2011 c. 5


Postal Services Act 2011

2011 CHAPTER 5

An Act to make provision for the restructuring of the Royal Mail group and about the Royal Mail Pension Plan; to make new provision about the regulation of postal services, including provision for a special administration regime; and for connected purposes.

[13th June 2011]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1 Restructuring of Royal Mail group

Part 1

Restructuring of Royal Mail group

Removal of existing statutory restrictions on ownership

Removal of existing statutory restrictions on ownership

S-1 Removal of restrictions on ownership of Royal Mail Holdings plc etc

1 Removal of restrictions on ownership of Royal Mail Holdings plc etc

(1) Sections 65 to 67 of the Postal Services Act 2000 (which contain restrictions on the issue and transfer of shares and share rights in Royal Mail Holdings plc and its relevant subsidiaries) are repealed.

(2) But see section 4 of this Act (which imposes restrictions on the issue and transfer of shares and share rights in a Post Office company etc).

Ownership of the Royal Mail

Ownership of the Royal Mail

S-2 Report on decision to dispose of shares in a Royal Mail company etc

2 Report on decision to dispose of shares in a Royal Mail company etc

(1) This section applies where the Secretary of State-

(a) has decided to undertake a particular kind of relevant disposal, or

(b) has decided that another person may undertake a particular kind of relevant disposal.

(2) As soon as reasonably practicable after making the decision, the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a report on the proposed disposal.

(3) The report must state-

(a) the kind of relevant disposal intended to be undertaken,

(b) the expected time-scale for undertaking it, and

(c) the objective intended to be achieved by the undertaking of it.

(4) The report must-

(a) contain information about the expected commercial relationship, after the proposed disposal, between the Royal Mail company in question and any Post Office company, and

(b) if the proposed disposal would result in shares or share rights being owned by or on behalf of an employee share scheme for the first time, give details of the scheme.

In paragraph (b) "employee share scheme" has the meaning given by section 3.

(5) In this Part "relevant disposal" means-

(a) the issue or transfer of shares in a company the effect of which is to reduce the proportion of a Royal Mail company owned by the Crown, or

(b) the issue or transfer of share rights to a person the effect of which would be, if the shares to which the share rights relate were issued or transferred to the person, to reduce the proportion of a Royal Mail company owned by the Crown.

(6) In this Part "Royal Mail company" means a company that-

(a) provides a universal postal service, and

(b) is or has at any time been in the same group as-

(i) the original holding company, or

(ii) another company that is or has at any time been a Royal Mail company.

S-3 Employee share scheme

3 Employee share scheme

(1) The Secretary of State must ensure that arrangements are made, before the time at which the first relevant disposal is made in relation to a Royal Mail company, for the establishment of an employee share scheme.

(2) Those arrangements must secure that if at any time the proportion of the company owned by the Crown is reduced to nil, the proportion of the company owned by or on behalf of the employee share scheme is at that time (or has before that time been) at least 10%.

(3) If any shares or shares rights have been transferred under the employee share scheme to beneficiaries of the scheme, the shares or share rights are to be regarded for the purposes of subsection (2) as if they are still owned by or on behalf of the scheme.

(4) "Employee share scheme" means a scheme for encouraging or facilitating the holding of shares or share rights in the company (or companies in the same gro up as the company) by or for the benefit of persons who are or include employees of the company.

Ownership of the Post Office

Ownership of the Post Office

S-4 Restrictions on issue and transfer of shares and share rights in a Post Office company etc

4 Restrictions on issue and transfer of shares and share rights in a Post Office company etc

(1) No disposal of the Crown's interest in a Post Office company may be made other than a disposal that-

(a) is made pursuant to a direction under subsection (2), or

(b) is authorised under subsection (3).

(2) The Secretary of State may by order-

(a) direct a Post Office company (if it is wholly owned by the Crown) to issue shares or share rights to a relevant mutual, or

(b) direct a company wholly owned by the Crown to transfer shares or share rights in a Post Office company to a relevant mutual.

(3) A disposal of the Crown's interest in a Post Office company is authorised under this subsection if-

(a) the disposal is by way of an issue or transfer of shares or share rights in a Post Office company to a relevant mutual, and

(b) the Secretary of State has by order approved the issue or transfer.

(4) An order under subsection (2) or (3)(b) is subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

(5) No disposal of a relevant mutual's interest in a Post Office company may be made other than a disposal to-

(a) another relevant mutual,

(b) the Secretary of State or the Treasury (or a nominee of either of them), or

(c) a company wholly owned by the Crown.

(6) Any disposal in contravention of subsection (1) or (5) has no effect.

(7) For the meaning of "Post Office company" and "relevant mutual", see sections 6 and 7.

(8) In this section any reference to a disposal of a person's interest in a Post Office company is to-

(a) the issue or transfer of shares in a company the effect of which is to reduce the proportion of the Post Office company owned by the person, or

(b) the issue or transfer of share rights to a person the effect of which would be, if the shares to which the share rights relate were issued or transferred to the person, to reduce the proportion of the Post Office company owned by the person.

S-5 Report on transfer of interest in a Post Office company to a relevant mutual

5 Report on transfer of interest in a Post Office company to a relevant mutual

(1) This section applies where the Secretary of State proposes to make an order under section 4(2) or (3)(b) (order directing or approving issue or transfer of shares or share rights in a Post Office company to a relevant mutual).

(2) The Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a report on the proposed issue or transfer before making the order.

(3) The report must-

(a) give details of the proposed issue or transfer (including the expected time-scale for the issue or transfer),

(b) name the body to whom shares or share rights are proposed to be issued or transferred, and

(c) explain how that body meets the conditions set out in section 7.

S-6 Meaning of "Post Office company"

6 Meaning of "Post Office company"

(1) In this Part "Post Office company" means a company that-

(a) is engaged in the provision of post offices,

(b) is or has at any time been-

(i) a subsidiary of the original holding company, or

(ii) in the same group as a co mpany that is or (as the case may be) was at that time designated under this section, and

(c) is designated for the purposes of this subsection by order made by the Secretary of State.

(2) A company may be designated only if, immediately before it is designated, it is wholly owned by the Crown.

(3) An order under subsection (1) may not be amended or revoked.

(4) An order under section 93 that appoints a day for the commencement of section 1 (removal of restrictions on ownership of Royal Mail Holdings plc etc) may not be made unless Post Office Limited (registered number 02154540) has been designated under subsection (1).

S-7 Meaning of "relevant mutual"

7 Meaning of "relevant mutual"

(1) In section 4 "relevant mutual" means a body in respect of which the Secretary of State considers that conditions A to C are (and will continue to be) met.

(2) Condition A is that the purpose (or main purpose) for which the body exists is to act for the public benefit by promoting the use by the public of services provided by a Post Office company or at its post offices.

(3) Condition B is that the members of the body are-

(a) persons who have an interest in the use by the public of such services (including employees of the Post Office company and other persons engaged in the provision of its post offices), or

(b) persons who act on behalf of, or represent, persons within paragraph (a).

(4) Condition C is that the body has in place arrangements for the prevention of disposals of property or rights by the Post Office company that would be inconsistent with the purpose (or main purpose) for which the body exists.

Transfer of property etc

Transfer of property etc

S-8 Transfer schemes

8 Transfer schemes

(1) The Secretary of State, or the original holding company (if it is wholly owned by the Crown), may make one or more transfer schemes.

(2) A...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT