Last posting dates for Christmas 2022 - Royal Mail strikes change delivery dates

This year’s last posting dates are earlier than usual because of Royal Mail workers taking strike action - here’s what you need to know

Person posting envelope into a red Royal Mail letterbox
(Image credit: MyLoupe / Getty images)

Royal Mail publishes a list of the last posting dates for Christmas delivery for both the UK and abroad, but its website states that these are subject to change. 

This year changes have happened because Royal Mail workers - members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) - are going on strike on several dates in November and December - smack in the middle of the sales shopping season. 

Workers who collect, sort and deliver letters and parcels for Royal Mail are taking industrial action on 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24 December. 

Here are all the important dates you need to know when it comes to getting items in the post for Christmas.

Last posting dates for Christmas 2022

Here’s the full rundown of the last posting dates for both the UK and abroad, which are earlier than usual due to planned strike action. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
DateDelivery
Monday 5 DecemberInternational Standard and International Tracked & Signature Services to Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA
Wednesday 7 DecemberInternational Standard and International Tracked & Signature Services to Africa, Asia (except China, People’s Republic), Central and South America, Far and Middle East
Wednesday 7 DecemberInternational Standard and International Tracked & Signature Services to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
Thursday 8 DecemberInternational Standard and International Tracked & Signature Services to Cyprus and Malta
Friday 9 DecemberInternational Standard and International Tracked & Signature Services to Belgium, France, Luxembourg and HM Forces Mail - British Forces Post Office (BFPO)
Monday 12 December2nd Class across the UK. 2nd Class Signed For across the UK. Royal Mail 48 across the UK
Friday 16 December1st Class across the UK. 1st Class Signed For across the UK. Royal Mail 24 across the UK. Royal Mail Tracked 48 across the UK
Monday 19 December.Special Delivery Guaranteed. Royal Mail Tracked 24 across the UK
Wednesday 21 DecemberSpecial Delivery Guaranteed with Saturday Guarantee across the UK

Your rights if letters or parcels go missing

As a general rule – you may have to wait between 5 – 10 working days before you can report the item as missing with Royal Mail.  This does not include weekends or public holidays.  

You should claim for the damaged, lost or delayed post (opens in new tab) by filling in a P58 form which you can get from Post Office branches.  You may then be due compensation (opens in new tab) depending on the service you paid for – so if a first or second-class letter goes astray – you could get a book of six first-class stamps as compensation.  

But, if you’ve paid for a premium service – like Special Delivery – you may get your postage fee refunded along with compensation to cover the actual cost of the item posted.  This can be up to £2,500 although you can also buy ‘consequential loss cover’ at the time of postage which covers up to £10,000.

When it comes to the maximum time limit – you should report any missing letters or parcels to the Royal Mail within 80 calendar days from the date of posting.

If you buy something and your parcel is late or goes missing – you should always contact the company you bought the item from – not Royal Mail or the courier company.   

This is because it’s the seller’s responsibility to get the item to you within the agreed time and in one piece.  If there’s any problem – it’s the retailer who should reimburse you.

What happens if my post is delayed due to Royal Mail strikes?

In normal circumstances, if your post is delayed you could be to claim compensation, especially if you’ve paid for a premium service like Special Delivery.   

While there’s nothing to stop you from putting in a claim with Royal Mail (opens in new tab) if you feel you’ve lost out by post being delayed due to the postal strike – Royal Mail could argue that strike days have been publicised.

When it comes to what’s open on strike days - Post Offices will be open as usual although collections from Post Offices will be limited.

But delivery offices and customer service points will be closed.  This means you can’t drop off or collect items on these dates.

Sue Hayward
contributor

Sue Hayward is a personal finance and consumer journalist, broadcaster and author who regularly chats on TV and Radio on ways to get more power for your pound.  Sue’s written for a wide range of publications including the Guardian, i Paper, Good Housekeeping, Lovemoney and My Weekly. Cats, cheese and travel are Sue’s passions away from her desk!

With contributions from