Outrage has ensued after the Post Office revealed its plans to cut its leavers payment for "hard to place" subpostmasters affected by internal changes by more than half.

Post Office Ltd is facing backlash over its decision to cut long-serving Hard to Place (HtP) subpostmaster’s leavers payment in March 2025.

Following the closure of the Network Transformation programme - a major reorganisation of the Post Office network - in 2018, the Post Office held a ‘Hard to Place’ register, which covers offices that have not found a replacement subpostmaster, such as the Hollybush Post Office in Welwyn Garden City.

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The NT programme began in 2012. For subpostmasters who did not want to change their contract to one of the new operating models, an 18-month 'leavers payment' provision was made.

In 2014 this payment was increased to 26 months due to the programme becoming compulsory.

Conditional resignation forms were given to those that did not sign, allowing them to leave with the payment once a new subpostmaster was found. 

At the end of the NT programme, Post Office redeployed or made redundant field change advisors, meaning there was no dedicated team within Post Office looking to find a replacement Postmaster. This has left the Postmasters in limbo.

Since then, Post Office Ltd has written to the remaining subpostmasters that the NT programme will cease in March 2025, forcing them to agree to a 12-month payment.

The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) believes that this decision is morally wrong, as it "may deprive many colleagues of funds to ease their financial position through retirement".

NFSP chief executive Calum Greenhow wrote: "Post Office are willing to treat postmasters today in the same manner in which they treated them throughout the Horizon scandal."

"Government consistently state that they have provided funding to the Post Office of £2.4bn via the NT process, which should have included ring-fenced funds to allow all those colleagues from 2015 to exit the network with 26 months leavers payment. Our question remains, what has happened to that ring-fenced money?"

In response, a Post Office spokesperson, said: "Following a programme that first started over a decade ago, there are around 130 Post Offices, out of a network of over 11,500 branches today, that constitute a hard-to-place branch.


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"Under the programme’s arrangements, agreed with the Government of the time, Postmasters who wanted to leave the network were only entitled to an exit payment if and when a replacement branch was found.

"We have endeavoured to keep these Postmasters updated with regards to their options for remaining or leaving their role as a Postmaster.

"We have asked these 130 Postmasters to tell us how they would like to proceed with regards to their Post Office.

"We fully recognise that for these Postmasters this is a difficult time, but with limited funds we need to ensure we prioritise maintaining access in the areas our communities and customers need it most."