German logistics groups Deutsche Post DHL said Tuesday it would pay all its employees worldwide a €300 bonus to thank them for their “tireless efforts” during the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 500,000 workers are set to receive the “one-time bonus” in the coming months, costing the group around €200 million.

READ ALSO: Deutsche Post plans preventative coronavirus tests for thousands of employees

“We have navigated our company through this crisis very well so far. We owe this to our committed colleagues worldwide,” CEO Frank Appel said in a statement, praising “the tireless efforts of our teams”.

It mirrors a move by Britain’s Royal Mail which has offered staff a 200-pound (€223) payment for working through the pandemic.

Postal workers were among the essential workers keeping countries ticking over at the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns earlier this year, when schools were closed and millions of people were told to work from home.

Deutsche Post added that both its German and international parcel delivery business had benefitted from the rise in online shopping while people were cooped up at home.

The boost helped lift the group’s pre-tax operating profit to €890 million in the second quarter of 2020, up 16 percent on the year before, according to preliminary results on Tuesday.

Deutsche Post will unveil its full results on August 5th.

According to its own figures, Deutsche Post delivers about 57 million letters in Germany every working day. The service received an increase in complaints in the first half of 2020, many of them related to delivery issues.


Deutsche Post plans preventative coronavirus tests for thousands of employees

Deutsche Post wants to be the first German company to give several thousand employees the opportunity to be tested for the coronavirus, regardless of if they show symptoms.

“We will offer significantly more than 10,000 employees the opportunity to be tested for Covid-19 as a precautionary measure, especially in larger facilities,” board member Tobias Meyer told the Rheinische Post.

The tests will be carried out systematically by occupational doctors in selected, mainly larger, operating facilities according to a risk classification. 

Along with supermarket or pharmacy employees, package deliverers have been among Germany’s frontline workers in the corona crisis – dealing with an increased demand due to shops being closed and more people staying home.

Meyer announced that the company was taking the path of a “prophylactic test strategy,” or a preventative measure.

According to Meyer, employees have been tested for Covid-19 in the past, regardless of if they thought they had been infected. 

“The striking thing was that in the broad tests…we found an unexpectedly high number of infected people, but who have so far shown no symptoms of the disease,” he said. 

As a result, Deutsche Post must assume that it has more coronavirus-infected people around its premises than previously suspected, he said.

According to Meyer, Deutsche Post’s company doctors will probably offer the tests in some of the 36 parcel centres and possibly also in letter distribution centres. 

The company had first tested around 4,000 employees in Germany after an infection with the coronavirus had occurred in their direct vicinity. 

The firm announced that it would pay for the tests, calculating at least €130 per test.

Germany currently has a widespread coronavirus testing strategy, carrying out around 900,000 tests a week.

The country has confirmed over 180,000 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday morning, although over 160,000 have reported themselves to have recovered. There have also been over 8,300 deaths from the virus.

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