ROYAL Mail and Great Western Railway staff usually have little in common beyond providing services on which huge swathes of the public rely.

Something else many of them have in common at the moment, sadly, is understandable fear about their future employment.

As we report today, the forthcoming arrival of a highly advanced sorting machine has left Royal Mail staff wondering about their job security.

Meanwhile, GWR staff and their union continue to press for answers over possible implications of driver-operated doors and a lack of buffet cars in new trains due to be adopted in 2017.

In both instances, the employers in question are in a position to spare themselves an awful lot of unhelpful publicity and their staff a great deal of worry.

All they have to do is be completely frank, both in their private comments to staff and their public pronouncements.

Their staff are not stupid and neither are the public. Everybody knows that technological innovations and changes in working practices are a fact of life, and that these sometimes impact on people’s employment.

The sooner staff are told the plain truth about these implications, the sooner they can begin making alternative arrangements to secure their futures and those of their dependants.

Proper communication is crucial.