Postal worker are to be offered re-training as midwives under the Royal Mail's plans to generate new revenue streams.
Senior managers at the letters and parcels service say as well as their regular duties of delivering the daily postal needs of the UK, kicking fragile packages and generally moaning, staff will be given the chance to add to their skills by becoming midwives that can be hired back to under-staffed NHS hospitals.
"It is a departure for us." Dolores Maxwell, the group's Deputy Head of Ridiculous Ideas told reporters, "but look at it like this. A baby is just another package to be delivered and our staff have experience that is second to none when it comes to delivering things."
Under the proposals, at least one member of staff would be re-trained in every main depot and would be hired out as needed to their local maternity ward. If the demand is great enough, more staff would be trained, opening up opportunities for casual staff to cover their jobs.
But unions and mothers groups aren't happy with the proposals.
"This is blatantly not in our members job description." Martin Heart from the UNITE union said. "True, we may be experts at deliveries, but this is a step too far. The average postman isn't educated to degree standard and expecting them to understand the intricacies of childbirth could see our members' heads explode."
And Marina Lovecraft from the National Childbirth Trust explained her concerns.
"My postman can't seem to deliver my post before 12 on a weekday and has trouble making sure I don't get next door's letters. So how on earth would I be able to trust him to deliver a baby and make sure it gets to the right mother without any damage?".
If approved, the re-training scheme will get underway for volunteers next month.