The British government has confirmed it is pressing ahead with controversial plans to privatise the Royal Mail by selling shares.
The country’s business secretary Vince Cable said an initial public offering is expected in the coming weeks.
Members of the public will be able to apply for shares as well as institutional investors.
Mr Cable said it was an "important day" for the Royal Mail and its employees.
The announcement came ahead of a meeting of Communication Workers' Union officials to discuss the sell-off and their plans for a strike ballot.
The British government confirmed that 10% of shares will be given to 150,000 Royal Mail workers.
Members of the public will be able to buy a minimum of £750 of shares.
Analysts expect the sell-off will make up to £3bn.
Mr Cable said: "The Government is taking action to secure a healthy future for the company. These measures will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the six days a week, one price goes anywhere universal postal service.
"By announcing that we intend to move ahead with a sale of shares in Royal Mail we are completing the third and final part of the reforms agreed in Parliament two years ago."
All shares will be sold at the same price, with full details in a prospectus to be published "in due course".
The IPO is expected in the coming weeks after ministers said they expected to complete the sale in the current financial year.
Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene said: "Our strategy is delivering a revitalised company, with a unique, UK, multi-use network through which we are proud to deliver the universal postal service for all UK citizens."