ACS Outlines Support for Scottish Protection of Shopworkers Bill

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to a call for views launched by the Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee on the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill aims to increase protection for retail workers by:

  • creating a new statutory offence of assaulting, threatening, abusing, obstructing or hindering a retail worker, and
  • creating a statutory aggravation to that offence where the retail worker is enforcing a statutory age restriction

In its submission ACS outlines support for the introduction of the Bill and the additional protections that it provides for workers upholding and enforcing the law such as age restrictions, which is not covered under existing common law.

The 2019 ACS Crime Report shows that challenging shop thieves, enforcing an age restricted sales policy and refusing to serve intoxicated customers were the top three triggers for aggressive and abusive behaviour in stores. The report estimates that there were almost 10,000 incidents of violence in the sector last year, with 83% of staff working in convenience stores having experienced some form of verbal abuse.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “It is completely unacceptable that retailers and their staff are experiencing incidents of violence and abuse simply while trying to do their job. These incidents can be deeply traumatic and can have long-lasting effects on both their professional and personal lives, with colleagues feeling too frightened to return to work after an incident has occurred.

“The introduction of a new statutory offence will help to support retailers in protecting their staff, particularly when they are enforcing age restrictions, sending a message to offenders that attacks on shopworkers will not be tolerated.”

The full submission is available here.

ACS has produced a short animation video for retailers and their staff, which details ways in which stores can manage and anticipate incidents of violence and abuse, including advice on dealing with shop thieves and enforcing age restrictions. The video is available here.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Fri, 31/01/2020 - 12:13