Stop Shop Violence
Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge Launched
An initiative from the British Retail Consortium aims to improve laws protecting retail staff from violence in-store.
The new initiative from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has also been backed by the shopworkers’ union Usdaw.
Retail violence has increased during the Covid-19. The BRC is asking MPs to pledge to recognise the impact that abuse and violence has on shopworkers and is urging them “to stand with retail workers to support legislation to better protect them”.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Every day, hundreds of hard working retail colleagues are subjected to violence or abuse in their place of work. Sadly, the legislation meant to protect these workers is not fit for purpose, and many of these crimes continue to go unpunished.
“These incidents have multiplied during the pandemic, which is why we are calling on MPs from all parties to come together and sign the Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge.”
The initiative adds to the pressure created by the parliamentary petition launched recently by Usdaw to get MPs to debate the issue of shop violence.
It is supported by Co-op Food, the BRC and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS). A parliamentary debate will be triggered once 100,000 names have been registered. The petition already has almost 60,000 signatures.
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw general secretary, said: “We are grateful to the employers for supporting our petition and welcome the BRC initiative.
“When retailers, the trade union for shopworkers and MPs from across the parties unite in a call for action, it should be time for the government to sit up, listen to our concerns and deliver much needed protection for staff.
“We are delighted that the petition has already passed the halfway point of triggering a parliamentary debate. It is no surprise, because this is a hugely important issue for our members. With incidents of abuse doubling during the Covid-19 crisis, they are saying loud and clear that enough is enough, because abuse should never be just a part of the job.”