The announcement came as a new report revealed shocking levels of violence and abuse directed at people who work in retail.
“Violence and Abuse Towards Retail Workers” was compiled by the Home Affairs Committee – a cross party group of MPs responsible for scrutinising the work of the Home Office. In it, the committee argue that attacks on shop workers should be made a criminal offence.
The report also provides specific examples of the number of incidents by quoting industry sources, including the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The BRC found that incidents rose by 7 percent from 424 per day in 2018/19 to 455 in 2019/2020.
As the report states, this figure is equivalent to over 50 incidents per hour.
The chair of the committee, Yvette Cooper said: ‘During the COVID-19 pandemic, retail workers kept our communities going and they deserve our thanks and gratitude.
‘It is even more shameful, then, that abuse and assaults against shopworkers went up during the pandemic, and it is completely unacceptable that these attacks have become so commonplace in our society.’
The Workers Union Says Protect Worker Retail Workers
In the last week this organisation has published several news articles that illustrate the true extent of this problem. There seems to be a growing trend in our culture – perhaps fuelled by the one-click nature of online purchasing – to place unreasonable demands on workers.
But let’s be clear about this. Whether goods are purchased online or in-store, somewhere in the chain a human being is involved in fulfilling the order. Someone who may not be working in ideal conditions, who may be under pressure to complete a sale, who may be on a commission only deal; who may be working long hours for little pay.
It’s people that get goods out to us and we should have more consideration for the job that they do.
It’s unacceptable for anyone to work in fear of abuse or violent retribution, simply for doing their job.
For this important reason, The Workers Union wholeheartedly agrees with the conclusions of the report and encourages the government to consider new laws that make it clear that these assaults will no longer be tolerated.
The Workers Union – fighting for social justice, fighting for you