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I participated in a debate about the need to protect our retail workers from abuse, threats and violence. I called on the UK Government to follow Scotland’s lead in creating a specific criminal offence under the law to tackle this issue.

Retail workers have been at the forefront of the Covid19 pandemic, ensuring customers comply with safety measures on their premises, requesting ID when age-restricted products are sought by customers; and having to confront those who seek to shoplift. These jobs are demanding yet employees often do not get the recognition they deserve for their service to the public.

The Scottish Parliament has passed the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021, which will create a specific criminal offence for assaulting, threatening or abusing retail workers. The Scottish Government has also launched a new awareness-raising campaign, highlighting the impact of abuse, threats and violence on retail staff.

I called on the UK Government to catch up with the work being done by the Scottish Government on this matter, so that all of our retail workers can feel safe and protected at work.

Watch my speech below.


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