A new law now in force in Scotland has strengthened the legal rights of retail workers carrying out their jobs. The Protection of Workers Act gives greater protection to shop workers by making it a specific offence to threaten or abuse them. It also provides further legal protections when the worker is carrying out statutory duties such as age verification – a significant trigger for staff facing abuse.
This new legislation – supported by the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) – marks a significant step-change in the rights of workers. It powerfully demonstrates the fact that retail crime is unacceptable, will not be tolerated and that criminals responsible for it will be punished.
But for the law to be effective, shop owners, managers and staff must report all retail crime.
The Don’t Put Up With It campaign urges everyone in retail to do exactly that – and for customers to support them in doing so.
Spearheaded by SGF with the support of the Scottish Government, Crimestoppers and Police Scotland, it is encouraging every retailer in Scotland to take a stand and let no crime against them go unreported.
Our message that retail crime will not go unpunished must be heard loud and clear. Police must know about every incident, from shoplifting – which staff will tell you is a daily occurrence in almost every convenience store in the country – to violence and verbal abuse.
The scale of this problem should not be underestimated. A UK-wide survey by shopworkers’ union Usdaw found that 88% of those questioned had experienced verbal abuse; 61% were threatened by a customer and 9% were assaulted.
The Protection of Workers Bill was tabled in the Scottish Parliament by Edinburgh Southern MSP Daniel Johnson. Click here to watch how politicians showed their unanimous support for Scotland’s retail workers.
We are encouraging retailers across Scotland to show their support by publicly pledging that “We will report all retail crime” and posting a picture on social media using the hashtag #DontPutUpWithIt. Find out who’s taken the pledge – and more about how you can show your support – here.