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MSP welcomes bill to protect retail workers from abuse

By Kirsty Brown

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Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has backed a Member’s Bill which will create a new statutory offence against assaulting, threatening or abusing a retail worker.

The Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill will also provide further legal protections when the worker is carrying out their statutory duties such as age-restricted sales.

The bill, which was put forward by Daniel Johnson MSP, has received unanimous support.

It comes after concern was raised during the coronavirus pandemic regarding an increase in abuse against retail staff trying to ensure customers maintained social distancing and wore masks while shopping.

The legislation regarding age-restricted sales will also cover those working in bars, restaurants and hotels, and those delivering items bought online who may have to ask for proof of age when items are delivered.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said: “This Bill will help protect retail workers who deserve to go to work each day without the threat or verbal or physical abuse as they carry out their job.

“During the pandemic, retail workers have been key workers, helping to support all of us as we stay have stayed at home.

“I am pleased the Scottish Parliament has backed this Member’s Bill to protect all retail staff – violence, threats and abuse should never just be part of anyone’s job.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Stewart Stevenson MSP. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

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