The Scottish Labour Party has put forward proposals to protect shopworkers, including a consulatation on the creation of new offences for shop theft and assault of a retail worker.

Edinburgh Southern MSP Daniel Johnson formally launched the new proposals yesterday. The move has been supported by trade union Usdaw, the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) and the NFRN.

A consultation into the creation of new offences for shop workers could lead to a draft bill being voted on by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament later this year.

Johnson said: “I am pleased to be launching the consultation for a bill which will provide additional protection to workers. The issue of violence and abuse against workers continues to grow, and many workers have told me that they now see it as just part of the job. My bill aims to provide legislative solutions, by creating new offences for those who assault or abuse workers.”

The SGF believes the proposals are a significant leap forward in creating a more secure in-store retail environment.

SGF chief executive Pete Cheema said: “The launch of the consultation is the culmination of an intense period of hard work by Daniel and we are fully behind this proposal. This represents a once-in-generation opportunity to make shops in Scotland safer for staff, customers and communities. This is something everyone in Scotland should support. We would urge all our members and key stakeholders to respond positively to it.”

NFRN national president Linda Sood added: “A 2017 survey commissioned by Under Age Sales, the USDAW shop workers’ union and the NFRN revealed that 50% of store workers in Scotland encounter verbal or physical abuse at least once a year due to asking customers for their I.D when purchasing age-restricted products. The number of incidents of robbery and attempted robbery of small retailers is increasing across the whole of the United Kingdom, and incidents of theft in Scotland have risen to 28,650 in 2016-17.

”We therefore welcome and wholeheartedly support the Protection of Workers Bill, launched by Daniel Johnson MSP. The Bill would create new offences regarding the assault of shop-workers and others, who are involved in the sale and supply of age-restricted products.”

For more information, visit: