Members of the retail and wholesaling community are being invited to sign up to a new Charter which seeks to promote higher standards of behaviour in the workplace.


It comes as a new survey of people working in the convenience and wholesale sectors, commissioned by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), revealed that 35% of respondents have experienced some form of unwanted, inappropriate or harassing behaviour from others in the workplace.

Those who have experienced unwanted behaviour are most likely to have done so from a more senior employee in their company, while only 27% of those who experienced unwanted behaviour have made a formal complaint, the survey also found.

Launched by the ACS and the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD), the ‘Dignity at Work’ Charter sets out the following commitments for businesses to sign up to:

 •            We believe that everyone has the right to a safe and respectful working environment

•             We value each other and respect each other’s human rights and individual differences. We celebrate these differences and rely on them to help create an energising culture; a culture that is inclusive of all individuals and benefits from diversity of thought, skills, experience

•             There is no place for any form of harassment, discrimination, aggression or misconduct in our industry and such behaviour runs contrary to the ideals of the industry

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The convenience and wholesale sectors are fantastic places to work, learn and develop skills, and the relationships that are forged across companies make this one of the most exciting industries to be part of.

“The Charter sets a standard of behaviour and conduct for people working in our sectors to ensure that everyone feels safe, secure and confident in engaging with others.

“We will be asking our member companies to support the Charter, to promote these standards, and to make sure that where these are not met, and where people are made to feel uncomfortable or excluded, that is confronted.”

FWD chief executive James Bielby said: “We want every talented person to want to work in our sector, and the Charter codifies some very simple, obvious standards, and asks all companies to commit to working to these standards. 

“It’s not about policing every interaction or starting a new compliance industry, it’s just saying, ’This is what we expect to see from people dealing with us, and this is what they can expect from our people.’

 “I hope all businesses in the sector will sign up to this Charter enthusiastically.”

 The full Dignity at Work Charter is available here