Daniel Johnson MSP launched his proposal for a new law to protect shop workers with a media event at the Scotmid store in Pilrig, Edinburgh.
The Edinburgh Southern MSP will begin the consultation stage of his Member’s Bill, which would create new offences regarding the assault of shopworkers and others who are involved in the sale and supply of age-restricted good and services, like bar and pub staff.
The proposed bill comes after it was revealed last month that violence and abuse against shop workers is at 10-year high.
Both trade unions and businesses have come out in support of the change, with Mr Johnson receiving support from trade union Usdaw, the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) and community convenience retailer Scotmid ahead of the consultation’s launch.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the consultation at a Scotmid store in Edinburgh, Daniel Johnson MSP said: “Today, 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.
“I would encourage anyone who can to contribute to the consultation at www.notpartofthejob.com and have their say on how we can protect workers.
“I am delighted that the proposal has the support of both Usdaw and the Scottish Grocers Federation, and I want to thank them for their support in getting to this stage. As the bill makes its way through the Parliamentary process, I hope that breadth of support continues.”
Jim McFedries, Scotmid Co-operative’s Head of Profit Protection, said: “As a community convenience retailer with a sizeable presence across Scotland, Scotmid would welcome the introduction of new legislation to protect our colleagues from violence and abuse.
“Unfortunately incidents of this nature happen on an alarmingly frequent basis, so anything that can help eliminate this type of behaviour is a progressive step.
“We strongly believe our staff should not be subjected to violence or anti-social behaviour when adhering to legal requirements while selling age-restricted goods and simply doing their jobs.”