Scottish Parliament

Protection of Workers Bill to be debated by Scottish Parliament

Daniel Johnson MSP has formally introduced a Bill in the Scottish Parliament which will make abuse against retail workers and volunteers enforcing age restrictions an aggravated offence. The Bill has significant cross party support and stands a good chance of becoming law. The Bill’s publication follows a consultation run by Daniel Johnson MSP last year.

This Bill is a step forward in ensuring better protection for retail workers and volunteers. As the Bill progresses through the Scottish Parliament we will be making the following representations:

  • That the Bill should cover any instance of abuse or assault towards retail workers and volunteers, not just in cases when linked to an age related sale
  • That following the implementation of the new law, guidance and new resources need to be provided across the criminal justice system to ensure effective enforcement.

Commenting on the introduction of the Bill, Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association said:

“All retail workers, whether staff or volunteers, are on the front line of dealing with theft, enforcing age restrictions and handling abusive members of the public. Across Scotland, around 18,700 people volunteer in charity shops each year. Charity shop staff and volunteers help raise vital funds for charities and they should be able to do so free from the fear of being abused or assaulted. We are therefore warmly supporting Daniel Johnson MSP’s Bill as it is a step towards ensuring tough action is taken against those who abuse or assault staff and volunteers working in charity shops and retail more widely.”

Jonathan Mail
Head of Public Affairs
Charity Retail Association