Scottish retail workers are welcoming a new anti-violence law which is set to introduce tougher sentences for abuse against staff.
The Protection of Workers (Scotland) Act 2021 has officially come into force as of August 24 and makes it illegal for customers to threaten, abuse or assault retail workers while on duty.
According to the legislation, an incident of this offence will result in a fine with the possible addition of a prison sentence.
There will be an escalating scale of punishment depending on the level of offending aggravation.
Federation of Independent Retailers It has been campaigned for by the (NFRN) throughout its progress, which has expressed gratitude to Labour MSP Daniel Johnson who first introduced the Bill.
“I would like to commend Daniel Johnson MSP for spearheading this very important Bill and getting it passed through Parliament”, NFRN Scottish President Ferhan Ashiq said.
“Shop workers are at the frontline and have to deal with physical and verbal threat on a near daily basis for simply doing their jobs.”
“The rules around the enforcing of Covid-19 regulations merely strengthened the case for the need for this law more than ever.”
Scottish Parliament cabinet secretary for justice and veterans Keith Brown added: “I hope this legislation will make the general public think more about their behaviour while interacting with retail workers in the future and also reassure retail workers that the Scottish Parliament takes their concerns seriously.
“The Scottish government and I recognise the important role that retail workers play within our local communities and indeed the Scottish economy.
“In normal times, they make a significant contribution, but during this coronavirus outbreak that contribution has only been more emphasised as they are helping communities all across Scotland get through these challenging times.”