Ahead of the reopening of ‘non-essential’ retail on 12 April, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and trade group Usdaw are asking people to “play their part in keeping shop workers safe” and ensure there is “no risk” to the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
According to the BRC, the pandemic has seen a “shocking rise” in violence and abuse against shopworkers, with incidents often occurring when staff encourage customers to follow social-distancing rules.
The plea follows BRC’s Shopworkers’ Protection Pledge , which launched in September, asking MPs to pledge to “tackle retail crime and support legislation to better protect retail workers”.
57 MPs from all major parties signed the pledge, supporting shop workers by “recognising the serious impact that violence and abuse has on shop workers and the local communities they serve and stand with retail workers to support legislation to better protect them”.
In addition, over 65 retail CEOs recently wrote to the Prime Minister calling for greater protection for shop workers.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “Retailers are ready and are looking forward to welcoming people back into stores. Hopefully, things will start to get back to normal soon, but for now we need to be cautious and to look out for each other.
“We all need to play our part to keep ourselves, our fellow customers, and hardworking retail colleagues safe, so we are asking people to stick to the rules and not to overreact if someone asks you to wear a face covering or follow safety instructions when you’re out shopping.”