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Usdaw welcomes BRC guide on preventing violence against shopworkers and calls for Government action

Date: 03 March 2014 Shopworkers trade union leader John Hannett has welcomed new guidelines to help protect the retail sector's three million employees from violence, which were launched today by British Retail Consortium (BRC).

John Hannett – Usdaw General Secretary says: "Usdaw welcomes these up-dated guidelines and the BRC's continued backing for our Freedom from Fear campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers.

“Usdaw's own surveys in recent years have highlighted the scale of under-reporting, which found that one in four staff did not report an incident to their employer or the police in 2013. That is why the Union supports the BRC's message to employers on the need for clear policies on violence in the workplace which are well communicated to staff, so that they know that it will not be tolerated and understand how the organisation will protect them from violent or abusive acts.

“Usdaw wants to see a greater commitment from the Government to preventing violence against shopworkers. All too often we see violent criminals getting away with lenient sentences, let off with a caution and worst of all, in too many cases, not even being charged.

“We have particular concerns around the sale of alcohol and the legal obligations placed on shopworkers to police the law. Whether it is ensuring alcohol is not served to minors or refusing to serve those who have already had too much; shopworkers are on the frontline of enforcing licensing laws. All too often that can lead to violence, threats and abuse.

“Parliament passes these laws, which we support, and expects shopworkers to police them. So we are looking for Parliament and the Government to provide the necessary protections.”

Notes for Editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 433,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

Tackling Violence Against Staff: Best Practice Guidelines for Retailers: http://www.brc.org.uk/downloads/Tackling%20Violence%20Against%20Staff%202014.pdf

For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers