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As new rules on face covering come into force in England, Usdaw calls for the public to support shopworkers

Date: 23 July 2020 Retail trade union Usdaw is reminding shoppers that the wearing of face coverings is mandatory from Friday 24 July in shops in England. Usdaw asks shoppers to follow the law and help to protect shopworkers and other customers by wearing a face covering, while following existing social distancing and hygiene procedures. Shopworkers are not responsible for enforcing the law, and abuse should not be part of the job.
Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis says: “We encourage everyone to support shopworkers by remembering to wear a face covering, unless you are covered by an exemption. We’ve been talking to employers about this and making sure that they have clear policies and procedures in place.

“We expect employers to put up clear signage to remind customers about the rules. The Government has said that shopworkers are not expected to enforce this law, but we are concerned that it may be a flashpoint for abuse of staff.

“Although the Government has said that shopworkers are not legally required to wear a face covering, employers might encourage or require staff to wear them in some circumstances. Employers must be aware that staff will need regular breaks when they can take their face covering off and have the opportunity to replace it.

“We also want to make it clear that face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing measures that are already in place, such as screens, distance markers, hygiene measures and limits on numbers of customers in stores. We expect employers to keep these in place and support our members in making sure that customers follow the rules.

“Our plea to customers is to wear a face covering and keep following social distancing measures. We also ask you to remember that shopworkers are doing their best in a difficult situation, and to always treat them with the respect they deserve.”

Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://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