Fact Service March 2021

Issue 12

Survey finds 89% of shop staff faced abuse

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw has reiterated its call for legislation to protect retail staff following the release of a survey of local shop staff by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS). It shows that 65% of respondents had seen Covid-related threats to staff around face coverings, social distancing, queueing and age identification.

The survey also found that 89% of staff in local shops have experienced some form of abuse, with over 1.2 million incidents recorded over the last year. This latest analysis has similar findings to the union’s own 2020 survey of 2,729 UK shopworkers.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw general secretary, commented: “The results of two separate surveys clearly show the scale of the appalling violence, threats and abuse faced by shopworkers and demonstrate the need for a ‘protection of shopworkers’ law. It has been a terrible year, with ACS and Usdaw both finding nearly 90% of shopworkers suffering abuse and Covid safety measures becoming significant flashpoints.”