The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed steps to give shopworkers greater legal protection form violence and abuse in Scotland.


The Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee has unanimously approved the general principles of a Bill which aims to increase protection for shopworkers. The Bill must now be agreed by MSPs and pass two further stages at Holyrood before it becomes law.

The ‘Protection of Workers Bill’ aims to increase protection for retail workers by:

  • · creating a new statutory offence of assaulting, threatening, abusing, obstructing or hindering a retail worker, and
  • · creating a statutory aggravation to that offence where the retail worker is enforcing a statutory age restriction

ACS provided written evidence to the Committee outlining support for the introduction of the Bill and the additional protections that it provides for workers upholding and enforcing the law such as age restrictions.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Retailers and store colleagues are most at risk from violence and abuse when carrying out their daily work; enforcing age-restricted sales policies, refusing to serve intoxicated customers and trying to prevent shop theft.

“We have been delighted to support the Scottish Grocers Federation in their campaign for the changes to the law that this Bill includes. We’re very pleased that the Committee has approved the general principles of the Bill, creating a new statutory offence for attacks on shopworkers will send a clear message to offenders that these incidents will not be tolerated