The Scottish Parliament has today (17 November 2020) voted to support key proposed legislation that will make it a specific offence to assault a shopworker.
The Stage 2 vote represents a crucial step forward in the progress of the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill proposed by Daniel Johnson MSP. The Bill will create a new statutory offence of assaulting, threatening or abusing a retail worker and provide further legal protections when the worker is carrying out their statutory duties around age restricted sales.
Daniel Johnson, MSP for Edinburgh Southern, said: “I’m delighted to see my bill pass Stage 2 at the Economy Committee this morning, especially as it is Respect for Shopworkers Week. It was encouraging to hear so many supportive voices recognising the important work of our retail workers.
“I now look ahead to championing our retail workers in the final Parliamentary Stage debate before my Bill becomes law.”
The Bill will now proceed to the final Stage 3 vote before it can be made law. A date for this vote has yet to be confirmed.
Johnson also extended his thanks to the Scottish Grocers Federation for its support “from day one”.
SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema said: “We are delighted that the Protection of Workers Bill has successfully passed Stage 2 of the Parliamentary process. SGF has worked with Daniel Johnson MSP since 2016 to call for additional protections for shop workers and has been a committed supporter of his Bill. It is critical that we secure these key protections for shop workers and enshrine them in to law.
“Retailers and shopworkers have been the glue that have held our communities together – during these dangerous and uncertain times caused by the pandemic – indeed you could call them the fourth emergency service. Let’s make sure that we grasp this ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to secure greater protection for Scotland’s shopworkers which Daniel Johnson’s Bill would deliver. Back the Bill.”