During the coronavirus pandemic, shopworkers have been asked to enforce social distancing regulations and mask-wearing. It is unacceptable that shopworkers continue to be harassed for doing their jobs and trying to keep us all safe. The same is true of other public service workers.
I submitted a Parliamentary Question to the Home Secretary asking her what assessment has been made of the effect of Coronavirus legislation, including enforcing social distancing measures and mask-wearing, on levels of violence and abuse faced by shopworkers. I also backed an amendment to the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill that would have created a specific offence for assaulting a shop worker with a sentence of up to 12 months, and a new offence for assaults committed as a direct result of workers enforcing statutory age restrictions. Unfortunately, the government were able to use their majority in the House of Commons to defeat this. Labour will continue to make the case for strengthening workers’ protections.