Despite nine in ten (90%) UK adults feeling shopworkers have provided an essential service in recent months, 19% admit to having behaved aggressively towards them during the pandemic, according to new research from Co-op.
Almost a quarter of aggressors (22%) said that frustrations caused by panic buying caused them to lash out at store staff, as did other customers not maintaining social distancing (18%).
More than a quarter (28%) have been present while a shopworker was being verbally abused, while 12% have seen threatening behaviour and 7% have witnessed an incident of assault.
This new research, released to coincide with Respect for Shopworkers Week (16th – 22nd November), has also revealed more than two thirds (67%) of us are unaware of the true scale and level of abuse* shopworkers face when in the workplace.
After being told, 32% have said they will make more of an effort to thank their local shopworker and be pleasant to them (28%), however more needs to be done to protect them from this abuse.
Co-op continues to push the Government to provide greater protection for retail workers by putting longer sentencing for in place offenders and backs Alex Norris MP’s Assaults on Retail Workers Bill which is due to get its second reading next year.