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Daniel Johnson MSP gave thanks to the NFRN during his speech on his Protection of Workers (Retail and Age Restricted Goods and services) Bill in the Scottish Parliament yesterday (September 24).

The Federation has continued to support Mr Johnson’s bill, which aims to increase protections for store workers in Scotland.

MSPs unanimously backed the Bill, moving it on to the next stage of parliamentary scrutiny.

If successful, the legislation proposed by Mr Johnson will make attacking a store worker a specific offence.

Assaults or abuse relating to the sale of age-restricted products (such as alcohol or tobacco) would also become an aggravating factor in law, attracting higher penalties for perpetrators.

Mr Johnson said: “I pay tribute to the various organisations that have supported the development of the bill and that have campaigned with me to promote it.

“It has been hugely rewarding to campaign with trade unions such as the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, the GMB and Unite the Union, as well as employers’ representatives such as the Scottish Grocers Federation, the Scottish Retail Consortium, the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, Scotmid and the Co-operative Group.

“It is a cause with regard to which unions and employers are of one view, and that alone should say something about the importance of the issue.”

Commenting on the proposed Bill, The Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham said: “I begin by recognising the important role that retail workers play in our local communities and the wider Scottish economy.

“During the Covid-19 outbreak, their contribution has been highlighted as the retail trade helps communities across Scotland get through these challenging times.

“They should be lauded for the work that they are continuing to do during these challenging and unprecedented times, and it is absolutely right that they should be protected by our criminal laws.

“Every worker in a front-line customer service role should feel absolutely safe and supported.

“Daniel Johnson’s bill is well-intentioned and well-timed, given Covid-19.”

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