Worker protection law comes into force

NEW legislation designed to offer greater protection for retail and bar staff  from customer abuse came into force last week.

The Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021 creates an offence of assaulting, threatening or abusing a retail worker engaged in ‘retail work’; and creates an aggravation to that offence where the worker is enforcing a statutory age restriction.

The law, which aims to offer additional protection to that under existing laws, extends to bar staff, with the Act’s explanatory notes stating: “For example, in a hotel that includes (as a small part of the premises) a public bar, the staff serving alcohol in the bar would be doing ‘retail work’, but most other hotel staff (including reception staff, porters and cleaners) would not.”