Alarming rise in Abuse
It is a sad fact that frontline workers have been bearing the brunt of abuse and aggression during these difficult times of lockdowns and government restrictions. And this includes essential retail workers.
While a vast majority of customers have shown understanding and patience in the face of increased regulations and product shortages, others have not, leading to a spike in aggressive behaviour. More than 90% of retail staff have reported incidences of verbal abuse and inexcusably over 20% have reported instances of being coughed or spat on.
While current statistics are dire, there is an indication that the abuse of retail workers was already on the rise prior to start of Covid-19. Being the constant target of abuse and aggression in the workplace is a serious WHS issue, not only for the retail workers physical wellbeing but also their mental health.
In an effort to improve conditions for workers, retail associations are working closely with the government to campaign for a shift in community attitude and understanding towards retail staff at all times, not just during lockdowns. Associations are also liaising directly with law enforcement to ensure police presence during potentially high stress situations.
But there are other measures you could be taking to assist your retail workers:
Ensure your workers are informed of their rights, especially those surrounding lockdown restrictions, including the right to refuse entry without a mask and the right to refuse service without check-in
Provide training on how to identify and document difficult situations; and know who to call for help, if required
Up-skilling staff to provide them with the confidence and skills to safely handle instances of aggression and abuse
Hire private security to protect staff from customer abuse and mitigate opportunities for aggression and assault.
All retail staff deserve to feel safe in their place of work and with your help, they can. Contact Jones XL who specialise in Retail Security, to find out how we can help you protect your essential retail workers.
For further information please Call 1300 566 379 or Email
Protect your business and staff today.