B1602 - Protection of Retail and Hospitality Workers Bill 2020

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CatusStarbright
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B1602 - Protection of Retail and Hospitality Workers Bill 2020, Miss Maddie MP


A
BILL
TO

Make an offence the assaulting, threatening, abusing, obstructing or hindering of retail and hospitality workers

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Assaulting etc... retail and hospitality workers
(1) It is an offence for a person to assault, threaten, abuse, obstruct or hinder another person—
(a) who is a retail worker or hospitality worker, and
(b) who is engaged, at the time, in retail or hospitality work.
(2) No offence is committed under subsection (1) unless the person who assaults, threatens, abuses, obstructs or hinders knows or ought to know that the other person—
(a) is a retail or hospitality worker, and
(b) is engaged, at the time, in retail or hospitality work.
(3) A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable, on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 24 months or a fine of a minimum level 4 on the standard scale, or both.
(4) Evidence from a single source is sufficient to establish, for the purposes of this section—
(a) whether a person is a retail or hospitality worker, and
(b) whether the person is engaged in retail or hospitality work.

2 Behaviour constituting an offence under section 1
(1) The offence under section 1 of threatening or abusing staff is committed when a person —
(a) behaves in a threatening or abusive manner towards the worker, and
(b) intends by the behaviour to cause the worker or any other person fear or alarm or is reckless as to whether the behaviour would cause such fear or alarm.
(2) The behaviour in subsection (1) is—
(a) behaviour of any kind including things said or otherwise communicated as well as things done,
(b) consisting of a single act or multiple actions.
(3) The offence under section 1 of obstructing or hindering a worker is committed by a person if the person—
(a) behaves in a way that prevents or impedes the worker from carrying out the retail or hospitality work in which the worker is engaged, and
(b) intends by the behaviour to prevent or impede the worker.

3 Defence
A defence to obstruction or hindrance of a work shall be showing the obstructing or hindering behaviour was reasonable given the circumstances.

4 Aggravation when enforcing statutory age requirements
(1) This section applies where, in addition to an offence under section 1, the offence is aggravated by the worker enforcing a statutory age restrictions, and
(a) aggravation happens if the behaviour constituting the offence occurred because of the enforcement of a statutory age restriction or was made worse because of the enforce of such restriction
(2) Evidence from a single source is sufficient to prove the offence is aggravated.
(3) Where this section applies, the court must—
(a) state on conviction the offence is aggravated,
(b) record the conviction in a way that shows that the offence is aggravated,
(c) take the aggravation into account in determining the appropriate sentence, and
(d) state—
(i) where the sentence imposed in respect of the offence is different from that which the court would have imposed if the offence were not so aggravated, the extent of and the reasons for that difference, or
(ii) otherwise, the reasons for there being no such difference
(4) In this section “enforcement” includes—
(a) seeking information to acquire a person’s age,
(b) considering information as to evaluate a person’s age,
(c) refusing to sell or supply goods or services for the purposes of complying with the restriction.
(d) “statutory age restriction” is a provision making it an offence to sell or supply goods or services to a person under a specified age.

5 Interpretations in this Act
(1) A “worker” means a retail or hospitality worker (a person) —
(i) whose usual place of work is retail or hospitality premises, or
(ii) whose usual place of work is not retail or hospitality premises but does retail or hospitality work,
(b) this includes, in relation to a business that owns or occupies any premises in which the person works, a person who—
(i) is an employee of the business or charity
(ii) is an owner of the business, or
(iii) works in the premises under arrangements made between the business and another person for the provision of staff,
(c) includes a person who delivers goods from retail or hospitality premises.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), it is irrelevant whether or not the person receives payment for the work.
(3) In proceedings for an offence under section 1, it is not necessary for the prosecutor to prove that the person charged with the offence knew or ought to have known any matter falling within subsection (1)(b) in relation to the person against whom the offence is alleged to have been committed.
(4) “retail or hospitality premises” means a premises that are used wholly or mainly for the sale or supply of goods or services to members of the public or the serving of goods to members of the public.
(5) In this Act, “retail/hospitality work” means—
(a) in the case of a person whose usual place of work is retail or hospitality premises, any work in those premises,
(b) in the case of a person whose usual place of work is not retail or hospitality premises, work in connection with—
(i) the sale or supply of goods (including those in which statutory age restrictions apply), on a retail basis, to members of the public, or
(ii) the serving of goods to the public in a hospitality or retail environment.

6 Extent, commencement and short title
(1) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
(2) This Act comes into force on the day it is passed.
(3) This Act may be cited as the That's not My Job Act 2020.

Spoiler:
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Notes

I have spent the best part of a decade working in the hospitality and retail industry after joining when I was 16. In that time I have been shouted at, abused, punched, kicked, spat at, received death threats, been followed back to my halls, stalked, received rape threats, had a knife pointed at me and had someone threaten to shoot me to name just a few. My experiences are not uncommon.

There has been a major report (sources) into the issue. In 2017 alone there were 1,433 assaults against retail staff (excluding those against hospitality staff) according to the Home Office’s Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS). The British Retail Consortium estimates that industry spend on crime control is at a record level, surpassing £1 billion per year for the first time in the 2017/2018 financial year.

Shop workers report being under increasing pressure to enforce sales restrictions under the Licensing Act 2003 and this is creating situations in which they are facing heightened levels of violence and abuse. The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 introduces more age-restricted sales without any protection for shop workers tasked with enforcing them. Recent MHOC legislation puts them under more pressure to monitor 16 and 17 year old children drinking alcohol in a pub environment.

The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Retail Crime survey (2019) recorded more than 42,000 violent incidents across the industry in 2018. This equates to 115 shop workers being physically attacked every day. The true scale of retail crime remains unknown due to severe under-reporting to the police. As a result, it is often overlooked in police strategic plans.

The abuse received by retail and hospitality staff is contributing to unprecedented mental health problems amongst the staff and unprecedented levels leaving their job.

Much, but not all, of the behaviour covered by the proposed offence is already covered by existing common law and statutory offences which are not restricted to specific classes of victim (e.g. common law assault and the statutory offence of threatening or abusive behaviour). Despite the overlap with existing offences, the policy memorandum argues that all the elements of the new offence will help enhance protection for retail workers. For example, by:
• helping to increase awareness of the physical and verbal abuse faced by retail
workers
• encouraging action to tackle such behaviour, including reporting to the police
• facilitating the collection of data on offences against retail workers

Sources
https://assets.ctfassets.net/5ywmq66...job_report.pdf

Last edited by CatusStarbright; 1 month ago
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The Mogg
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Author? CatusStarbright
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Bailey14
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Who is the proposer of this bill as they're not identified in the OP?
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by The Mogg)
Author? CatusStarbright
(Original post by Bailey14)
Who is the proposer of this bill as they're not identified in the OP?
I was just coming to add that in, yes. There were a few bits absent from the formatting given to me that I'm having to add.
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Jammy Duel
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1,433 assaults against retail staff...they need special protection over non retail staff because?
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Jammy Duel
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This should just be called "The Anti-Karen Bill 2020" tbh
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Miss Maddie
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Obviously an aye from me. The retail and hospitality industry is a sector often overlooked despite its workers suffering high levels of violence.
Last edited by Miss Maddie; 1 month ago
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Obviously an aye from me. The retail and hospitality industry is a sector often overlooked despite its workers suffering from high levels of violence.
The data doesn't really show that though.

1433 assaults for 2.9m workers means about 1 assaulty for every 2,000 workers, meanwhile in the year to March there were 20,182 cases of "Assault with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm" just with knives in England and Wales (excl Greater Manchester) which is about 1 in ever 2,775 and that is only considering knives.

you also have the fact that most of the offences in the bill already exist and those that don't really shouldn't
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
The data doesn't really show that though.

1433 assaults for 2.9m workers means about 1 assaulty for every 2,000 workers, meanwhile in the year to March there were 20,182 cases of "Assault with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm" just with knives in England and Wales (excl Greater Manchester) which is about 1 in ever 2,775 and that is only considering knives.

you also have the fact that most of the offences in the bill already exist and those that don't really shouldn't
The statistics for assault in the retail environment is only an estimation. Assault using knives is measurable thing by how many times its reported to the police. The retail and hospitality industry suffers from severe under-reporting which stabbings don't.
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Theloniouss
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I'm not sure obstructing hospitality or retail worker should really be an offence. Private establishments can enforce those rules themselves anyway.

Other than that, aren't they all already illegal?
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Aph
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
This should just be called "The Anti-Karen Bill 2020" tbh
The Anti-Karen Bill 2020 should make it legal to shoot Karens on site if anything. It would be for the greater good
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
I'm not sure obstructing hospitality or retail worker should really be an offence. Private establishments can enforce those rules themselves anyway.

Other than that, aren't they all already illegal?
The law is already there. By introducing a specific offence to complement we can gather accurate data, increase awareness and have it act as a deterrent.

The problem expecting private establishment to enforce the rules is the lack of enforcement power.
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El Salvador
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Aren't you against virtual signalling? You yourself said these offences are already illegal
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
The law is already there. By introducing a specific offence to complement we can gather accurate data, increase awareness and have it act as a deterrent.

The problem expecting private establishment to enforce the rules is the lack of enforcement power.
Doesn't seem necessary to me.

Perhaps this bill should simply have given private establishments more enforcement power then.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
The statistics for assault in the retail environment is only an estimation. Assault using knives is measurable thing by how many times its reported to the police. The retail and hospitality industry suffers from severe under-reporting which stabbings don't.
And assault in the form of brawls in a bar are also going to be understated

According to CSEW police reported "assault with injury" for year ending March 2020 was 460,000, although the ONS report on it says it's only 250k according to CSEW. Regardless of which these are significantly higher rates than the 1433 for 2.9m given they are 1 offence for each 122 or 224 people, 20 and 10x more common.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
The law is already there. By introducing a specific offence to complement we can gather accurate data, increase awareness and have it act as a deterrent.

The problem expecting private establishment to enforce the rules is the lack of enforcement power.
You think there isn't awareness that assault is a thing?

And obstruction is a dumb thing to make illegal, if you're being obstructive security can kick you out, there is no need to get the police involved.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
Doesn't seem necessary to me.

Perhaps this bill should simply have given private establishments more enforcement power then.
I see 4 reasons for it.

Passing the legislation would send a message to retail workers, their employers, customers and those involved in the criminal justice system (e.g. the police and prosecutors) that the behaviour covered is not to be tolerated.

Such a message may encourage retail workers to report abuse and employers to improve preventative measures; as well as deterring those who might act in an abusive manner.

Retail workers should enjoy the same legal protection that emergency workers already have from being obstructed or hindered.

Retail workers seeking to enforce a statutory age restriction are upholding the law in the wider public interest and thus deserve special legal protection (e.g. by means of the proposed aggravation).
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
I see 4 reasons for it.

Passing the legislation would send a message to retail workers, their employers, customers and those involved in the criminal justice system (e.g. the police and prosecutors) that the behaviour covered is not to be tolerated.

Such a message may encourage retail workers to report abuse and employers to improve preventative measures; as well as deterring those who might act in an abusive manner.

Retail workers should enjoy the same legal protection that emergency workers already have from being obstructed or hindered.

Retail workers seeking to enforce a statutory age restriction are upholding the law in the wider public interest and thus deserve special legal protection (e.g. by means of the proposed aggravation).
Sounds like virtue signalling to me.
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Saracen's Fez
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My concern is over obstructing and hindering, and whether they're vague enough to make this a highly draconian bill.
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
I see 4 reasons for it.

Passing the legislation would send a message to retail workers, their employers, customers and those involved in the criminal justice system (e.g. the police and prosecutors) that the behaviour covered is not to be tolerated.

Such a message may encourage retail workers to report abuse and employers to improve preventative measures; as well as deterring those who might act in an abusive manner.

Retail workers should enjoy the same legal protection that emergency workers already have from being obstructed or hindered.

Retail workers seeking to enforce a statutory age restriction are upholding the law in the wider public interest and thus deserve special legal protection (e.g. by means of the proposed aggravation).
1. Not sure why you need a bill for that. I'm also not sure the police are refusing to enforce the law when it comes to retail workers

2. Should it? They can already do those things now, it's not like anybody's under the impression that abuse or assault of retail workers is okay.

3. No, they shouldn't. Retail is not an emergency.

4. Retail workers (like everybody else) do not need to be rewarded for obeying the law.
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