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Violence and abuse against retail and hospitality staff has skyrocketed during COVID-19
Approximately 40% of customers have witnessed a staff member suffer verbal or physical abuse at a retail or hospitality venue in the past year, yet businesses are not implementing measures to minimise workplace violence, research by NFU Mutual has revealed.
According to the survey, supermarkets are the worst affected, with 31% of customers witnessing an incident there, followed by high street shops (20%), pubs (18%), and restaurants (16%).
However, despite these figures, researchers found that almost half of businesses they surveyed do not take any measures to minimise the risk of workplace violence.
Speaking about the findings, Frank Woods, retail sector specialist at NFU Mutual, said:
Taking action to prevent retail violence is a crucial step in protecting staff welfare. Insurance can provide cover against legal action, injuries, and property damage, but businesses should make additional preparations.
We would urge employers to put tailored measures in place, especially provision of appropriate staff training. Not only does training ensure staff are prepared to deal with incidents, it could prove important to a retailer’s reputation, and influence a consumer’s future shopping habits. Forty percent of consumers said they would be more likely to return to a venue if a retail violence incident was well-handled.
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