Scotland to update laws protecting shop workers

10 December, 2010

Scotland is considering new legislation which would give shop workers the same protection against assault as emergency workers.

The Protection of Workers (Scotland) Bill has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament by Hugh Henry MSP. At present shop staff are only protected under common law if they are assaulted, but the proposed legislation would ensure harsher penalties were given for assaults on people doing their job.

The bill has the backing of the Association of Convenience Stores, shop workers’ union Usdaw, the Co-operative Group, Scotmid Co-operative Society and the Scottish Grocers’ Federation.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We fully endorse the introduction of the Protection of Workers Bill and hope that MSPs will understand the importance of this legislation to shop workers and other public-facing employees.”?MSPs are due to vote on the bill during the next few weeks.

Scotland is also expected to lower its drink-drive limit under new powers to be handed to the Scottish government.

The Scotland Bill, which has been launched in Westminster, will allow Holyrood to set its own laws on blood-?alcohol levels for motorists.

Both the SNP and Labour groups in Scotland favour reducing the limit from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg.

This could mean drivers would be over the limit after just one pint of beer – a factor which could further boost off-trade sales at the expense of pubs.

The political mechanisms in Westmin-ster and Holyrood would prevent such a law from being enacted for at least a year.

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