West Midlands consumers are most likely to witness abuse toward retail employees

New research from NFU Mutual has found that almost three in five consumers in the West Midlands have witnessed some form of abuse towards retail staff in the past three years.

The abuse ranges from customers belittling or being patronising, to physical attacks upon employees, with the region having the highest rate of attacks in the UK.

Despite this, nearly half of the businesses which were surveyed said that they are not actively taking any extra precautions to protect their staff, with the measures that they do take including the presence of CCTV and 'having a policy statement available for employees'. Frank Woods, Retail Specialist at NFU Mutual, said:

“Employers’ Liability and Public Liability claims remain the highest cost to us as a commercial insurer and the sad fact is that some is down to threatening behaviour or even assault. It’s not only the physical abuse that employees receive but also the emotional cost of everyday discourtesy.

“Many retail staff in the region are young people taking their first steps into the working world, often doing so for minimum wage, and these sorts of encounters can crush their enthusiasm to pursue a career in retail which is a particular threat while Brexit approaches.

"No-one deserves to be spoken to rudely or feel threatened at work, no matter their profession.”

The study also found that 76% of West Midlands’ consumers would either physically or verbally intervene if a member of staff was being attacked by another customer, less than the national average of 80%.

For more information, as well as recommendations for staff to ensure their security at work, you can visit nfumutual.co.uk/retailviolence.


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