The Economy Energy and Tourism Committee is recommending that Parliament should oppose the Bill, claiming it would not extend the protection currently available to workers under the common law. But, as the committee recognised, there is no statistical evidence that this approach works. UNISON believes incidents involving uniformed staff may be taken more seriously than the lower level – but just as traumatic – incidents which involve thousands of our members and fall below the radar of current criminal law provisions.
Each year, thousands of dedicated staff providing vital services in our communities are being assaulted at work. Nearly 30,000 last year alone, and they are only the recorded incidents in the public sector. While legislation on its own is not enough, it is part of the solution and sends a clear message that violence against workers is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our society.
These workers deserve stronger legal protection and better protective measures and MSPs should not turn their backs on these staff. If you want to support the Bill you can send a message to your MSP through our website. 600 people have done that today alone. Well done and thanks for your support.