Newly published data has shown that abuse towards retail staff in Sydney has skyrocketed during the covid-19 pandemic.

Threats, violence and verbal abuse has increased by almost 80 percent in some parts of Sydney over the past 12 months.

The research indicates that the abuse has been the most frequent to occur in areas in the south-western areas of Sydney such as Campbelltown. This region has been placed under some of the strictest lockdown laws in the country, thus placing more pressure and stress on the people living in the region.

Stalking, intimidation and harassment in retail and wholesale outlets increased by 24 percent in Fairfield, 44 percent in the CBD and 78 percent in Campbelltown.

Bernie Smith the NSW Secretary of the SDA, the union for retail, fast food and warehouse workers has said that the new figures are alarming.

“These increases are as alarming as they are predictable, especially as shops prepare to re-open and face a rapid influx of shoppers. As the retail sector prepares for a burst of pent-up activity heading into the festive season, these figures show that retail workers have genuine reason to fear that ‘vaccine passports’ and QR codes could prove a flashpoint for customer abuse as retail reopens,” said Bernie Smith.

Bernie Smith believes that is it not the responsibility of retail to workers to ensure that public health orders are complied with and warned that staff will face major challenges in weeks after NSW opens up.

“It is not the responsibility of retail workers as restrictions are lifted to enforce shopper compliance with government regulations and requirements,” he said.

“Enforcement is the responsibility of government which imposed them and employers. As the economy opens up and we head toward the Christmas shopping crush we need to respect and protect these essential retail workers. No one deserves a serve,” says Bernie Smith.

Small Businesses Are Concerned About Having Confrontations with Unvaccinated Customers

Businesses across covid-19 ravaged parts of New South Wales and Victoria are looking forward to being able to open to more customers when the states that reach their double vaccination targets.

Despite the impending exciting there is also fears of confrontations that will occur with unvaccinated customers who will ultimately be refused entry into their stores. 

Business owners in the hospitality industry are still trying to decide what is the best way to deal with unvaccinated customers and how they can get their employees to communicate with these customers will most likely be refused entry.

The NSW Government is currently working on the creation of vaccination passports which will be linked into the QR Code system when a person signs into a venue. This means their immunisation status will be displayed, therefore allowing the patron entry if they have been fully vaccinated.

The government is also working on the relevant legislation and public health order that will underpin everything and make it easier for businesses to have intense conversations with customers.

Business owners are planning to tell unvaccinated customers that “there is a law that will make the business and their management team liable if they are let onto the premises. Don’t blame the business, blame the government as the situation is out of the business owners’ controls”.

By refusing to serve people who haven’t taken the covid-19 vaccinated the business could tell the customer that they are simply following the rules the same way a bottle shop is unable to legally severe a customer who is under the 18 of age.

The team at C&D Restructure and Taxation Advisory are here to help. As part of the Vault Group we can offer the full suite of financial products and advice to help you navigate the business landscape. Schedule a meeting here via Calendly or give us a call on 1300 1 VAULT (1300 182 858)

Post Author: Craig Dangar

Leave a Reply