Tasmania plans new laws to protect retail staff

(Source: Bigstock)

Tasmania’s government is to pass a new law to protect frontline workers, including retail employees from being physically attacked. 

According to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), Tasmania will join SA, NSW, the NT, WA, and Victoria in enacting legislation in response to the rising occurrence of customer hostility and assault.  

Harder penalties will be imposed, and under the new Tasmanian regulations. Anyone who causes serious bodily harm to the state’s frontline workers will face at least six months in prison. 

ARA’s CEO Paul Zahra describes the Tasmanian legislation as “a strong first step” towards protecting frontline workers. Still, more has to be done to safeguard retail workers from abuse and violence that does not cause substantial physical harm.   

“All retail workers, whether they’re a casual in their first job in a department store or doing the night shift at the local convenience store, have a right to feel safe at work,” he said. 

“No one deserves to be intimidated or harassed or threatened with weapons, for simply doing their job. People who engage in these types of behaviours are committing a crime – it’s as simple as that.”

The ARA has previously partnered with the SDA in calling on state and federal governments across the country to make necessary adjustments. 

Further reading: DoorDash launches liquor delivery in Tasmania

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