Customer abuse and violence is a serious workplace health and safety issue. The effects of dysfunctional customer behaviour can be devastating for a worker’s physical, and psychological health.
We saw a terrible increase in customer abuse earlier this year as a wave of panic buying crashed through the retail industry. There were horrible instances of fights breaking out in stores, and even customers spitting on our members. This is always unacceptable behaviour, but it is particularly despicable during a global pandemic.
We have been steadily pushing back against customer abuse through our No One Deserves A Serve campaign. Our badges with messages like ‘I’m a mother’, ‘I’m a son’ have been rolling out at many companies, and we continue to press other employers to allow workers to wear the badges.
As restrictions eased in Victoria, we thought it was important to remind shoppers that retail workers have had a tough year like everyone else, and they deserve to be treated with respect.
With this in mind, we developed a new version of our No One Deserves A Serve ad that specifically addresses the re-opening in Victoria. The ad has been playing on radio, online video, YouTube and social media, and it was been viewed over 2 million times.
Remember, your safety must come first. Report all incidents of abusive and violent customer behaviour.
Reporting creates a record of the abuse and should help to ensure a proper process is followed to address the incident and enable workers to get the support they need. Information about the incidents is crucial to finding and trialling potential solutions to prevent this from happening and protecting you at work.