This National Respect for Shopworkers Week (16-22 November), the PDA supports the retail workers union, Usdaw, with their petition that asks the government to enact legislation to protect retail workers from violence, threats and abuse.

The PDA has a longstanding campaign to end violence in pharmacies, including campaigning to stop violent incidents in community pharmacy. This campaign has been supported by police forces, community safety organisations and politicians across the country.

As part of their campaign, the PDA ensured that the Assault on Emergency Workers (offences) Bill, proposed by Chris Bryant MP in 2017, included pharmacists within the scope. This was then carried into law when the bill became an act.

The PDA wants to see a world where violence is removed from pharmacies and from the wider high street environment that surrounds community pharmacy. This year, their campaign has secured commitments for zero tolerance of violence from members of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) and Company Chemists Association (CCA), as well as welcoming a similar statement from the GPhC. The PDA zero-tolerance poster has the endorsement of the National Police Chiefs Council and is available to download free here to be displayed in any community pharmacy.

Helping colleagues

The PDA is the independent trade union exclusively for pharmacists. PDA members care about the safety of their other colleagues, many of whom will not be covered by the Assault on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 because, unlike pharmacists, they will not be classified as emergency workers

As the PDA work in the interest of pharmacists, other independent trade unions campaign for the workers they represent. The retail workers union, Usdaw, is active in stopping violence against retail workers.

The PDA is pleased to offer support to their campaign and to encourage members, and community pharmacy employers to promote this petition which calls on the government to enact legislation protecting retail workers from abuse, threats and violence. The petition can be signed here.

The PDA also recommends that every working person join an appropriate trade union and encourages non-pharmacist members of the community pharmacy workforce to read more about joining a union here.