THE classing of retail workers as key workers is most welcome. After all people still need to eat.

However, the Government needs to ensure that this is rolled out to areas of the UK where powers are devolved. After all the devolution acts do protect the prerogative of Westminster to enact measures of UK wide concern.

It is also important that the Assaults on Shop Workers (Offences) Bill passes all stages in Parliament. Retail workers have heavy legal and public responsibilities such as applying the law on age restricted items like knives. Hence any assault on a shop worker in the course of their duties needs to be seen in a more serious light. And verbal assault is still assault.

These measures have the full support of both Usdaw and the British Retail Consortium.

Sussex MPs and peers may care to do their bit to ensure these measures are enacted.

I also hope the police keep a closer eye on retail premises in these challenging times. And that retail owners ensure provision of complimentary tea, coffee and hot refreshments for retail staff on their breaks amid the more intense trading. After all, as Napoleon said, “an army marches on its stomach”.

John Barstow

Pulborough Member of Usdaw Executive Council