Natalie Don MSP is backing a campaign urging shoppers to say thanks to Renfrewshire’s retail workers, as a new law giving shop employees greater legal protection comes into force.

The MSP for Renfrewshire North and West is supporting the Don’t Put Up With It campaign, which is funded by the Scottish Government and driven by the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) in partnership with Crimestoppers’s youth programme Fearless and Police Scotland, to encourage greater respect for retailers.

The campaign launched as the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) Act 2021 came into force.

The legislation, which has been widely welcomed across the sector, gives stronger protection to shop staff across Scotland with a new offence having been created for situations whereby a retail employee is assaulted, threatened or abused while engaged in their work.

Natalie Don MSP said: “Along with many people throughout Renfrewshire North and West, I greatly appreciate the efforts of shop workers in all our communities who have supplied essential provisions through the COVID-19 pandemic, and I offer my heartfelt thanks for all their tremendous work during a very challenging time.

“As someone who worked in retail myself, I am pleased to support the Don’t Put Up With It campaign which is urging retailers to report crimes they witness in their shops, as well as urging customers to thank the people who serve them.

“Everyone working in our local shops deserve our thanks and respect, and I encourage people across Renfrewshire to continue supporting our local businesses at every opportunity.”

SGF Chief Executive, Dr Pete Cheema, said: “The simple act of saying thanks can make a remarkable difference to a retail worker’s day.

“Local convenience stores really stepped up to the plate during Covid, making immediate alterations to their stores to keep them open, make them Covid-safe, and service the local communities who needed them the most.

“So, the next time you pop around the corner for some essential supplies, #SayThanks if you’re grateful that your local store has been there during the pandemic. And, if you do witness a crime in a shop, please support your local retailer by sharing information and help bring those responsible to justice.”

Details about crimes should be reported to Police Scotland on 101 and information about those responsible for offences can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. For more details about the campaign, go to www.dontputupwithit.scot.