Violence at work

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work-related violence as “any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to work”. This includes verbal abuse and threats, in addition to physical abuse.

Employees in many public-facing roles are at risk of being attacked by customers, while other positions, such as prison officer and police officer, are inherently dangerous. Employers may have a policy on violence at work, which should set out preventative steps and support available to victims.

Domestic violence outside work may also have an impact on employees’ health and wellbeing.


HR franchise drives roll-out of domestic abuse policy

A businesswoman who was forced to take leave to attend a court case against her abusive partner is calling for more employers to introduce domestic abuse policies.

CEOs call for action on surge in violence against retail workers

5 Feb 2021

More than 65 retail chief executives have written to the Prime Minister calling for more protection for shop workers after...

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Business minister: HR has vital role in tackling domestic abuse

5 Feb 2021

Paul Scully says HR, managers and colleagues must do more to help domestic abuse survivors, but it will be a learning curve.

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Tesco manager sacked for restraining thief wins £43,000

27 Jan 2021

A Tesco store manager fired for manhandling a shoplifter has been awarded £43,100 for unfair dismissal at the employment tribunal.

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‘Do more to support domestic abuse victims’, minister tells employers

14 Jan 2021

Business minister Paul Scully says few firms are aware of the signs of domestic abuse, and even fewer have a clear policy to support those affected by it.

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How should HR handle a case of domestic abuse?

27 Nov 2020

With soaring rates of calls to domestic abuse helplines throughout the Covid pandemic and coverage of the Johnny Depp vs...

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Covid-19 measures fuel sharp rise in violence against retail workers

24 Aug 2020

Since the arrival of the coronavirus in the UK, the average retail worker has been assaulted, threatened or abused once every 6.5 days.

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Tougher sentences for assaults on emergency workers proposed

13 Jul 2020

Ministers are considering whether to increase the maximum penalty for assaulting an emergency services worker from 12 months to two years in prison.

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NHS staff survey reveals little progress in boosting health and wellbeing

19 Feb 2020

Only three out of 10 (29.3%) NHS staff say their trust takes positive action on health and wellbeing, with many...

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Top 10 HR questions November 2019: IR35, Christmas parties and PILON

3 Dec 2019

Pending a review announced by chancellor Sajid Javid, reforms to the IR35 rules are due to be extended to the...

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Tube workers to take industrial action over violence levels

13 Sep 2019

Transport for London workers on the District Line have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action in protest at the growing levels of violence from passengers.

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Violence and abuse against shop workers reaches ‘epidemic’ proportions

10 Sep 2019

A Co-op funded report has called for government action to prevent crime against retail workers, claiming it has reached ‘epidemic’...

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Bexley shop attack

Unions and retailers urge action over violence in shops

28 Jun 2019

With 115 attacks every day it's time for extra measures to protect retail workers demand unions, associations and supermarkets.

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Shop staff verbally abused or assaulted once a fortnight, union claims

30 Apr 2019

A retail union has urged the government to better protect shop workers from violence and verbal abuse, after it emerged...

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How to take precautions to avoid a toxic work environment

20 Feb 2019

Independent investigations into misconduct at both Amnesty International and Oxfam suggest that toxic workplace cultures can have serious consequences. What...

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