Eight out of 10 retail employees say their mental health has deteriorated due to the stress of working in stores, and 50% of retail executives say absenteeism is on the rise. in a survey of more than 1,500 employees of the charity. retail trust.
Among the findings, the Retail Trust had heard of workers stealing from stores and being abused. One retailer said it had set up a task force to protect employees from aggressive shoppers, and another said there was a marked increase in the number of workers contemplating suicide.
Cases of abuse have increased during the pandemic, with consumers expressing frustration at retail workers’ requirements for face masks and social distancing. The higher cost of living has made theft more common, and store employees face more violence and intimidation when they try to intervene.
Retail is one of the biggest employers in the UK and staff, like shoppers, are under pressure from rising costs.
Retailers are taking a number of actions to help employees. A third have issued salary increases that match or exceed inflation, and half provide other forms of financial assistance, such as helping pay bills or providing salary advances or interest-free loans.