Delyn MP David Hanson put himself in the shoes of a shopworker trying to decide whether a young person is old enough to buy alcohol.
The event in Westminster was part of retail union Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear campaign. This year the campaign is focusing on the difficult decisions shopworkers face on a daily basis when trying to decide whether someone looks old enough to buy alcohol or other age-restricted goods.
David Hanson said:
“This exercise made me realise just how hard it is to tell the age of a young person. Shopworkers have to make that on-the-spot judgement all the time. Refusing to serve someone who is underage is often a flashpoint for abuse, both physical and verbal, but even asking for ID is often enough to make many people kick-off at the shopworker.
“On the other hand, if the shopworker serves someone who is underage, they are liable to an £80 fixed penalty notice, with repeated breaches incurring a court appearance or a fine of up to £1,000.
“Shopworkers aren’t paid huge amounts and they are in a difficult position of having to guess who to challenge. I hope that shoppers in Flintshire will be patient with shopworkers and produce ID if asked.”
John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary, added:
“We are delighted that David Hanson MP is supporting our campaign on behalf of shopworkers in Flintshire.
“We want to raise awareness of this issue amongst young people at schools and colleges, so that they know to carry proof of age when buying restricted goods.
“We also want employers to understand the pressures that their staff face and to support them with simple reporting systems, prompt response when a threatened worker calls for help and banning persistent offenders from stores.”