Shoppers, diners and pub-goers are being urged to be kind and considerate to staff this Christmas amid concern for their welfare at their busiest time.
The plea comes as violence and abuse against those in customer-facing roles continues to climb, with a recent union survey showing 65% of retail staff experienced verbal abuse and 42% have been threatened by a customer in the last 12 months.
Trade bodies are reminding the public that Christmas can be an complex and challenging time for the retail and hospitality industry and asking people for patience, kindness and consideration during the build-up to the holiday.
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “As the clock counts down to Christmas Day, retail stores and websites will become increasingly busy.
“People in retail are doing a brilliant job working hard to look after customers, helping them find what they need, keeping shelves stocked and delivering goods.
“While tensions can run high, any mistreatment of our colleagues will not be tolerated. Confrontations, be it verbal abuse or physical assault, can take a huge toll on victims, their families and their colleagues.
“When everyone shows a little Christmas kindness and courtesy – everyone will be better off. That way we can all enjoy shopping over the festive period and support local jobs and the vibrancy of our retail destinations.”
Leon Thompson, executive director of UKHospitality Scotland, said: “Christmas is a time for friends and family to come together, so naturally venues will be busier as we all look to go for a drink or have a meal out.
“Teams across hospitality work incredibly hard over the busy festive period to make sure everyone can enjoy the brilliant experiences that Scotland is known for. They deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.
“UKHospitality urges customers to do just that. That way everyone can enjoy socialising in a relaxed way, getting the very best from being in bars, pubs and restaurants as we celebrate Christmas.”