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Jess Phillips MP urges retailers to support staff experiencing domestic abuse

The shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, Jess Phillips MP, is joining forces with retail industry charity the Retail Trust in urging retail employers to protect staff experiencing domestic abuse.

It follows the launch of the retail industry against domestic abuse (RIADA) campaign by the Retail Trust, Dunelm and the Domestic Abuse Alliance last year to bring more help to domestic abuse victims working in retail, following a troubling rise in incidents during the pandemic.

More than 20 other household name retailers have since joined RIADA to support employees as experts warn cases are due to spike once again because of frictions caused by the cost-of-living crisis, the World Cup and the Christmas period.

Jess Phillips and Dunelm’s senior belonging and engagement manager, Josie Dickinson, will call on more retailers to support staff at a new Retail Trust event next week bringing together some of Britain’s biggest retail employers to address wellbeing across the industry.

More than 100 leaders from brands like Next, FatFace, River Island and B&Q will attend the Retail Trust’s leaders’ summit on 11 January to also look at everything from tackling issues with retention and recruitment to preventing customer aggression following the launch of the Retail Trust’s respect retail campaign last month.

Will Crumbie, CEO of FatFace, Adam Warne, CIO of River Island, Dame Fiona Kendrick, former chair and CEO of Nestle UK&I and Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium are among others who will share their experiences and advice for creating a healthier and happier retail workforce at the one-day event for HR and people directors.

Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive of the Retail Trust, said: “We’re uniting the leaders who are ready to address many of the issues facing people working in the retail sector right now, both in and outside of the workplace. It’s fantastic to be joined by speakers like Jess Phillips MP as we shine a light on everything we in the industry can do to improve staff wellbeing.

“We want to provide the tools, services and channels that will empower people in retail to take control of their health and wellbeing and ensure that UK retail is an exciting, vibrant and people-first industry so that we can support, attract and retain more colleagues.“

The Retail Trust Leaders’ Summit is also being supported by Dentons, Foot Anstey, Kärcher, Retail Week, Fourth and Wagestream.