Violence in the workplace

Violence at work involves any incident in which an employee is abused, threatened or assaulted (either physically or verbally) in circumstances relating to their work.

Facts and figures

Every year, in England and Wales alone, approximately 350,000 workers are assaulted whilst doing their job. (Crime Survey for England and Wales, 2015-16)

How does the issue affect our members?

Many UNISON members work directly with the public in areas where they are likely to be at risk of attack These include those working in social and health care, community and residential work, law enforcement, housing, and education.

What is UNISON calling for?

We believe that it is unacceptable that so many workers each year are being assaulted for simply doing their jobs, and that this should not be part of their job.

We are campaigning for tougher legislation for anyone who assaults public service staff, and that employers should be doing more to prevent these attacks occurring.

What are we doing?

We campaigned successfully for the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 which provided greater protection for those working in the police, emergency service and the NHS.

We’re now campaigning for the same protection to be extended to all other public service staff.