Ending Violence at Work: A Vital Campaign for Safer Public Services


In a concerning trend, instances of workplace violence, particularly in public services, have been on the rise. Employees face verbal abuse, threats, and even physical assaults simply for performing their duties. This issue not only impacts the well-being of workers but also the quality of services provided to the community.

Understanding the Scale of the Problem

Recent statistics from the Health and Safety Executive, based on the Crime Survey for England and Wales, estimate that there were 688,000 instances of violence and aggression at work across the UK between 2019 and 2020. These figures underscore a harsh reality—many of these incidents go unreported, leaving the true scale of the problem even larger.

UNISON’s Proactive Approach

UNISON, one of the leading unions in the UK, is at the forefront of advocating for the safety of public service workers through its End Violence at Work Campaign. The campaign is supported by the Violence at Work Charter, which serves as a comprehensive framework aimed at urging local councils and organisations to adopt serious measures to protect their employees.

The Charter's Impact

By meeting the standards outlined in the UNISON Violence at Work Charter, organizations can demonstrate to their workforce and stakeholders that they are committed to creating a safe working environment. This commitment is crucial in sectors such as social and healthcare, law enforcement, education, and housing—where employees are frequently in direct contact with the public and, consequently, at increased risk.

Digital Advocacy Tools

A notable innovation in UNISON’s campaign is the launch of a new website that provides access to data on recorded incidents of workplace violence. It also offers tools for individuals to directly engage with local councilors. Users can email their councilors to encourage them to sign up for the charter and advocate for its adoption at local council meetings.

Legislative Successes and Future Goals

UNISON’s efforts have already yielded significant outcomes. The successful campaign for the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 is a testament to the union’s impact, providing greater protection for police and emergency service workers, as well as NHS staff. Building on this success, UNISON continues to push for extending these protections to all public service workers.

Call to Action

The call to end violence at work is more urgent than ever. Each one of us can contribute by raising awareness, advocating for protective policies, and supporting campaigns like that of UNISON. Visit LINK HERE to find out how you can get involved and help make our workplaces safer for everyone.


It is unacceptable for workers to face violence while simply doing their jobs. By supporting initiatives like UNISON's End Violence at Work Campaign, we can help ensure that public service workplaces are not only productive but also safe. Let’s stand together to protect those who serve our communities every day.