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Over a quarter of retail workers want to leave sector, data finds

Workers’ top three dislikes about shift work were found to be negative health impacts, a lack of control, and unpredictability.

Retail is threatening to “drive away” more than a quarter of its workers from the industry, according to the workforce management app Deputy.

In total, 28% of UK retail workers want to leave their jobs, with 20% hoping to switch to a new industry and 8% looking to quit, with a view to retiring or returning to education.

Despite the current worker shortages across the sector, the app said 63% of retail workers say they are “concerned” about job security, with 27% “very concerned”.

It said these concerns stem from a combination of Covid-19 and the economy, with 60% of retail workers citing Covid-19 as a reason for their concern and 58% citing the economy.

According to the app, workers’ top three dislikes about shift work were found to be negative health impacts, a lack of control, and unpredictability.

David Kelly, general manager for EMEA at Deputy, said: “One of our key industries is caught in a vicious circle. When you’re struggling to recruit, it puts more pressure on your existing staff, which in turn can lead to burn out and the decision to leave the industry altogether.

“Retail workers have been through an enormously tough time over the past two years. This data highlights the importance of business owners and managers maintaining regular, two-way communication with their workforce to allay fears about job security and to make sure staff feel valued.”

He added: “If we want to attract more workers into these industries, we need to treat our shift workers with respect, pay them fairly and provide them with more protection and predictability of when they will be working.”

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