Protection of Workers Bill (HC Bill 84)




Create a specific offence relating to assault on those whose work brings them
into face-to-face contact with members of the public; and for connected

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Assaulting certain providers of public services

(1) A person who assaults another person acting in a capacity mentioned in
subsection (3) below commits an offence.

(2) No offence is committed under subsection (1) above unless the person who
5assaults knows or ought to know that the person being assaulted is acting in
that capacity.

(3) The capacity referred to in subsection (1) above is—

(a) that of a person whose employment, paid or unpaid work whether
under a contract, apprenticeship or otherwise, involves dealing with
10members of the public, to any extent;

(b) that of a person whose employment, paid or unpaid work whether
under a contract, apprenticeship or otherwise, involves essential work.

2 Provisions supplementary to section 1

(1) A person may be convicted of the offence under section 1 of this Act
15notwithstanding that it is effected by means other than physical means.

(2) Evidence from a single source is sufficient evidence to establish, for the
purpose of section 1 of this Act, whether a person is acting in a capacity
referred to in that section.

(3) Essential work includes prison officers and related grades, operational support
20grades, nursing staff, industrials and instructional officers; all clinical staff
employed by the NHS; probation service officers and other operational staff;

Protection of Workers BillPage 2

local authority employed staff and social workers, who work directly with the

3 Penalties

A person is guilty of an offence under this Act is liable, on summary conviction,
5to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to a fine not
exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to both.

4 Saving for certain other offences

Nothing in this Act affects section 89 of the Police Act 1998 (assaults on
constables) or section 44(3) of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
10(obstruction of fire-fighters in an emergency) or the Emergency Workers
(Obstruction) Act 2006.

5 Power to modify

(1) The Secretary of State may by order modify this Act by—

(a) adding a person or description of person to, or

(b) 15removing a person or description of person from,

section 2(3) of this Act and by making such provision connected with that
modification as he thinks fit.

(2) The Secretary of State shall not make an order under subsection (1)(a) above
unless it appears to him that the person to be added (or, as the case may be,
20each person of the description to be added) is one whose functions or activities
are such that the person is likely, in the course of them, to have to deal with the

(3) An order under subsection (1) above is to be made by statutory instrument.

(4) No order under this section shall be made unless a draft of it has been laid
25before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

6 Short title, commencement and extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the Protection of Workers Act 2013.

(2) This Act comes into force on the day on which it is passed.

(3) This Act extends to England and Wales only.