A SCOTTISH Greens MSP has announced plans to pursue a Member's Bill that would oblige hospitality venues to provide free transport to help workers get home safely after a late shift. 

Maggie Chapman is set to work with Unite Hospitality and other stakeholders to prepare a bill that would make free transport home for late-night workers a prerequisite for all new liquor licences. 

She intends to lodge a draft proposal for comment and discussion this year. 

Chapman said: “Intimidation, abuse and assault are all far too common in the hospitality industry. 

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“Particularly when low wages and poor conditions are so prevalent in the industry, many are forced to spend their shifts wondering how they will get home at the end of it. 

“Everybody should be able to finish work with peace of mind and the knowledge that they will be able to get home safely. 

“Yet, far too many employees feel that their obligations end as soon as the lights are out and the venue is closed.”

Unite’s campaign, which this bill is in support of, was motivated by an incident that occurred last year when a Unite activist was sexually assaulted on her way home from work after midnight.

She had been asked by her manager to work until 1am and was promised paid transport home because the last bus was at half past midnight. 

The National: Maggie Chapman is working with Unite to give more support to hospitality workers finishing late at nightMaggie Chapman is working with Unite to give more support to hospitality workers finishing late at night

An hour before her shift ended, her manager told her she could finish earlier to catch the last bus home. 

However, the bus never arrived and left to travel home alone, it was then that she was sexually assaulted. 

Chapman continued: “A lot of people, particularly women, do not feel safe waiting for public transport after dark.

"There have been far too many stories of harassment and attacks. Employers need to take the wellbeing of their staff seriously, especially if they expect to retain experienced staff. 

“Many late workers are in low-paid and precarious jobs. Many cannot afford taxi travel home after a shift and are forced to rely on buses and other forms of public transport which are often scarce or simply unavailable after midnight. 

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“That is why I am working with Unite and others to bring forward a Member’s Bill that will ensure all licensed venues are providing that safety and support for their workers. 

"This is a simple step that would make a big difference to hospitality workers across Scotland. And it will be good for employers too: they are more likely to retain skilled and experienced staff if they look after their wellbeing.”