Why is it only emergency workers who are getting cheap chips?
PUBLISHED: 12:27 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:31 10 May 2019
Nick Conrad says special offers on fish and chips for emergency workers are all very well but who can which jobs are more valuable than others?
I keep seeing posters like this being displayed in restaurants and takeaways across Norfolk. I should imagine the offer on this advert would be warmly applauded by the vast majority of you - however, I've recently found myself questioning whether it was fair to offer a discount purely based on the job an individual does? This offer promotes a price reduction of 10% for customers who work for the NHS or the emergency services. I'm the first person to highlight the amazing work they do. However, I feel uncomfortable with the concept of a 'vocational hierarchy.' I really can't accept that one job is more important than another. We need a diverse skill base to push our economy and society forward.
Actually, this cut price takeaway supper is just the tip of the iceberg. If you work for the emergency services, you can expect prices to drop left right and centre. From coffee to clothes to yoga classes, workers can expect to pay less when signed up to certain discount cards. In doing this, businesses are either inadvertently or directly declaring that they see NHS workers, police or fire service as individuals that deserve heightened gratitude. It is brilliant that we highlight the outstanding work in these sectors. However, will incumbents of other vital vocations feel aggrieved?
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As many of you know I'm a passionate and active supporter for our wonderful police, paramedics and fire service. No doubt the excellent work they do justifies a few pounds off their battered cod. But what about our social workers, teachers or business owners and private sector employees who are absolutely essential and of equal value? They too will face stresses and strains and deserve recognition. Without all factions of society Britain would grind to a halt.
In an age of equality, I find it rather bizarre that we openly trumpet one job over another. The emergency services rightly command respect and appreciation. This 'glow' is not universally enjoyed by others in less fashionable jobs. From our amazing care workforce to our sewage engineers, who literally save us all from a terrible fate, it is so easy to make the case for each sector and their indisputable value to the community. Maybe business owners who contribute so much to the treasury, yet take home a lot less than perceived, should be rewarded too. Any debate about which workers deserve certain benefits has the potential to be divisive. I'm confident in my belief that each and every one of the vocations listed above would suffer from the loss of the other.
Maybe this scheme could be adapted to include more vocations. Although this offer elicits unease within, I'd support our vital emergency service workers continuing to enjoy these kinds of perks. I'd just ask those orchestrating and running these schemes to consider a broader workforce.
Often facing the prospect of grabbing a quick bite where they can and having to adapt meal times around work, no doubt these kinds of incentives help. But we should remember that many employees working for our core services enjoy in-work benefits which many others (like carers) could only dream of.Where possible, it would be nice to see these positive initiatives widened to be reflective of the broad range of work which ensures Britain continues to prosper and grow.