Greggs becomes latest High Street chain to offer pronoun badges

Greggs becomes latest High Street chain to offer pronoun badges for staff ‘after wave of demand from workers’

  • Bakers Greggs have served up new pronoun badges for staff to wear at work 
  • The optional IDs lets people show off their preferred pronouns to the public
  • Comes amid a series of different companies doing the same, to mixed reception 

High Street bakers Greggs – famous for its sausage rolls and pasties – have started letting staff put their pronouns on their name badges.

The sweet and savoury food giant say they brought in the option after a deluge of requests from staff.

Now – if they choose – they can put she/her/hers, he/him/his or they/them/theirs to their badges.

They are said to even be allowed to use neopronouns, which can include ze/zir and fae/faer.

The sweet and savoury food giant say they brought in the option after a deluge of requests from staff

Brendan Clarke-Smith, the Conservative MP for Bassetlaw, told The Telegraph: ‘I think customers are probably more bothered about sausage rolls than they are about gender roles.

‘As ideas go, this one is very much half-baked.’

Greggs say the badges are optional and no-one has to include their pronouns if they do not wish.

The issue of pronouns on name badges has sparked much controversy in recent months.

The Virgin Atlantic airline introduced optional pronoun badges for teams and customers

Virgin Atlantic announced among other changes they would have specific pronoun badges for staff, but others have been less  well-received. 

Halifax’s pronouns badge PR disaster in July sparked an exodus of customers and their savings.

Britons were said to have been closing their accounts en masse after the bank’s social media team told them to leave if they don’t like their new badges to help avoid ‘accidental misgendering’ of staff.

One account holder told MailOnline that he and his family had pulled out investments and savings worth £450,000 while many more said they are closing ISAs after they accused the bank of ‘alienating’ them with ‘pathetic virtue signalling’.

Another reader cancelled his Halifax credit cards online and told customer services: ‘Pronouns matter when used properly, I will not be told by a bank what I can and can’t’. Other critic said: ‘I care because they paid someone to come up with this rubbish but they keep closing branches’.

Branding expert Martin Townsend said at the time that Halifax’s policy was a ‘Ratner moment’ and an ‘astonishing’ mistake that will be considered one of the biggest PR blunders in recent history.

He told LBC: ‘It’s a Ratner moment I would say. It’s astonishing that they do something to make themselves look right on and virtue signalling – and they end up looking like the most old fashioned bullies, telling them: “If you don’t like it you’re welcome to leave”. It’s extraordinary. Who treats their customers like that? I’ve never heard of a company inviting their customers to go. How is that inclusive?’.

Natwest, Nationwide and HSBC all have optional pronoun policies for badges. HSBC entered the debate and shared the Halifax post, tweeting its 101,000 followers: ‘We stand with and support any bank or organisation that joins us in taking this positive step forward for equality and inclusion. It’s vital that everyone can be themselves in the workplace’. 

The row began when Halifax, which was propped up by the taxpayer to the tune of £30billion as part of a 2008 bailout, tweeted its 118,000 followers that it would allow staff to display their pronouns on their name badges, in a post that read ‘pronouns matter’.

When contacted for comment, Greggs told the Telegraph the badges were entirely optional and said they had been ‘well-received internally’.

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