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The head of McDonald’s in the UK, Paul Pomroy has defended the fast food chain’s decision to maintain staff on zero-hour contracts despite the political issues raised about zero-hour contracts in the last year.
Despite the criticism of the contract type in the General Election, the boss of the UK operation stated that staff loved the “flexibility” on offer under the contracts, even though some had claimed that such contracts were exploiting workers.
According to a Mcdonald’s survey on contract types around 80,000 UK workers are on such contracts, amounting to around 80% of its’ workforce on the minumum wage. However according to a poll carried out on members of staff 92% were satisfied with their contract status.
In an interview with the BBC he said: “We still have zero-hours contracts and they are very flexible contracts, so people at McDonald’s get their shifts two weeks in advance and we allow employees to go and work elsewhere.
“We have a very good system of feedback from our employees and having surveyed our employees they still love the flexibility.”
McDonald’s and other companies were criticised for their use of zero-hour contracts with around 700,000 members of staff on the type of contract. McDonald’s said all of its employees had permanent contracts and were entitled to holiday and sick pay, staff discounts, training and regular performance reviews which is more than some employers offer. The company also said that staff were entitled to work elsewhere and were not locked into a contract only with the company.
One of the major issues with zero-hour contracts is that although some companies offer certain employment rights, many do not. Some workers are forced to come in at short notice, are not given proper training and do not have sick pay or holiday pay for staff.
Staff are also not given consistent hours and have no sort of holiday pay or sick pay. Their employment rights are exceptionally limited in comparison to others who have a full-time, or even hourly based contact. Some workers could get zero hours work if they are not required, with the inconsistent rate making it difficult for members of staff to survive.
McDonald’s and other workplaces offering such contracts have been heavily criticised, Philip Pepper, an employment lawyer on the matter criticised such contracts but pointed out that exclusivity contracts have been made illegal. He said: “McDonald’s seems to have their working practices in order by offering all staff rotas two weeks in advance, and many employees welcome the flexibility.
“However, it would be wrong to assume that zero-hours contracts are suitable for all employers, and they should seriously consider whether the benefits of the contracts are workable for their business.”
If you have been mistreated in the workplace, whether it be threatened due to an exclusivity contract or if you have been harassed or discriminated in the workplace, you could be entitled to take legal action. For representation and advice regarding any matter of employment law contact us today using our online contact form.