The fast food chain has announced all McDonalds employees will be offered a choice between having fixed hours employment contracts or zero-hours contracts.
McDonalds has been trialling the move in 23 UK outlets, including both company-owned and franchise restaurants, the BBC has reported.
In a statement, the company revealed that during the trial, only 20 per cent of McDonalds employees chose to move to a fixed hours contract, with most opting instead for the flexibility of zero-hours contracts.
Commenting on the trial, McDonalds’ UK CEO, Paul Pomroy, said: “The clear majority of our employees are happy with their flexible contracts, but some have told us that more fixed hours would help them get better access to some financial products.
McDonalds currently has 115,000 employees in Britain, most of which are on zero-hours contracts, and the fast food firm has been criticised in the past for its use of the controversial employment practice.
Following McDonalds’ announcement, secretary of the GMB workers’ union’s southern region, Paul Maloney, outlined what the firm should be offering staff by way of fixed employment contracts.
“Workers at McDonalds should be offered up to 40 hours of work a week, and permanent contracts to include annual leave, sick pay and a pension scheme,” he said.
The move comes at a time when zero-hours contracts are being used by UK employers more widely than ever before. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 910,000 British workers were on zero-hours at the end of 2016, an increase of 110,000 from the previous year.
Data from the ONS has also shown that the hospitality sector, including fast food businesses like McDonalds, is responsible for more zero-hour workers than any other sector in the UK, employing a quarter of the entire zero-hour workforce.
Pomroy went on to say: “Thanks to the support of our franchisees, we are able to respond to our people’s needs, and will begin to roll out fixed hours’ contracts, including new joiners, across the course of the year.”
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