McDonald’s has signed a legal agreement in response to concerns about how it addressed sexual harassment complaints from UK staff.
The legally binding contract with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) agrees to commit McDonald’s to a number of measures to improve worker protection in the United Kingdom.
The agreement follows strikes in several US cities on the same issue in 2018, the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) claimed a “toxic culture” at UK locations.
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In 2019, a union representing some employees claimed that over 1000 complaints had been filed.
The agreement involves communicating a “zero tolerance” strategy to sexual harassment, providing anti-harassment training, and improving policies to respond to complaints more effectively.
Alistair Macrow, chief executive of McDonald’s in the UK said harassment and abuse “have no place in our society or at McDonald’s”.
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He responded: “As one of the UK’s leading employers, the safety and wellbeing of our people is our absolute priority.
“It is hugely important to me that everyone in our organisation feels safe, respected and included at all times – this is core to the values of our business.
“We already have a strong track record in this area and I now welcome the opportunity to work with the EHRC to further strengthen this.”
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The company had previously committed to anti-harassment training for its global workforce in 2021 after it was revealed at least 50 employees worldwide had filed charges against the chain in the previous five years.
Ian Hodson, national president of the BFAWU, said: “It’s shameful that one of the richest corporations on the planet doesn’t take sexual harassment seriously until we raise it.
“I pay tribute to all our members who have spoken out on this issue and encourage McDonald’s to work with us in ending sexual harassment.”
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EHRC chairwoman Baroness Kishwer Falkner said: “We are pleased that McDonald’s has signed this agreement to signal their intent to make their restaurants safe places to work.
“The improvements they put in place can set an example for others to follow, whether in the hospitality industry or elsewhere.”
Source: Sky News
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