Nine out of 10 McDonald’s employees are on zero-hours contracts, it has emerged.
The fastfood chain has admitted it employs 90% of its UK employees on the controversial contract, making it the biggest zero-hours employer in the private sector.
The news comes after Buckingham Palace, Cineworld and Tate galleries were revealed as employers that sign staff up to contracts which offer no guarantee of regular work and no steady income.
Speaking about the contract, a McDonald’s spokeswoman said that said the company has employed zero-hours contract workers since it entered the UK in 1974.
“Many of our employees are parents or students who are looking to fit flexible, paid work around childcare, study and other commitments,” she told the Guardian.
“Employee hours are scheduled in advance and we never ask people to be ‘on call’.
“The zero-hours contracts which all our hourly-paid employees are on do not affect employee benefit entitlement and all of our employees are entitled to a range of benefits including life assurance, employee discounts and access to a range of training and qualifications.”
A survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has shown that 3-4% of the UK workforce are on controversial zero-hours contracts.
Yesterday, business secretary Vince Cable said that although there was “some exploitation” of employees on the contracts but it suited employees in some cases.
“I think at one end of the market there is some exploitation taking place… it can work for the worker as well as the employer,” he told the BBC. Cable is leading a review on the issue and a decision of whether to hold a formal consultation on proposals will be taken in September.
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