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Wed 26th Apr 2017 - McDonald’s to offer UK staff fixed contracts, begins delivery trial in June
McDonald’s to offer fixed contracts to 115,000 UK workers: McDonald’s is to offer 115,000 UK workers on zero-hours contracts the option of moving to fixed contracts with a minimum number of guaranteed hours every week, The Guardian has reported. The company is to offer fixed-hours contracts after staff in its restaurants complained they were struggling to get loans, mortgages and mobile phone contracts because they were not guaranteed employment each week. The company will initially expand fixed contracts to 50 more restaurants before rolling it out nationwide to existing and new employees later this year. Paul Pomroy, the chief executive of McDonald’s UK, said: “The vast 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.” Pomroy denied that McDonald’s was reacting to political pressure by making the change. “We are reflecting people’s lives. In a growing business we need people to come and work for us, it’s a mutually beneficial approach,” he added. The McDonald’s boss also confirmed that staff who are paid by the hour have had their pay increased by an average of 15% since April 2015. “The hard work of our restaurant teams has enabled us to deliver 44 consecutive quarters of growth in the UK,” Pomroy said. “It’s right that we continue to invest in our people so they can deliver the experience that our customers want and expect.” The changes are part of a modernisation drive by McDonald’s that includes the launch of a premium burger, digital touchscreens in restaurants and a new delivery service that will be trialled from June alongside a partner such as Deliveroo. McDonald’s has defended zero-hours contracts in the past, saying they offer flexibility to workers. However, the company has been targeted by protesters over its treatment of staff. Earlier this month, campaigners from Fast Food Rights and Better Than Zero dressed as clowns and demonstrated outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Glasgow over its use of zero-hours contracts. Meanwhile, McDonald’s is aiming to roll out its mooted delivery service trial in June in a bid to grab a bite of the burgeoning delivery food market. The company has a global team looking at the potential to offer a food delivery service across various markets but Pomroy said he expected to have a trial up and running in the UK in just over a month’s time. “We will start with a delivery service from the right number of sites that gives us scale,” he said. “I expect we will take a similar approach to the way we rolled out our app, starting small, learning quickly and scaling up very quickly.” Pomroy said delivery of food would be carried out by an external company, which could mean one of the major food delivery services such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo could be a potential partner. McDonald’s last month suggested it would target the US, France, Germany, the UK and Canada as markets where it might deliver food but did not at that time give a date for when the service would begin. The development comes as the company prepares to expand the pilot of its app in 22 UK stores to 900 sites across the country this summer. The app allows customers to save menu preferences in their device and when they enter a McDonald’s site, they can ‘check in’ with their device at a digital scanner and have their order delivered to their table. Alongside the announcement, the company unveiled its first quarter results which showed group wide statutory sales had dropped 4pc to $5.67bn (£4.42bn) for the three months to March 31.Management said was largely due to the cost of refranchising in the US and markets including Germany and France. But like-for-like sales rose 4%, the group added. Pre-tax profits rose nearly 15pc to $1.8bn. The number of UK stores rose by ten to 1,270 in the quarter under review.

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