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115,000 UK zero-hours workers will finally have fixed contracts at McDonald’s

After McDonald’s staff complained they were struggling to get loans, mortgages and phone contracts because they were not guaranteed employment each week, the fast-food company made an unexpected arrangement.

The fast-food chain decided 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.

This move is a significant development in the debate about employee rights as McDonald’s is one of the biggest users of controversial zero-hours contracts in the UK.


In the past McDonald’s has defended zero-hours contracts, claiming they offer flexibility to workers, but the company has been targeted by protesters over its treatment of staff.

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.

Paul Pomroy, the chief executive of McDonald’s UK, denied that McDonald’s was reacting to political pressure by making the change: “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.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.”

Claire Reynolds