McDonald’s has signed an agreement with the UK’s equality watchdog to promise to better protect its staff from sexual harassment following reports of alleged abuse.
The fast food chain has penned an agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to pledge to communicate a “zero tolerance” approach on sexual harassment and deliver anti-harassment training for employees.
It comes after the The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) revealed in 2019 that some 1000 McDonald’s workers in the UK were being subjected to a “toxic” work culture and alleged that NDAs were being used to silence victims of sexual harassment.
At the time, the allegations were revealed in a report by The Independent, in which female McDonald’s workers said they were subject to managers making repeated sexual comments and abusing their access to workers’ contact details in order to “send texts and explicit photos”.
Alistair Macrow, chief executive at McDonald’s Restaurants in UK and Ireland said: “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.”
“The EHRC does not get involved in reaching agreements with organisations who behave poorly with regard to their Equality Act obligations once or twice. It reserves its resources for those that seem to have more widespread systemic problems,” Georgina Calvert-Lee, barrister and employment law expert at Bellevue Law, told City A.M.