McDonald’s UK has launched an internal investigation over allegations that several locations are ignoring Covid-19 regulations, leaving staff “scared” to go to work.
Employees of the fast food chain claim safety rules are repeatedly ignored and management have encouraged workers to carry on “as if we’re not in a pandemic.”
A female staff member from the Greater Manchester area told Sky News that management didn’t enforce Covid guidelines.
"My temperature isn't checked at the start of every shift when it should be, in my store nobody really socially distances. People hug and there is no sort of discipline by the managers for these people that are just breaching the rules,” the unnamed employee said.
"In my store they (colleagues) hug because they think it's funny, but it really isn't. I'm scared to go to work because I live with two people who are clinically vulnerable."
Last month, McDonald’s UK announced they would stay open during the third UK lockdown, promising extra precautions would be in place to protect staff and customers.
However, staff have come forward claiming temperatures are not checked, social distancing screens aren’t always used and they are unable to wash their hands every 30 minutes.
"I've not had my temperature checked at work since July. You are supposed to get covered every half an hour to go and wash your hands but it's not happening" an employee from a Liverpool location told Sky .
"If I was to leave my station to go and wash my hands the manager would be like 'where is she? - she's got orders on the screen' but you are literally going to do something you are supposed to do when Covid is spreading like wildfire - it's unsafe."
Sky reported the employee was currently isolating at home after a coworker tested positive.
Another staffer from a Merseyside McDonald’s said rules are only followed when a representative from head office visits.
"I have literally got zero confidence. I feel like even If I was to approach management it is very passive aggressive - I feel like I could get punished by it and less shifts and treated less favourably,” he said.
"It feels like now every time the rules will be followed is when an area manager or someone from head office comes into the store to visit."
Melissa Evans, a customer experience leader at a McDonald's location in south London, told Sky News while her workplace followed Covid rules, other restaurants were "risking lives by not ensuring that their workers are safe."
"My store is good and we still do all those things but it's a different picture around the country... it's not happening everywhere and a lot of workers are saying they feel unsafe and they are questioning whether we should stay open or not," she said.
A McDonald's spokesperson has insisted only a small number of employees had been effected.
"We continue to work hard with our franchisees and third party safety experts to ensure robust safety measures are in place and being followed, to help protect our people and customers.
"We have regularly reviewed and updated these procedures since the start of the pandemic. We are deeply concerned to hear this feedback, and while we are confident this relates to a very small number of the 130,000 people we employ across the UK & Ireland, we strongly believe that every one of our employees should feel safe within the workplace.
"We are investigating the issues raised as a matter of urgency, and strongly encourage any of our employees with concerns to raise these using the various channels we have in place."
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