During a grilling from MPs, Alistair Macrow also revealed that McDonald’s UK was currently receiving between one and two sexual harassment claims a week.
Macrow appeared before the Business and Trade Committee earlier today (14 November) following the BBC reporting in July that it had gathered more than 100 allegations of sexual and racial abuse as well as harassment, homophobia and bullying as part of an investigation into workplace conditions at McDonald’s.
He said that McDonald’s UK had received 407 employee complaints ‘of a varying nature’ since the BBC published its findings.
The group has 1,450 restaurants, of which 89% are operated by franchisees. Macrow said that as yet no franchisees had yet lost their contracts as a result of the claims.
McDonald’s is one of the UK’s largest private-sector employers with more than 170,000 people working within its restaurants.
It also has one of the UK’s youngest workforces, with three quarters of staff aged 16 to 25.
Following the BBC’s investigation, Macrow admitted the business had ‘fallen short’ and pledged to ‘root out’ any behaviour or conduct that fell below the high standards it expects of staff by setting up a special investigation unit.
The BBC originally launched its investigation in February after McDonald’s Restaurants Limited signed the legal agreement with the EHRC in response to concerns about the handling of sexual harassment complaints made by staff in its UK restaurants.
It followed the publication of a report detailing a ‘toxic culture’ that saw ‘at least 1,000 women abused and predatory employees moved to different stores rather than sacked’.
At the time, Macrow claimed his company had ‘a strong track record’ in protecting its workforce and that he welcomed the opportunity to work with the EHRC to further strengthen it.