Zero hour contracts allow employees to hire staff with no guarantee of work.
This means that employees must be available to work but are called in only when they are needed, often at short notice.
Their pay depends on the hours they work and sick pay is often not included.
The new proposal promises fast food staff more stability.
At least 80 percent of the workers’ average hours will be guaranteed, using a three-month rolling average of hours.
This is worked up to a maximum of 32 hours a week.
Unite has 2000 members who work at Restaurant Brands, and a vote over the terms of agreement will happen in the next week or so.
The union’s national director, Mike Treen, says the agreement represents a giant step forward for the fast food industry.
He now wants other major fast food chains McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s to follow suit.
Union members at the three chains have voted in support of an industrial and public campaign to end zero contracts.
“It is time for New Zealanders to tell these profitable multi-national chains that they need to stop taking advantage of their often young and vulnerable workers,” Treen says.
“If Restaurant Brands can do it so can McDonald’s, BK and Wendy’s.”
Restaurant Brands’ chief executive Russel Creedy said on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report show this morning that when the union approached the company, he saw change was needed.
“Having permanent staff who stay with us, loyal, long tenure, is part of a successful business model for our industry,” Creedy said.
He said it’s no secret that in the fast food industry, a lot of students are employed and they all have exams around the same time.
“So there’s generally a bit of an exodus of hours worked around exam times and that is problematic for us, because the students are not always available,” he said.
“So getting greater security for availability is important and valuable to us.”