Two more major fast food chains in New Zealand have followed Restaurant Brands’ lead in abandoning zero hour contracts for employees. Takeaway retailers have been under pressure from Unite Union, whose national director said last week if Restaurant Brands could stop the contracts, so could McDonald’s, BK and Wendy’s.
A McDonald’s spokesperson says after much discussion and collective bargaining process with its union, it has completed a review of its contracts structuring.
“We understand that having security of hours is important to our people, and as such, at our most recent collective bargaining meeting we have presented the following: All McDonald’s employees will receive 80 percent security of hours up to a 40 hour cap, based on the average of the previous 12 weeks,” the spokesperson says.
They say the contract structuring has been common practice for scheduling in McDonald’s restaurants, but it will now be formally written into employee agreements.
“We will continue to bargain in good faith and hope to reach a mutually acceptable agreement soon,” the spokesperson says.
Negotiations with the unions will continue until an agreement is reached.
McDonald’s has 161 restaurants nation wide, with 80 percent owned by franchisees, who run the stores as independent businesses.
In 2013, the company employed over 9000 staff in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, pizza chain Hell Pizza has reviewed and revised its policy for zero hour contracts.
Employees at its 65 New Zealand stores are guaranteed weekly hours, which will be implemented in new employee contracts by June 1, 2015.
Hell Pizza general manager Ben Cumming says the company believes all of its franchisees acted in good faith with employees’ hours of work prior to the change.
“As such, we don’t foresee the change having any material effect on our operations or staff,” Cumming says.
There has been no word from Burger King and Wendy’s about whether they will move to get rid of zero hour contracts.