McDonald’s promotes non-traditional working with ‘Let’s talk about flex’ campaign

mcdonald'sFast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s has partnered with flexibility campaigner Anna Whitehouse, also known as Mother Pukka, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and online community Working Mums to promote flexible working.

The organisation is hosting a series of ‘Let’s talk about flex’ events at McDonald’s restaurants, where attendees can book one-to-one consultations. The first was held in London on 19 September 2018, with further events planned in Glasgow and Manchester in October and November.

In April 2017, McDonald’s began to offer employees the choice between flexible and fixed contracts with minimum guaranteed hours. The organisation reports that 90% of its staff have chosen to stay on flexible contracts.

McDonald’s recently commissioned a YouGov poll, carried out between 27 and 31 July 2018 among a sample of 1,100 parents in the UK, that discovered that only 5% of parents favour traditional nine-to-five working hours.

Despite the popularity of flexible working, 73% of parents said they did not have the option in their current role.

The research also revealed that 59% of full-time employees with children would prefer to start work between 6am and 8am, while 39% of parents would opt to work longer hours in return for a shorter working week, with the figure rising to 50% for those with children under four years of age.

Gillian Nissim, founder of Working Mums, said: “The potential to rethink how we work, where we work, when we work and why we work is immense, especially for parents. Growing numbers of people with children are feeling frustrated with the strait jacket of working nine to five and want a job that fits better with their commitments outside work.

“This research further illustrates how flexible working can be mutually beneficial for both employees and employers, providing more motivated, loyal and productive employees.”

The first ‘Let’s talk about flex’ event was held in North London, and gave attendees the opportunity to speak with three experts in flexible working: Sue Coe, head of employment at The Equality and Human Rights Commission, Steph Douglas, founder of Don’t Buy Her Flowers, and Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD.

Whitehouse said: “I have been freelancing for most of my working life but it’s only as a parent that I’ve realised how important some flexibility is and how hard it is for two parents to work full-time in office jobs.

“That is why I’ve been lobbying the government and spreading the word with our ‘Flex appeal’ campaign for three years and we are delighted to be working with McDonald’s using their footprint across the country to help us spread the message further.”