Young workers to benefit from partnership between McDonald’s and the Fair Work Ombudsman

9 April 2014

McDonald's Australia has entered a new partnership with the Fair Work Ombudsman to continue to improve workplace practices at its restaurants across the country.

The company has made workplace compliance a high priority by signing a second Proactive Compliance Deed with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

A new two-year agreement aims to ensure that more than 90,000 employees (mostly casuals) at 922 McDonald's restaurants are paid correctly.

McDonald's Director of Human Resources, Melissa Roseworne, says the company considers it "a great privilege, but also a great responsibility" to employ so many young people.

"We work hard to provide a world-class work environment for our employees," she said.

"Our continued partnership with the Fair Work Ombudsman is an example of our commitment to continuously improve and contribute to our reputation as one of Australia's best places to work."

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James has welcomed the company's attitude.

"McDonald's acknowledges there are always opportunities for continuous improvement in the workplace, and it is now seeking out these opportunities," she said.

"By signing up to this Proactive Compliance Deed, the company is demonstrating its commitment to being an employer of choice for young Australians. 

"An employer of choice goes beyond meeting minimum obligations. It's a business that continues to look for ways to improve - and this is what McDonald's is doing through this new partnership with us."

McDonald's signed the Fair Work Ombudsman's first Proactive Compliance Deed in April, 2011. Under the first agreement, it self-audited about 8500 wage transactions for the previous two years.

The company's self-auditing revealed 100 per cent compliance for wages paid in 2009 and 97 per cent for wages paid in 2010.

McDonalds approached the Fair Work Ombudsman after the first Deed concluded, offering its commitment to ongoing compliance with federal workplace laws.

Ms James says the first Deed saw McDonald's undertake responsive, self-regulated compliance activities that have improved the way it manages workplace relations both internally and externally.

"Throughout the course of the second deed, McDonald's will get further opportunities to review how current systems are working, and evolve these systems if they find ways to avoid errors or do things better," she said.

"This initiative provides a great opportunity for improvement across a range of areas in the business which will have a positive impact on relationships with its staff, and also the bottom line."

Under the terms of the new Deed, the Fair Work Ombudsman will refer workplace queries it receives from employees that haven't already been raised with McDonald's back to the company for resolution internally.

McDonald's has appointed a dedicated staff member to handle new inquiries from its employees about their wages and entitlements.

A full report on all the matters handled will be provided to the Fair Work Ombudsman after 12 months and again after two years, including the number of complaints, the time taken to resolve them and any underpayments rectified.

All McDonald's employees have been advised of the initiative via the company's internal website.

The Fair Work Ombudsman website - www.fairwork.gov.au - has a range of free tools and resources employers can use to ensure they are meeting their obligations under workplace laws.

Resources to assist employers wanting to work at best practices are also available, such as an Online Learning Centre with interactive courses and Best Practice Guides on a range of topics, including hiring young workers.  

Employers and employees seeking further information and advice can visit the website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is also available on 13 14 50.

Small business employers calling the Fair Work Infoline can opt to be put through to the Small Business Helpline to receive priority service.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Find out more:

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Senior Media Adviser
Mobile: 0457 924 146
penelope.rowe@fwo.gov.au

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