McDonald’s has been criticised by pay campaigners for its policy not to give staff more money for working on Christmas Day.
McDonald’s UK does not have a standard hourly wage for staff, with hourly pay ranging between £5.50 and £10 an hour depending on age and experience.
The fast food chain said there is no pay enhancement for employees who work on a bank holiday or Sundays, and that this policy also applies to staff working on Christmas Day.
A spokesman said: “Very few of our restaurants are actually open on Christmas Day, and we do not change our rate of pay.”
There are 1,261 McDonalds branches in the UK, and up to 100 will stay open on Christmas Day. These include branches in Haringey, north London; Small Heath, Birmingham; and Dunstable, Bedfordshire. Matthew Bolton, executive director of Citizens UK, which campaigns for higher wages, said: “It is disappointing that a global food chain that makes billions a year can’t find the extra money for the Christmas Day shift.”
How McDonald’s compares to other restaurants McDonald’s Christmas Day pay policy contrasts starkly with the policies of several other major high-street fast food chains.
A spokesman for Pret A Manger said that, while the majority of its outlets will be closed on Christmas Day, staff will be paid double if they do work. Workers at pub chain JD Wetherspoon will also receive double pay, while staff at the Slug and Lettuce pub chain will be paid time-and-a-half.
There is no legal requirement for UK workers to receive extra pay on bank holidays, and therefore UK workers are not entitled to receive a bonus for working on Christmas Day.
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union, which represents workers in the fast food industry and argues all workers should be paid double on Christmas Day, said: “Global corporations like McDonalds who pay no extra for bank holidays or anti-social hours should recognise the sacrifices that their workers are making.”
Rights: Bank Holiday pay While there is no legal requirement for companies to pay staff extra for working a Bank Holiday, workers do have some rights when it comes to negotiating their pay.
The job advice organisation Work-Smart – backed by the TUC – says any extra payment is up to your employer, and must state this in your contract when you agree to take the job.
“If your employer has regularly offered you double pay in the past, such that it has become ‘custom and practice’, and they are now refusing to honour that norm, it could count as a breach of contract,” it said.
If you suspect a breach, WorkSmart recommends consulting your union representative or seeking legal advice. McDonald’s rival, Burger King, did not comment on its Christmas Day pay policy while coffee giants Starbucks and Costa did not respond to requests for comment.
KFC, Nando’s and Caffè Nero do not open any of their UK branches on Christmas Day. McDonald’s UK operates on a franchise model, meaning most of its branches are run by independent owners. A restaurants costs between £400,000 and £800,000 to buy.