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McDonald's Plan For Level 3 Unlawful, Says Union

The draft plan for Level 3 sent to Unite Union by McDonald's appears to breach alert level 3 settings and public health requirements says Unite National Director Mike Treen. This means it is also likely to be an unlawful breach of health and safety obligations.

The training material given to staff has them passing product directly to customers in drive through closer than two metres and requires them to handle cash. This does not meet the requirements to maintain physical distancing and have contactless interactions.

Below are the photos from McDonald's training document. Unite believes these proposed practices are unlawful.

We believe this will put the health and safety of our members at risk and potentially create a danger point for customers who will be receiving food from staff who have not been physically distancing from other customers and who have been handling cash and food at the same time.

Other fast food operators have taken extra measures, but there are still problems.

Burger King plans to accept cash but at least it is at a separate window and is separated from food.

Restaurant Brands which operates KFC, Pizza Hut and Car's Jr stores, is refusing cash.

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But Burger King and Restaurant Brands plan to receive payments and hand over food using a tray through a window that does not maintain a two-meter distance. This, therefore, breaches alert level 3 settings and public health requirements.

Wendy's appears to be the only company that seems fully compliant to us. Their video to customers seems to meet the requirements of social distancing by requiring customers to wait until drive-through windows are closed before taking food that is placed on a table outside and they don't accept cash. (See video here)

Unite Union wants to know if these plans from these big companies have been signed off by the government or not?

We understand that high-level lobbying by these companies was undertaken to get approval to open drive-throughs at Level 3.

The strict requirements for physical distancing and contactless transactions remain in place, whether click and collect or drive through. Just because they already have a drive-through area, doesn’t mean they don’t have to take the extra measures to make that area compliant. We are concerned that profit is being put ahead of safety and this will be a danger to both customers and workers.

What McDonald's is proposing appears unlawful.

Thousands of smaller restaurants are putting in place genuine processes at some expense to be able to operate at level 3. What makes McDonald's think different rules apply to them.

If the government is going to allow itself to be lobbied, are they also going to check for compliance?

Unite Union also has concerns that the physical distancing required in fast food stores will also prove difficult to achieve and will be monitoring that next week to keep members safe

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