McDonald's faces class action for allegedly not giving breaks to staff

Company insists it's mindful and compliant of its responsibilities

McDonald's faces class action for allegedly not giving breaks to staff

Fast food giant McDonald's is facing class action that alleges its franchises in Australia did not give staff their entitled 10-minute paid rest break.

The class action was filed by Shine Lawyers, which claimed that the company breached the McDonald's Australia Enterprise Agreement 2013 (EBA) and the Fast Food Industry Award 2010 (Award).

"The class action alleges McDonald's operated a system of work which operated to deny workers their right to paid breaks in breach of the EBA and the Award," said the group in a statement.

The EBA and the Award require McDonald's and its franchises to provide one 10-minute break for employees working between four and nine hours, and two 10-minute paid breaks for those working for more than nine hours.

According to Shine Lawyers, the class action follows a judgment in August 2020 where the Federal Court found that a McDonald's franchisee misrepresented to staff about their paid 10—minute break entitlement, and for also failing to provide a worker with them.  

Shine Lawyers filed the class action on behalf of the McDonald's employees reportedly victimized by the company, with support from the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union.

"Shine Lawyers is grateful to have the support of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union in this class action," it said in its page.

Read more: McDonald's appoints new global CHRO

McDonald's response

Meanwhile, McDonald's in a statement to 9news said it has received the formal notification of the filing and is currently considering the matter.

A spokesperson from the company told the news outlet that it is mindful of the provisions inside the EBA and the Award and said it is compliant with them.

"McDonald's Australia is mindful of its obligations under applicable employment laws, including the Fast Food Industry Award and the former enterprise agreement," the spokesperson told 9news.

"McDonald's believes its restaurants complied with applicable instruments, provided rest breaks to employees and were consistent with historic working arrangements," it added.

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