Safe & Respectful Workplaces
We believe we all have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of employees and anyone who enters a McDonald’s-brand restaurant.
We are committed to prioritizing safety in all our offices and Company-owned restaurants around the world, as well as supporting our Franchisees in doing the same in the restaurants they own and operate. Across restaurants globally, we are working together with our Franchisees in continuing to foster respectful workplaces, where people can be themselves without fear of harassment, discrimination, retaliation or violence.
Read more about how we uphold human rights across our value chain on our Human Rights page.
Across all markets globally, we added to existing resources and are making the following additional progress:
- Developing and localizing policies, along with training for crew and managers, to mitigate and help prevent harassment, discrimination, retaliation and violence in all restaurants. We remain committed to supporting markets and franchised restaurants by providing optional tools and training resources.
- Requiring that all restaurants have reporting mechanisms in place to raise concerns.
- Requiring that every restaurant complete an employee feedback survey at least annually, and develop an accompanying action plan that is shared with crew and managers.
- Deploying certain health and safety requirements and a market-level assessment process to evaluate these requirements.
Our commitment to respecting the health and safety of people is incorporated in our policies, codes of conduct and guiding principles.
- Global Brand Standards
- Global Statement of Principles on Workplace Violence Prevention (PDF – 144 KB)
- Global Statement of Principles Against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (PDF – 272 KB)
Find all of our human rights policies and standards on our dedicated Human Rights page.
Implementing Standards and Assessing Compliance
McDonald’s introduced Global Brand Standards to help foster safe, respectful and inclusive workplaces that protect the physical and psychological safety of all crew and customers. These standards focus on four key areas:
- Protecting employee health and safety.
- Preventing workplace violence.
- Preventing harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
- Listening through restaurant employee feedback.
The Global Brand Standards apply across all restaurants – more than 39,000 locations – and help advance a culture of safety and security for people working at McDonald’s-brand restaurants and for all McDonald’s customers worldwide. All Company-owned and franchised restaurants must implement these standards and, starting in 2022, are assessed on each criterion in accordance with the applicable McDonald’s market’s business evaluation processes.
We remain committed to supporting markets and franchised restaurants by providing implementation support, including a suite of policies, tools and training. In 2021, we supplemented our existing respectful workplace training with a new global eLearning module, “Building a Safe, Respectful and Inclusive Workplace,” which focuses on preventing harassment, discrimination and retaliation. This training for crew and managers was made available in multiple languages and offered to Franchisees and Developmental Licensees (DLs) in 2022 as an optional means of meeting the Global Brand Standards requirement in every restaurant. We also provide an optional suite of workplace violence prevention training offerings to Franchisees and DLs in all global markets. These efforts underscore the importance McDonald’s places on the safety and security of customers and the people who proudly serve them.
Additionally, our Global Statement of Principles on Workplace Violence Prevention and Global Statement of Principles Against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation set forth policy criteria required of all Company-owned restaurants. The principles set out expectations on workplace conduct, manager responsibilities, employee resources and investigation processes, and apply to all Company-owned restaurant and Corporate employees. They are also provided for optional use by Franchisees and DLs based on their respective locations and circumstances.
Workplace Health and Safety
Guided by our mission and values, McDonald’s strives to foster safe working environments for crew and safe experiences for customers. We frequently evaluate the effectiveness of all health and safety programs and set performance improvement objectives, with an aim to prevent occupational injury and ill health to anyone in McDonald’s-brand restaurants globally.
McDonald’s has deployed health and safety requirements and a market-level assessment process to evaluate these requirements. Health and safety assessments are conducted annually across all Company-owned or franchised McDonald’s restaurants to reinforce a culture of safety, and actions are taken if a restaurant does not meet criteria.
In 2021, McDonald’s developed new health and safety programs and resources, including a guide on how restaurants can develop a fire prevention and protection program, a self-assessment tool to identify site-specific fire risks and guidance on prevention practices for common fire risks. These were developed with the support of the newly created Global Safety Advisory Council, a cross-functional group designed to support alignment, approval and deployment of resources.
Protecting Crew and Customers During the Pandemic
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, safety measures were consistently reviewed and strengthened as required, including increased training. In 2021, safety measures included producing a playbook outlining the standards and processes for all restaurants in the U.S. to implement, in addition to state and local laws, before reopening a dining room.
McDonald’s ongoing effort to elevate hygiene and safety standards and procedures is informed by guidance from health ministries in the countries where we operate, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other health and science experts. These safety measures included:
- Crew wellness and temperature checks.
- Personal protective equipment (gloves, face coverings and protective barriers).
- Social distancing in restaurants.
- Expanding contactless ordering and payments, and sealing bags for delivery.
- Timed handwashing for employees.
- More frequent disinfection of counters, door handles and kiosks.
- Providing hand sanitizer in dining rooms.
- Allowing paid time-off for employees at Company-owned restaurants who were experiencing COVID-19-related issues, such as quarantine and illness.
Market Focus: Responding to COVID-19 in U.S. Communities
In May 2021, we announced a partnership with the Biden Administration to give millions of McDonald’s customers in the U.S. better information on COVID-19 vaccines. Through this partnership, McDonald’s hot McCafé® cups and McDelivery® seal stickers directs customers to vaccines.gov, where they can learn more about vaccines and access local vaccination centers.
Some Franchisees also allowed their McDonald’s restaurants to be used as vaccination centers. For example, Owner/Operators in Flint, Michigan and Nashville, North Carolina worked with their communities to set up vaccination sites, offering free COVID-19 vaccines and, in some cases, free McDonald’s meals with their shots.
In the U.S., we donated one million N95 masks to Chicago and the state of Illinois, and $1 million to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to ensure nonprofits had the supplies they needed.
Market Focus: Promoting Health and Safety in Canada
In Canada, McDonald’s has developed a cross-functional team to execute an annual business plan to improve health and safety management, supporting incident reduction, claims management and continuous improvement. Quarterly reporting is provided to senior management to inform on progress against key performance indicators.
The Canadian market is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve its health and safety measures. Market-level health and safety noticeboards are available to all restaurant staff, providing guidance on how to raise issues related to health and safety, including how to submit a Personal Action Letter for any concerns.
Market Focus: Leadership as Champions of People Safety in Australia
In 2021, McDonald’s management, employees and Franchisees collectively tackled the challenges of managing aggressive customers, including developing a suite of materials and strategies to ensure that everyone feels supported. They also deploy programs for franchised businesses to upskill them in general safety awareness and McDonald’s safety systems, as they continue to evolve.
The Australian stores continue to utilize Donesafe, a digital workplace safety reporting database, to report and manage safety, security and emergency incidents. The software allows the market to identify incident trends and proactively act to reduce injury potential and maintain compliance. It has greatly improved hazard and incident reporting and audit and inspection results, and since its inception annual reporting has increased from 5,000 to more than 30,000 reports per year.