Two McDonald’s fastfood restaurants in the UK have been fined £12,400 (US$17,700) for illegally employing underage children. The company that holds the franchise for the restaurants, Ikhya Enterprises, admitted 20 offences of employing schoolchildren. The cases include one girl who worked a double shift of 16 hours on a Saturday and another who worked the late shift until 2am on a school night.

The two restaurants are located in Camberley, Surrey, one of the UK’s most affluent areas. Officers visiting the outlets discovered that none of the children involved had work permits, which an employer is obliged to obtain from a local authority if hiring children of school age.

At this stage the company was given a formal warning and told to apply for permits. A subsequent visit from child employment officers turned up 51 breaches of the regulations. Children aged 15 and 16 are allowed to work, but only for eight hours on a Saturday during school term time, and only for two hours at the end of a school day – but before 7pm.

The case is a huge embarrassment for McDonald’s, which places great emphasis on being an ethical employer. It highlights the responsibility held by franchisees, which take decisions on whether to employ schoolchildren.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

Leading Restaurant Chains in Europe

Fast Food & Home Delivery Outlets Plus