Update from Chief Executive Officer Alistair Macrow


A statement from Alistair Macrow, CEO McDonald’s UK and Ireland

21st July 2023, 9am  

The allegations I have heard this week are personally and professionally shocking.  I would like to reiterate my unreserved apology to, and empathy with, all those affected in any way, and I commend their bravery in coming forward.

We have clearly fallen short in some critical areas, and I am determined to root out any behaviour or conduct that falls below the high standards of respect, safety and inclusion we demand of everyone at McDonald’s as detailed in our global brand standards.

I have identified three immediate action areas:

Investigation and resolution

Today, I am establishing a dedicated Investigation Handling Unit.

The Unit will have oversight on all cases and the power to refer the most serious cases to a third-party legal team staffed by specialist investigators. The Unit will be run by HR and Legal professionals full time until at least the end of this year.

Any substantiated breaches of our code of conduct will be met with the most severe measures up to, and including, dismissal.

I commit to all former or current employees, who have experienced any type of harassment, abuse, discrimination, and victimisation that the full weight of our Investigation Handling Unit will be applied in pursuit of resolution. 

Escalation protocols

Many cases allege failures of appropriate and timely escalation in response to issues.

This is in direct contravention of McDonald’s non-negotiable global standards.

It is not enough to have safeguarding processes – they must operate consistently to the highest levels. To ensure that, I will also appoint external experts to independently evaluate the performance of our escalation protocols and to assess their effectiveness, general accessibility, and the extent of employee understanding and awareness.

This will include direct employee feedback on the escalation protocols.

This will report directly to me.

Confidence to speak up

It is crucial that people feel safe and able to speak up. Clearly this has not been the case in some parts of our business. I will engage recognised external experts in this area and from there lead a company-wide conversation aimed at ensuring there is wholehearted confidence in and support for a ‘speaking up’ culture. 

This will include ensuring all managers are clear on how to respond when issues arise. 

I will make sure that everyone is in no doubt of my own unequivocal insistence on zero tolerance of harassment of any kind and to ensure our non-negotiable message of respect and inclusivity is heard clearly throughout our business. 

Alongside this I am going to assemble a panel of restaurant crew employees from across the country to operate as an advisory group to help embed ‘speak up’ confidence throughout our business with special regard for our tens of thousands of younger employees. We must, and we will, always operate to the highest standards – and that is my mission over the coming months.

We intend to move at a pace in line with the gravity of the issues but also ensuring we are fair and accurate in our investigations, and any resulting enhancements.

Alistair Macrow

CEO, McDonald’s, UK & Ireland

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