McDonald’s Corp. will be offering workers as its company-owned restaurants and its U.S. corporate employees four hours of paid time to get the COVID-19 vaccinations when they become available, the company said.
“Vaccination is essential in the fight against the pandemic, and we are actively encouraging McDonald’s employees to take this important step,” said Tiffanie Boyd, chief people officer for McDonald’s USA, said in a statement.
The Chicago-based burger giant will provide four hours of paid time to crew at McDonald’s corporate-owned US restaurants and to US corporate employees who receive the vaccine.
About 5% of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are company-owned and operated, and the remainder are owned by franchisees.
At least one other large restaurant company has offered four hours of pay for a vaccine incentive as well. Last week, Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants Inc., parent to Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and other casual-dining brands, said it would offer hourly workers up to four hours of pay as incentive to get both of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Gene Lee, Darden CEO and chairman, in a memo to team members said the company would compensate workers two hours of pay for each dose of the vaccine they receive.
Boyd of McDonald’s said: “Ensuring widespread availability and access to the vaccine will require extraordinary partnerships between businesses, governments and community and health organizations, and we’re engaging with government officials and our partners to understand where McDonald’s can further support this work.”
The company emphasized that it would not be requiring crew members at U.S. corporate-owned McDonald’s restaurants or U.S. corporate employees to be vaccinated.
“We will encourage vaccination and connect employees to trusted, third-party experts to provide important information and answer questions they have on the vaccine,” McDonald’s USA said.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a year ago March, McDonald’s USA said it has updated nearly 50 processes to keep restaurant employees and customers safe and has issued a 59-page guide outlining national standards for restaurants.
“These standards include wellness checks, protective barriers, adhering to social-distancing guidelines for customers and crew, using gloves and masks, increasing the frequency of handwashing and moving to contactless operations,” a company spokesperson said.
“Personal protective equipment is in ample supply for all restaurants; to date, more than 110 million masks have been distributed to crew,” the company said.
McDonald’s has more than 38,000 locations in more than 100 countries.
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