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McDonald’s moved workers around S’pore outlets during circuit breaker to ‘stay nimble with available manpower’

mcdonalds moved workers around spore outlets during circuit breaker to stay nimble with available manpower v1

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McDonald’s Singapore on Sunday (April 19) cited the “impact of the reduced availability of Malaysian employees” in explaining why it moved crew members across different outlets during the circuit breaker period, to support certain branches’ manpower needs.

The company said this was done with precautionary measures in place.

mcdonalds moved workers around spore outlets during circuit breaker to stay nimble with available manpower 1
A notice at a McDonald’s outlet at Causeway Point in Woodlands that has suspended operations on April 19, 2020. All McDonald’s restaurants in Singapore has closed for business till May 4.

This was in response to TODAY’s queries, hours after the fast-food chain announced on Sunday that it was suspending all restaurant operations, including its delivery and drive-through services, from Sunday until May 4 on the advice of the Ministry of Health as a “preventative action” against Covid-19 in Singapore.

To date, seven McDonald’s Singapore employees have been known to contract Covid-19. In its response to TODAY, the company also said that it had put all staff members who worked in the six affected restaurants on a 14-day leave of absence (LOA). These include crew members based at other outlets who had been seconded to the affected restaurants.

The seven infected employees were from these six outlets: Lido, Forum Galleria, Parklane, Geylang East Central, Changi Airport Terminal 3 and its drive-through store at a Shell petrol kiosk in Tampines.

However, TODAY has learnt that crew members from other branches had been seconded to these six outlets, were exposed to the infected employees and thus are having to serve the LOA as well.

A McDonald’s statement dated April 12, when it first revealed that five of its staff were infected, also showed that the employees who contracted Covid-19 had worked at different outlets.

One employee worked at the Lido branch and had also been attached to its Parklane outlet. Another worked at the Parklane outlet but was attached to the Lido store on several days.

McDonald’s did not give a detailed breakdown when TODAY asked for the number of staff members from branches apart from the six affected outlets who were put on LOA, and which outlets these employees were from.

McDonald’s said: “All other employees who worked in the affected restaurants — regardless of whether they were on the same shifts as our affected employees — were informed to serve a company-imposed 14-day LOA notice as a precautionary measure.”

When asked about the considerations McDonald’s weighed up in allowing staff secondment to continue during the circuit breaker period, the company said: “It was necessary for us to stay nimble with manpower availability (especially with the impact of the reduced availability of Malaysian employees situation), and hence natural to leverage our people resources to support specific restaurants that might need more help with staffing — usually within the same geographical area.

“This was done with every safety precautionary measure already put in place for our employees, including an enforcement of personal hygiene, twice-daily temperature-taking, washing of hands and wearing of masks (since early April).”

Sunday’s announcement by McDonald’s that it is suspending all operations until May 4 came two days after the fast-food chain said that all takeaways would be scrapped, and that only deliveries and drive-through services would remain open.

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