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Responding department: Global Sustainability

Stock exchange symbol: (MCD:US)

Does your company have a publicly available commitment to respect human rights?

We reference our commitment to respect human rights in the McDonald's Supplier Code of Conduct and the company's Standards of Business Conduct. Pages 2 and 5: [link] Pages 20 and 23: [link]

Human Rights along the Supply Chain: McDonald’s strives to work with suppliers who share our commitment to CSR & Sustainability within their own supply chains. We expect our suppliers to support our expectation of fundamental rights for all people: to treat their employees with fairness, respect and dignity, and to follow practices that protect health and safety for the people working in their facilities. And just as we are committed to fair employment practices and a safe, healthful and productive work environment for our employees, we expect our suppliers, in turn, to hold their own suppliers to these same standards. Reference: Please see page 49 of our 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report. [link]

Human Rights in Offices and Restaurants: One of the basic principles that guide our behavior, actions, and decisions every day is that we are committed to our people. We demonstrate that commitment in many ways, including through the McDonald’s Standards of Business Conduct. These standards provide clarity, guidance and resources on a wide range of issues that stand for operating with fairness, honesty, and integrity. As they relate to our people, these standards include:

  • Conducting our activities in a manner that respects human rights as set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Treating employees with fairness, respect and dignity.
  • Ensuring employees have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment, intimidation or abuse, sexual or otherwise, or acts or threats of physical violence.
  • Embracing the diversity of employees, franchisees, suppliers and customers.
  • Providing equal treatment and equal employment opportunity.
  • Providing a safe, productive and healthful working environment.
  • Striving to work with suppliers that are committed to our universal principles of doing business in a responsible and ethical manner.

Reference: Please see page 79 of our 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report. [link]

How are human rights governed in your company?

The Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility Committee of the McDonald’s Board of Directors oversees the company's policies and strategies related to sustainability and corporate responsibility, including human rights.

Please see the committee charter and board committee's report on our corporate website: [link] [link]

How are human rights managed within your company?

Human Rights along the Supply Chain: McDonald’s Supplier Workplace Accountability program includes many aspects.The Supplier Code of Conduct outlines our expectation of every McDonald’s supplier. This will include workplaces free from underage workers and forced labor workers, free from harassment, discrimination and abuse and with an expectation that suppliers comply with all labor laws applicable to their operations. McDonald’s suppliers, their facilities, subcontractors and labor hire agencies used within their supply chains shall not employ anyone younger than the minimum employment age according to the applicable laws of the facilities where they do business. Regardless of the country’s minimum working age, suppliers and their facilities and subcontractors may not employ anyone younger than 14. Likewise, McDonald’s values the freedom of workers to accept or leave a job voluntarily. Involuntary prison, forced, bonded or indentured labor, human trafficking and slavery are prohibited. Suppliers and their facilities and subcontractors must ensure their hiring practices, as well as those of any labor or recruitment agencies and subcontractors within their supply chain, and provide workers who meet these expectations. Reference: 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report (p. 50) [link]

Human Rights in Offices and Restaurants: Because of our franchise structure and the number of locations where McDonald’s operates, people policies may differ. Labor standards also vary considerably across the countries and markets where we operate, requiring different approaches to people issues and practices. We care about all McDonald’s employees— those who work for McDonald’s and those who work for franchisees. Not only do we comply with local laws everywhere we operate, but we often go above and beyond legal mandates to provide additional benefits and compensation, deliver training that develops both professional and life skills, and to help protect the health and safety of crew and managers in our restaurants. We expect our franchisees to share our commitment to comply with law and exercise sound employment practices. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees. The company expects its franchisees to maintain high standards of integrity and to abide by all applicable laws and regulations, including laws regarding human rights, dignity and respect, workplace safety, and worker compensation and treatment. Ultimately, franchisees define and implement people practices in their locally-operated restaurants. Reference: 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report (pp. 80-81) [link]

What is the company’s approach to the engagement of stakeholders (including workers, and local communities impacted by the company’s activities), on human rights issues?

We contribute our time, knowledge and financial support to various local, national and global organizations striving for collective solutions, including but not limited to:

  • Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) (member)
  • Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (founding member)
  • Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (member) -World Wildlife Fund (collaborator)
  • Reference: 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report (p. 12) [link]

From a Supplier Workplace Accountability perspective, if a facility provides living space to their workers, this area and our health & safety, structural integrity, etc. expectations are included in our audit scope. If gaps are identified, they are expected to be closed out and validated by a 3rd party. Worker interviews and documentation review are also conducted to validate that workers are not working excessive hours; they are being paid correctly, are not indebted, and are being treated fairly, among other considerations.

Priority human rights issues: What are some of the priority human rights issues for your company?

  • Health  (including environmental  health, workplace  health  & safety)
  • Workplace  diversity  / non-discrimination
  • Forced labour and human trafficking (including in supply chains)
  • Sexual  harassment
  • Access to water
  • Housing
  • Freedom of association  and  trade  union rights
  • Freedom of expression  and/or right to  privacy / digital  rights
  • Conflict  minerals
  • Transparency in  payments to  governments / responsible  tax  practices
  • Women
  • Racial  and  ethnic minorities
  • Children  (including  child labour)
  • Migrant  workers

 

Actions on 'other' issues

Human Rights in Offices and Restaurants: The McDonald’s Standards of Business Conduct provide clarity, guidance and resources on a wide range of issues that stand for operating with fairness, honesty, and integrity. As they relate to our people, these standards include:

Conducting our activities in a manner that respects human rights as set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • Treating employees with fairness, respect and dignity.
  • Ensuring employees have the right to work in a place that is free from harassment, intimidation or abuse, sexual or otherwise, or acts or threats of physical violence.
  • Embracing the diversity of employees, franchisees, customers and suppliers.
  • Providing equal treatment and equal employment opportunity.
  • Providing a safe, productive and healthful working environment.
  • Striving to work with suppliers that are committed to our universal principles of doing business in a responsible and ethical manner.

Reference: Please see page 79 of our 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report. [link]

Human Rights along the Supply Chain: Along the supply chain, auditors for the company measure performance against a number of issues, including 10 that the company considers of utmost importance:

  • Working 21+ days without a rest day of at least 24 consecutive hours.
  • Emergency exits that are locked and/or blocked.
  • Harassment, abuse or discrimination.
  • Any worker not being paid at least minimum wage.
  • Eligibility to work documentation either not available or not completed properly.
  • Under-age labor (either current or historical).
  • Forced labor.
  • Health and safety issues that may threaten life, limb or function of the worker.
  • Denial of access to auditors.
  • Bribe or offer of gift to auditor.

Reference: Please see page 50 of our 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report. [link] Pages 4-6: [link]

How are human rights commitments and information about how the company addresses its human rights impacts communicated, internally and externally?

McDonald's communicates its human rights commitments and how it addresses human rights impacts via the Standards of Business Conduct, Supplier Code of Conduct, annual CSR & Sustainability Report and the corporate website. Pages 2 and 5: [link] Pages 20 and 23: [link]

Pages 49, 50, 79 and 80: [link] Corporate Website: [link] [link]

What provisions does your company have in place to ensure that grievances from workers and affected communities or individuals are heard, and can you provide examples of remedies provided?

McDonald's Standards of Business Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct help minimize and address grievances as they arise along the supply chain. During 2014, Worldwide Supply Chain received a number of grievances which were investigated with corrective actions implemented as necessary.
McDonald’s employees are encouraged to speak honestly and openly. They are expected to raise questions or issues and, where appropriate, use the McDonald’s Business Integrity Line, a phone line reserved for employee calls about ethics and compliance issues. The Business Integrity Line is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by an outside firm experienced in handling sensitive calls. Calls are free of charge, regardless of an employee’s location, and interpreters are available for approximately 170 different languages. Employees may report anonymously, where allowed by law, and no attempt will be made to identify them. McDonald’s follows a strict No Retaliation Policy, which ensures that employees are safe in speaking up and reporting concerns. Reference: Please see page 111 of our 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report. [link]

Which external and collaborative human rights initiatives does your company participate in, and what is the nature of your involvement?

McDonald’s is an active participant in the BSR Human Rights working group, with our Director of Supplier Workplace Accountability recently representing this working group by making a presentation at the Annual BSR Conference in New York. McDonald’s is also an active participant in the working group Aim- Progress which is approximately 35 multi-national brands working together on a variety of human right initiatives and striving to align expectations being given to suppliers.

Which are the key one, two or three elements of your approach to human rights that been developed or amended since June 2011? Please indicate if these actions were in response to the UN Guiding Principles.

Central to the Standards of Business Conduct are three principles—personal accountability, open communication, and responsible action. Company employees are asked to recognize that they can “keep the shine on our Arches by doing the right things in the right way,” by acting according to the principles, and exercising good judgment. In 2012, we further enhanced the Standards of Business Conduct to affirm our alignment with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in 2013, updated a variety of sections in the Standards including:

  • New sections referencing existing policies on: Dating and Nepotism, Fraud, Financial Crime, Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism, Export/Import Controls, and Related Persons
  • Revisions to reflect changes in law and the Company’s policies and practices related to: Confidential Information, Data Privacy and Protection, Human Rights, Conflicts of Interest, Business Records and Communications, Anti-Corruption, and Internal Investigations

Reference: Please see page 110 of our 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report. [link]

Prior to the launch of McDonald’s Supplier Code of Conduct in 2012, McDonald’s underwent a gap analysis to the UN Guiding Principles, using the nonprofit organization Shift. McDonald’s implemented a number of their recommendations within the Supplier Code of Conduct and continues to make ongoing enhancements to our Supplier Workplace Accountability program with the Guiding Principles and GAP analysis in mind.

What are some of the obstacles and challenges that your company encounters in implementing its human rights commitments?

One challenge in implementing our global Supplier Workplace Accountability program has been the level of influence we have on suppliers, especially those where we are a small portion of their overall business.