Fast food giant McDonald’s has been fined £12,400 after two of its
restaurants were found guilty of exploiting child labour.
The fine, plus £60 costs, is one of the biggest of its kind. McDonald’s
admitted 20 offences of illegally employing school children.
The restaurants in Guildford, Surrey were operated through a franchise
called Ikhya Enterprises.
Schoolchildren aged 15 and 16 were found by Surrey County Council employment
officers to be regularly working late into the night before and after school days.
Ian Hart, Surrey County Council employment officer, said, "It has to be
one of the most serious cases we have seen."
Children aged 13 to 16 can legally only work 12 hours a week, including
Saturdays, during term time and not after 7pm.
Bharti Patel, director of the Low Pay Unit, described the case as
McDonald’s said it was conducting an internal review of how it monitored its
franchises, which account for about 33 per cent of its 1,170 UK restaurants.
The restaurant is no longer employing children under school leaving age, it