Takeaways under Level 3 – not so fast!

Unite union has compiled a list of unresolved health and safety issues and recommendations for Fast Food employers ahead of fast food drive-throughs being re-opened next week and are warning customers to expect delays in service.
Unite members had a brief experience with Level 3 just before the lockdown and there were many concerns that have not yet been dealt with.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that many fast food workers are genuinely in fear for their health and safety next week.”
Drive-through cannot be the same
“The major concern is the high number of interactions with the public and whether the necessary changes can be made to drive-through services to make them contact-less. There is no way that the standard drive through service meets level 3 requirements. The two metre rule has to apply to customers and there is simply no way food, change and receipts can be handed directly to customers in cars and the two metre distance be maintained.  The basic processes have to change and physical barriers must be in place at all times.”
Cash is high risk
Cash transactions are also a major problem. Just using gloves and changing them every so often is not going to protect employees and customers from cross infection. 
“Its important to remember that ready to eat meals are being provided in cars at the same time with cash change that is likely to have come from customers a few cars earlier – thats a recipe for spreading the virus directly onto people’s mouths.”
As fast food is not an essential service, we do not believe that the potential risk of accepting cash meets the employers health and safety obligations to eliminate or minimise risks as far as reasonably practicable. 
Not so Fast
Fast food is not going to be so fast under level 3. Hygiene processes and limits on physical interaction, coupled with expected heavy demand will inevitably mean long  queues. It is vital that workers are able to take the time to ensure all health and safety measures are undertaken. Where we have seen health and safety breaches in the past, it has primarily stemmed from workers put under pressure to maintain fast service levels – essentially compromising safety for profit. Despite the desire for fast food, we are sure customers will not want safety compromised in order to receive it – especially when that puts everyone at risk.
“We know that long queues mean an upsurge in customer aggression towards workers – as we have seen at supermarkets under Level 4. Managers and fast food companies need to take a zero tolerance approach. Any aggression has to result in no service, the customer being trespassed and the police being called immediately if needed. Workers must be backed up by their employers on this – which often hasn’t been the case in fast  foods.”
Vulnerable workers and their families must be protected
Employees or employee bubbles with health vulnerabilities must be protected. The one metre rule for workplaces is a compromise allowed by the rules only because employees can be easily contact traced, but there is a clear and acknowledged higher risk of infection. 
For workers whose health status makes them vulnerable if they do contract Covid19 this higher risk is not acceptable. The need for this was clear for essential businesses under Level 4 and it needs to be applied under Level 3, especially with the one metre reduction in distancing. The government has to take the lead on clear rules around ensuring pay for these workers.
Childcare and Sick leave
Many workers normal childcare arrangements are still inaccessible under Level 3 – remembering that most fast food work is undertaken at nights and weekends when schools and commercial childcare centres are closed anyway. Many relatives who may have helped out previously will be vulnerable persons needing to keep isolated at Level 3. The high turnover and the lack of any paid sick leave before six months service means many workers will be under severe financial pressure to turn up for work even if they are sick. This is a risk to everyone. The government needs to extend sick leave to ensure that workers can stay away from work and still pay rent and bills. This reduces the risk for everyone and is sensible public policy.
“We have been told that the fast food companies had direct input into the Level 3 decision to allow drive-throughs to re-open. It is disappointing that workers and their representatives were not consulted at the time. That needs to be corrected now to avoid workers having to stop work under the health and Safety at Work Act to protect themselves and their customers. Unite challenges all major fast food companies to agree to a level 3 H&S accord in consultation with their workers (as required by law, s 58 HSWA).”


  1. In the meantime, the PM is promoting home deliveries! Woo Hoo! Maybe she can hook up with MSD/WINZ to deliver some food to the poor and homeless and temporary unemployed too! Or she can stick a whole bunch for everyone on her account.

  2. As a right winger I further add my support to Unite. They should refuse to allow members to go back to work until all these demands are met.

    This should definitely put ACT up to the 5%!!!

    “But Mum you said we are all going to get KFC tonight as a reward for watching Suzy Cato all week”
    “Sorry kids blame the Unite union”

    Brilliant Martyn. A larger own goal I’ve never seen!

  3. Yes UNITE you are so very right here.
    “It’s not an exaggeration to say that many fast food workers are genuinely in fear for their health and safety next week.” Yes UNITE you are so very right here.

    **Firstly Germany has made face marks completely mandatory as of today, as they reopen their lockdown, and we didn’t do this so we are very badly directed by the ministry of health and there ‘wonder boy’ “Director General” Andrew Bloomfield.

    **Jacinda was warned by us at CEAC back on 20th January to be ‘cautious; -https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2001/S00041/ceac-calls-for-ministry-of-health-to-be-cautious.htm ;-

    **But she is an obstinate individual and ignored our advice then, until she got her ‘arse kicked’ when WHO finally came clean and said it was an emergency pandemic and to begin “test,test, test” but the dumb arsed Ministry of health is still not ramping up “mass testing” as Germany, south Korea Taiwan and other successful countries have to control a very roust “track and trace” to protect us all.

    *****Jacinda is badly advised by the Ministry of health and is about to ‘come before a fall’ sadly.

    ******This virus is highly infectious as the aerosols that ‘infected people breath out’ will actually be blown by the wind at least up to (22 metres) – (or 10 times the distance than we are told now said to be safe) – to anyone around them and this fact will ‘infect many’ more.

    **So to be completely safe we as workers and customers MUST completely avoid any 2 metre contact and stay much further apart than the non-sensible 2 meters as the experts have now found that is far to close.

    **A word to the wise; Jacinda take note here NOW;

    **This virus is more serious than thought by the Word Health Organisation say four research laboratories.

    Coronavirus is not behaving in the air the way scientists expect
    Sherryn Groch05:42, Apr 22 2020
    QUOTE “The virus behind the world’s Covid-19 pandemic can stay infectious in the air for more than 12 hours, early research out of four major US laboratories suggests, as more scientists warn it may have been underestimated by authorities such as the World Health Organisation.”

  4. Percy the ACT party will loose big time as the 400 000 older folks dont like “the harvenger of death over their heads with Seymours “assited death “end of life bill” will be rejected now that the “aged care facilities all around NZ are seeing thier lives already threatened so dont bank on him getting their votes.

  5. Ae. If this isnt the right time to force these scumbags to improve and stick to the legal requirements of H&S that theyre legally obligated too and also have committed to do in the past, but have failed to follow through. Then, there will never be another time to hold them to account.
    They’ve dragged the chain for so long, their word is as good as Donald Trumps!

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