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The Couch?! Gives your job to the baby


The Couch?! team was excited to learn about McDonald’s new plans to allow family members to cover each other’s shifts.

Relatives working in the same restaurant will be able to swap shifts as they choose, without first attaining management permission or giving prior notice. Whilst not all of us are lucky enough to work in a sea of chip fat, this is a trend that could catch on.

This got us thinking about what could happen if shift swapping the family way became law:

However, Neil Gouldson, head of employment law at national law firm Rowe Cohen, has warned that sending your mum/pooch/baby to work could be plagued with potential pitfalls.

“Employers planning to follow McDonald’s lead, risk leaving themselves exposed to a host of employment law traps. Instead of training one family member, companies will have to train every member who’s signed the contract. This could be extremely expensive and there’s the danger that training is inadequate and service levels could plummet as a result,” Gouldsdon said.

“The recruitment process will become much more complicated. Screening an entire family will be costly and time consuming and it’s possible that the process won’t be carried out as thoroughly as it would be on an individual. Any employers planning to follow McDonald’s lead should ensure they seek professional advice.”

The Couch?! couldn’t agree more and can imagine its own nightmare scenarios:

  • Your dog dons a power suit and high heels, barks at the computer all day, and gets promoted ahead of you.
  • The baby introduces nap time to the office. The siesta strategy is well respected by sleepy colleagues but by 3pm all employees are curled up, fast asleep. The fact that productivity actually increases is noticed by management who consider slashing working hours and pay.
  • Your mum decides the office is too cold and you might catch a nasty chill. Soon everyone is wrapped up in enough coats, scarves and hats to keep the Antarctic warm. Being so heavily padded, you can’t type or switch on your computer. Work grinds to a halt, but at least you’re nice and toasty.
  • Your teenage brother reduces the office to a mess of grunting, gormless computer game addicts with bad body odour. Not much of a change there, then.*

*NB: Disclaimer: Male members of the Couch?! team are regularly sprayed with industrial air freshener.

Would you like to send your dog out to work instead of you? Post your comments and stories (please respect child labour laws) in the box below.

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