The fast-food chain plans to set up new franchises in dozens of locations across the country, with 50 new outlets planned in 2021 and another 100 over the following two years.
McDonald’s currently employs over 130,000 people in the UK and Ireland.
The announcement comes in anticipation of increased demand due to the government’s coronavirus guidelines.
The company said the additional hires would not replace the jobs lost throughout the pandemic, but were to prepare for the additional restaurants.
Paul Pomroy, CEO, of McDonald’s UK & Ireland said: “It’s fantastic to be able to offer an additional 20,000 people an opportunity to work with us.
“There is no doubt the pandemic has had a huge impact on many people’s employment opportunities and threatened the future of high streets up and down the country.
“Our 1,400 restaurants are run by 200 local franchisees which means we have a personal stake in every one of our communities.
“It’s a big responsibility, and the moves we’ve announced today reflect our commitment to continue to innovate and invest in the local communities and economies we serve.”
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Pomroy said the company was looking at more regional locations.
He said: “People are using their local high streets in a different way, because they’re working from home at the moment, and I think local high streets will continue to be part of the fabric of the UK. It’s up to us to make sure there are reasons for people to visit.”
He added: “The great British high street is going to continue into the future.”
In May the restaurant announced it will mandate worker training to combat harassment, discrimination and violence in its restaurants worldwide starting 2022.
“It’s really important that we be very clear: a safe and respectful workplace where people feel like they’re going to be protected is critically important for our business,” McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski told The Associated Press in an interview. “It’s just what society is expecting.”