Addison Lee referred to regulator over pension contributions
Addison Lee has been referred to The Pensions Regulator by the National Employment Savings Trust for failing in paying pension contributions to some of its workers, GMB London has revealed.
According to the union, the company failed to pay pension contributions for several hundred employees of Project Tristar – the executive car service Addison Lee bought in 2016 – from February to August 2019.
GMB London said officials at Nest, the government-backed workplace pension scheme, referred the cab company to TPR three times, following several reminders that they either have not paid contributions on time or failed to notify them that contributions weren’t due to be paid, breaching their legal duty as an employer.
The union stated the cab company attempted to reassure members in July that the failed payments – which now total a minimum of £1,000 for each employee – were due to an administrative delay by Nest in accepting a request to officially change the name of the person in charge of manually uploading pension contributions, and that payments would be made imminently.
However, only one month’s worth of payments has been paid since that time, GMB London stated.
According to Steve Garelick, a GMB regional organiser, Addison Lee were “pulling the wool over the eyes” of their employees and TPR.
He said: “When companies strip out staff to try offer a better financial proposition for potential buyers, thought needs to be given about the potential for damage to workers.
“In our opinion the ball has been dropped due to considerations of how potential purchasers or shareholders see returns. Returns of a company should be seen in human terms, not just financial terms.”
An Addison Lee spokesperson said: “Addison Lee Group apologises for any concern caused to its Tristar drivers as a result of any delayed pension contributions.
“We are working with our pension provider and TPR to ensure this will be resolved by the end of September. We are keeping drivers informed of the situation.”
Under auto-enrolment, introduced in 2012, employers are oblidged to enrol their workers in a defined contribution pension scheme, and make minimum contributions of 3 per cent of their salary – with the worker paying 5 per cent.