Addison Lee drivers reach settlement in workers’ rights dispute

Addison Lee driversThree drivers employed by private hire firm Addison Lee have reached an out-of-court settlement in a long-running dispute around holiday pay and the minimum wage.

The claim was originally brought by three drivers, represented by law firm Leigh Day and members of trade union GMB. More than 600 drivers have subsequently brought claims against Addison Lee.

The settlement follows a 2017 employment tribunal judgment that ruled Addison Lee drivers are workers, which was upheld by a 2018 employment appeal tribunal and 2021 Court of Appeal case. Addison Lee argued that the 2017 judgment does not apply to the other drivers.

A hearing is due to take place in October and November to determine whether the rest of the claimants are workers and entitled to rights.

An Addison Lee spokesperson said: “At Addison Lee, the drivers that we work with sit at the heart of our business. We are always working to ensure that the deal we offer our drivers is the best in the business and meets their changing needs. Following the Lange determination in 2017, Addison Lee continued to evolve its working practices to address the issues raised. This was also reinforced under new management in March 2020.

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“Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, on our return we introduced entirely new contractual arrangements. This includes providing drivers with the London living wage guarantee, explicit holiday pay entitlement and access to a pension, without compromising on the flexibility our drivers demand. These changes reinforce the self-employed status of our drivers, who consistently tell us they prefer the freedom and flexibility to work on their own terms, when, where and how often they see fit.”

Liana Wood, a solicitor in the Leigh Day employment team, added: “This settlement is yet another blow to big firms operating in the gig economy. It is a reminder that companies cannot ignore their legal obligations and must treat their workers fairly.”