Addison Lee looks to make redundancies
In the letter to GMB, Addison Lee said that: ‘Following a companywide review and considering all options; it has become clear that there is a business need to make organisational changes in the workforce, in order to become more efficient and in recognition that staffing levels may be too high in some teams.’
It added that: ‘Addison Lee is a dynamic organisation and is therefore engaged in an on-going, continuous process of seeking innovation, improvement and reinvestment which will often result in organisational change. After considering all options, the company has reluctantly acknowledged that there is a risk that we will be unable to continue to provide work for some employees in a number of departments and that regrettably this is likely to result in redundancies.’
Addison Lee was bought in April 2013 by The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager / private equity firm, with $203 billion of assets under management. According to reports in the Financial Times last November, the group has been looking to sell it but had given up on plans after interest in the company dwindled.
Gary Pearce, GMB organiser, said: ‘GMB is watching the situation at Addison Lee carefully and will act in support of GMB members working at the company in what is always a very difficult time for people who are about to lose their livelihoods.
‘The formal processes that govern the redundancy process are there to protect the rights of employees and GMB will ensure that Addison Lee follows the correct procedures. GMB always urges companies to ask first for volunteers as there is often people who find the opportunity of redundancy an attractive option if they want to move on. This takes the pressure people desperately need to keep their jobs.
‘As soon as the company apply a selection criteria to all affected staff GMB members will then be informed if they have been selected for redundancy or not. GMB will then be in a position to represent all GMB members at the firm in any move to dismiss them by way of redundancy.’
A spokesperson for Addison Lee added: ‘2014 was another strong year for Addison Lee with growth in all areas of the business – revenues, number of drivers on the road and app bookings. We continue to invest heavily in the business to ensure we can meet increased demand for our products and services. We have ambitious plans for 2015, including starting our expansion beyond London.
‘Technology has always been at the heart of Addison Lee’s business and, with a huge increase in app bookings continuing to drive the company’s growth, we need to make sure the business structure reflects the new way our customers want to access our services. We have therefore had to make the difficult decision to make some reductions to our office-based workforce. The changes will not impact our customers and are primarily focused on back office functions not associated with our app and digital channels.
‘All of those affected have been informed and we are now entering into a consultation period. We are committed to handling this process with the care and attention our loyal staff deserve.’