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Staff payments recalled by liquidators

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Staff payments recalled by liquidators

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Redundancy & Redundancy Planning
16 replies 4.8K views
WonkeyKenobiWonkeyKenobi Forumite
3 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Redundancy & Redundancy Planning
Dear All - I'm looking for some advice.
Worked for company that as far as I was aware was going thru a tough time, but all staff were working (approx 15) and being paid upto when a winding up order was issued and the liquidators being appointed back in May '16. All staff left and went on there way to new jobs etc
I believe most if not all have claimed statutory redundancy at some point, and most probably thought that was that.
However, I received an email from the liquidators only recently saying that although they were appointed in May '16 - the petition was submitted in the previous December and that payments to me for 5 months (ie salary) would need to be paid back as these were made 'post petition' and quoting sections 127 and 129 of the insolvency act. For good measure they have added 3 years of interest at 8.5% !
All this may well be correct - but feels strange that its taken this long to chase up, and its only by email (which ended up in my junk!)
Please help - whats the best course of action? Ignore - fight? Get my payments 'validated' by the courts ?
Have heard other people have received similar letters last year, done nothing and nothing has happened.
Thanks in advance
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Replies

  • BoGoFBoGoF Forumite
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    Smells of a scam to me.

    I would have thought such a request would be done in writing via post. How did they get your e-mail address?
  • I dont think its a scam in the traditional sense - as the letter is from the known liquidators and details the dates and payments exactly, so the information is correct. However, i'm thinking that maybe they're sending these emails out in the hope that some do pay - and would take a commercial decision that legal proceedings would be too costly to follow up. They had my email because of previous communications a couple of years ago about applying for statutory redundancy etc
  • Sit tight and see what develops. Start saving to pay it back just in case it turns ugly. Your assumptions seem reasonable as don't know where they stand legally.
    ::A
  • JCS1JCS1 Forumite
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    So if the Company had been wound up at that point, which company should have been paying you?

    And why can't Company A go after Company B for that money?
  • jonesMUFCforeverjonesMUFCforever Forumite
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    JCS1 wrote: »
    So if the Company had been wound up at that point, which company should have been paying you?

    And why can't Company A go after Company B for that money?

    That's the whole point of limited companies - if company A goes bust it has no claim over Company B or vice versa.
  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    didn't the legislation quoted relate to the subsequent disposition of property and assets belonging to the company after a winding up order?


    I would have thought that this would not catch payment of wages to employees who have actually worked for the company after the winding up order. Surely that can't be repaid to the liquidators.


    But I may very well be wrong
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    Hmm - I think it would be sensibkle to take some advice. s127 appears to relate to disposal of comapny assets - I am not sure that that would extend to payment of wages to employees. I think it is designed to stop companies from transferring valuble assets out of the company before the liquidators arrive.

    But of course that doesn't necessarily mean that that is the way it would be legally interpreted.

    I suspect that they would have a hard time convincing a court, if itgot that far, as by delaying so long you have lost the right to claim your wages back from the government scheme, and you would, from what you say, have had no way to know that that a petition had ben presented.

    However, given that 5 months wages + 3 yers interest is presumably a fairly signifcant amount, I would get advice.

    Check if any of your home or other insurances include legal cover and could pay for you to get some initial advice (and if so, look for a lawyer who specialises in insolvency)
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    TBagpuss wrote: »
    Hmm - I think it would be sensibkle to take some advice. s127 appears to relate to disposal of comapny assets - I am not sure that that would extend to payment of wages to employees. I think it is designed to stop companies from transferring valuble assets out of the company before the liquidators arrive.

    But of course that doesn't necessarily mean that that is the way it would be legally interpreted.

    I suspect that they would have a hard time convincing a court, if itgot that far, as by delaying so long you have lost the right to claim your wages back from the government scheme, and you would, from what you say, have had no way to know that that a petition had ben presented.

    However, given that 5 months wages + 3 yers interest is presumably a fairly signifcant amount, I would get advice.

    Check if any of your home or other insurances include legal cover and could pay for you to get some initial advice (and if so, look for a lawyer who specialises in insolvency)

    Even if they are entitled to the money back I can't see how they could be entitled to interest on it unless they could prove that the ex employee knowingly accepted money they weren't entitled to.

    If their claim is valid then interest from maybe 30 days after they have requested it back, if it is not paid by then, maybe?

    As others have said, if the amount justifies it you need expert professional advice.
  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    TBagpuss wrote: »
    Hmm - I think it would be sensibkle to take some advice. s127 appears to relate to disposal of comapny assets - I am not sure that that would extend to payment of wages to employees. I think it is designed to stop companies from transferring valuble assets out of the company before the liquidators arrive.

    But of course that doesn't necessarily mean that that is the way it would be legally interpreted.

    I suspect that they would have a hard time convincing a court, if itgot that far, as by delaying so long you have lost the right to claim your wages back from the government scheme, and you would, from what you say, have had no way to know that that a petition had ben presented.

    However, given that 5 months wages + 3 yers interest is presumably a fairly signifcant amount, I would get advice.

    Check if any of your home or other insurances include legal cover and could pay for you to get some initial advice (and if so, look for a lawyer who specialises in insolvency)


    That's how I read it and is what I was trying to say in #7. I'd be amazed if that was intended to include salaries paid to employees as "property or assets" of the company. Aren't salaries and wages meant to be priority creditors so I don't see how they can be recovered - assuming they've been "properly earned"?


    I agree it's worth looking for advice.
  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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    For a start I'd ask for any subsequent communication to be written.


    On what basis are they charging 3 year's interest?


    Your pay was presumably received in return for your work and was received in good faith, so if there are any issues it would be with the persons in charge of the alleged wrong payment. Like others I think this sounds deeply dodgy, but in addition to doing further research you need that professional advice.
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