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blackcrypt

Boss legs it leaving everyong high and dry!

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Hi,

 

I.m posting on behalf of a group of ladies who work at a childcare nursery.

 

Diary of events...

 

Monday:

 

Boss visits to meet with manager.

Authorises a KCC order for supplies amounting to about £80

 

Tuesday:

 

Boss visits. Collects some cheques from clients for advance payment of services. £900.

 

Thursday:

 

A carpenter visits to measure windows.

1 client pays £600 by direct debit for next months childcare.

 

Friday:

 

8 staff receive no expected monthly pay. £6500

 

Saturday:

 

We receive a phone call from a friend to say that the nursery is being boarded up by the carpenter who visited on thursday. We visit nursery to find out whats happening. An external room has already been boarded up - contents of which include childrens personal belongings such as hats, coats, shoes, bags, etc. Carpenter refuses to allow removal.

 

We find out that the carpenter was met at 7am by the boss who paid him cash to board up the building and change the locks.

 

Manage to save the children's fish from the reception room!

 

Sunday:

 

Manager and Deputy manager receive text message from boss saying:

 

"xxxxxx now folded up. Administrators will contact you with regards to money owing to you. ty"

 

 

We have since found out that the company was struck off the companies register earlier this year for not submitting the required paperwork. This effectively stops them from trading as a limited company. There is also no administrators.

 

They continued to trade as a limited company - it says so on payslips.

 

We seem to be going round in circles as regards what we do next - how do we get our pay.

 

We realise there are 2 separate issues - the consumer issue for the mums n dads who have been conned out of their money and the issues of the staff.

 

We'd like some advice as to where we go next to chase her up as our employer.

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by blackcrypt

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Appalling behaviour and I have sympathy for staff, parents and children alike.

 

The first port of call should be the Administrator, and you need toi find the details of who this is as soon as possible. Your next course of action will depend on the status of the employer - whether insolvent. or whether there is a chance for the business to remain trading. This will be the same for the parents owed money.

 

Regarding your wages, you have a degree of protection as the pay outstanding (subject to capping) plus holiday and notice pay, will ultimately be picked up by the Government through the Redundancy Payments Office. The Administrator should be able to provide further information about the necessary forms to fill in. If there is nobody to take over the business including it's liabilities, then you will be redundant due to your employer ceasing to trade.

 

There is some information HERE and HERE which may be of interest to you.

 

As for the parents, this will depend on the future of the Nursery, but I suspect that they will be left as unsecured creditors and may have a long wait in order to get a very small percentage back (if anything) of what they are owed. The Administrator should release the childrens' belongings though as soon as it is clear that these are personal belongings of the children, rather than assets of the owner.

 

Sorry - that doesn't really tell you a lot. I hope things work out for all concerned, but sadly this is likely to become a very common occurrence.

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Ok, ty for your help.

 

Firstly, we are unsure exactly how to find out who the administrator is, due to the fact that no one has been able to contact the boss. either by telephone or email. We have a home address, but I assume the boss will not reply to a letter if they can't even be bothered to answer their phone.

 

We are not even sure there is an administrator if the company was supposed to be closed in may?

 

Who would appoint an administrator in normal cases?

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Hello and welcome to the forum. What terrible behaviour by the company owner. It's sad for everyone else involved.

 

I would try contacting Companies House on the phone. I don't know how much information they're allowed to release, but I think they know if a company has ceased to exist and should be told who the administrator is, too. Adminstrators are sometimes appointed by a court, I don't know if that depends on the size of the company.

 

Do you know which accountant this person uses? If it is or was a limited company, then someone has to have been acting. They may be able to shed some light on this.

 

I imagine nurseries are regulated, so is there a body you could contact to see if they have any information?

 

Please let us know how you get on and ask any other questions that crop up.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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This is a bit of a long shot that I've used for family tree research and confirmed by this exerpt from the Companies' House website. The London Gazette has published this sort of stuff for centuries. It's available online, I'm not sure how recently you can search. Hopefully the link from the Companies House website will work from here.

 

I hope this helps.

 

 

What is the Gazette?

 

The Gazette is the official newspaper of record which contains various statutory notices and advertisements. It is published daily. References to the Gazette are to the London Gazette in respect of companies registered in England and Wales.

 

Notices placed by the Registrar of Companies in England and Wales are included in the Company Law Official Notifications Supplement to the London Gazette which is published on microfiche. You may see copies at the Companies House search rooms in Cardiff and London. Some of the larger public libraries also have copies. Visit the Gazette for more information.

 

 

What Companies House say on the same webpage is that any administrator who is appointed to deal with or wind up a company should advise the Gazette as soon as reasonably possible.

 

My best, HB

Edited by honeybee13
Additions.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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We emailed companies house last night - they said the company was dissolved in may and should not be trading as a limited company anymore - there advice was to seek our own professional advice on the matter - that assumes the company is not trading as a limited company. The ladies payslips all have 'LIMITED' in the title. No one was informed of the change of status.

 

The boss has pretty much been struck off, then carried on as normal without telling anyone at the nursery.

 

I've emailed them again asking for details of the administrator that handled the process in may.

 

We looked at the London Gazette, but was unable to search for or find any details about the company - thats assuming we were looking at the right web page - would a link to the gazette be available?

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Hi This is appalling behaviour and I was wondering if the boss (and any others eg other directors of the company) have committed a criminal offence. I am not totally up on this area of criminal law but trading with intent to defraud seems to fit the ticket from what you describe.

 

Have a look at this from the Serious Fraud Office (although it is definitely NOT a SFO case but the info is interesting to read) http://www.sfo.gov.uk/media/98135/companies%20and%20directors%20web%201.pdf

 

Here is the offence http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/section/993

 

I don't suggest for a second that the police will investigate this as they might tell you it is a civil matter but at least you can try and clarify the situation with them looking at it. The fact you can say that noone told you what was happening, that the company was struck off and that he continued to take money (and presumably the accountant he uses too) all may have some questions to answer. Speak to the local police and see what they have to say about it.

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We emailed companies house last night - they said the company was dissolved in may and should not be trading as a limited company anymore - there advice was to seek our own professional advice on the matter - that assumes the company is not trading as a limited company. The ladies payslips all have 'LIMITED' in the title. No one was informed of the change of status.

 

So as papasmurf says, they may have committed an offence. I'm not sure the title Limited on the payslips means much, given that these people are already contravening the rules by the looks of it. It's all very well telling you to take advice, but that usually costs money unless the CAB can help.

 

The boss has pretty much been struck off, then carried on as normal without telling anyone at the nursery.

 

I've emailed them again asking for details of the administrator that handled the process in may.

 

I think that was the right thing. I think Companies House should be advised too. Have you tried ringing? If you can find someone sympathetic there, you might get more information if you get them on your side. They shouldn't be scary.

 

We looked at the London Gazette, but was unable to search for or find any details about the company - thats assuming we were looking at the right web page - would a link to the gazette be available?

 

Did you look at the Gazette online? There was a link in what I posted earlier.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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The police are investigating - if 'she' took money from clients in the knowledge that she would be boarding up in a few days she is in trouble there. They just need to prove it.

 

I've already found out that she was not allowed to continue trading by just removing the limited part of her company name - that is a criminal offence.

 

Our problem is finding out who we should go to for help - whats the point of having all these different government agencies to check on companies that seem to have little or no power if a company breaks the rules?

 

Some of the group have appointments with the CAB next week.

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Did you look at the Gazette online? There was a link in what I posted earlier.

 

My best, HB

 

Have tried to search for the original notice, but no luck so far. Can I PM you more details?

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If the Police are investigating, it will be their CID and / or Fraud department I would have thought.

 

Does your payslips have the name of the accountant that deals with detailing the pay? Also what about your bank, they must be aware the account where the money comes from? If the bank knows that a fraud may have occurred they could take action to freeze that account.

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Have tried to search for the original notice, but no luck so far. Can I PM you more details?

 

Feel free. I don't claim to be an expert, but I'll have a look. I would still suggest ringing Companies House. And what about whoever regulates nurseries?

 

In your post #9, you mention where to go for help, but I'm not sure which sort you mean. If it were me, I'd be filing a claim to be paid what I'd lost with the department Sidewinder mentioned, I forget the name. You can deal with shopping the owner after that and I hope they get what they deserve. You might consider the local paper at some stage, but I would be going after whoever regulates them. Is it the council?

 

My best, HB

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Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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The key to this is the legal status of the 'Employer'. It is far better for the staff if the employer has become insolvent, as they would then be in a position to claim redundancy, holiday pay and outstanding wages together with an award for notice pay etc from the Government, but if the employer has simply 'ceased trading' and has b*ggered off then they may have a long haul ahead with a personal claim against the owner. Although they would be preferential creditors, there would be a lengthy wait for what they are owed.

 

There is some good information HERE but although there is an indication that the company would not necessarily have to be declared legally insolvent on order to make a claim for payment from the Redundancy Payments Office, it does appear that the employees would have to take all reasonable steps short of legal action in order to recover the money before lodging a claim - is anybody aware of the employer's address, or would those who received a text not be able to reply and ask who the Appointed Administrator is? Knowing this will considerably help with what happens next.


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Just a further thought about finding the accountant, possibly. Companies have to file annual accounts at Companies House, so they would at least know who the auditor is, if they'll tell you.

 

As Sidewinder says, let's hope it's an insolvent company in terms of the girls' payments.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello there. Are you getting anywhere with your enquiries?

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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