When people lose their jobs and face the possibility of not being paid for work that they have undertaken, it is easy to see why many people will be angry at the situation. This will sometimes lead people to protest about their situation, and a sit-in remains a traditional way to make your feelings known. This has been the case for one firm of late, and the protest by employees has caught the attention and imagination of the media and general public.
A failed bedding firm has been at the centre of insolvency news of late, with employees protesting the demise of the firm and of the fact that they have been denied wages. A number of employees have staged a sit-in protest at the Ravensthorpe premises of the Kozee Sleep Beds company. The protest featured 100 employees and the employees pledged to stay on site until they received some, if not all, of the wages that were due to them.
Employees want answers regarding lost pay
Close to 200 workers have an uncertain future after the company, and its subsidiaries Hick Lane Bedding Ltd and Restus Beds Ltd ceased trading. The employees were sent home from work in the middle of May after an administrator was appointed but there have been regular meetings to provide updates regarding the situation.
Neil Cole is the organiser for the GMB in Brighouse and he has been involved with the case and unfolding situation. He spoke about the decision of around 100 workers to arrange a sit-in protest. Neil said; “These guys are desperate. They have gone over a week without getting paid and they have been told it will be at least another week before they get any wages. All the assets have been frozen and the administrators have to sort things out, but that doesn’t help our members.
We want the administrators to release some funds upfront. They have bills to pay and mouths to feed, but they are currently in No Man’s Land in respect of knowing what the future holds for them. They are going into the second week without wages and no reassurance as to when they will receive any pay. GMB will fight for justice for our members and ensure wages are paid as soon as possible. However, we are not in a position to say when, which is a particularly distressing situation for our members. The administrators have advised that they will be holding an update meeting next week, but what are these people to do in the meantime?”
Johnny Marston is a partner at KPMG and he is a joint administrator, and he released a statement, saying; “Arrears of wages that are outstanding at the date of administration are protected and can be claimed from the Insolvency Service in the event that the employees are made redundant.
We are continuing to assess the financial status of the business and have commenced discussions with interested parties for the business and assets of the companies. We have met with the employees today to update them on the progress of the administration to date. It has been confirmed to the employees that they all continue to be at risk of redundancy. We shall be meeting with them again next week, in order to provide a further update.”
It is understandable that people will be angry
Given the anger and emotions on display, it is clear that many people will be pushing for answers about the demise of the firm and it may be that the directors will have to face tough questions and an investigation. There is nothing to currently suggest that there has been wrongdoing by any of the directors, there are times when businesses just fail in the current economy, but this is also the most appropriate time for directors to seek professional advice.
Even if there is no suggestion of any wrong-doing on the directors behalf, being aware of the situation and understanding what questions they may face will ensure that directors are fully prepared for everything that may happen.
Understanding the Insolvency service director disqualification process is a smart way to minimise the likelihood of falling foul of it, and this is something that directors of failed companies are advised to follow up on.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.