Thank you. If an employer becomes insolvent, an employee can issue and pursue legal proceedings against them for any money owed. Whether it is worthwhile suing an insolvent employer is another matter and very much depends on the status of the company and what, if any, money and assets they have left. In most cases, pursuing legal action against the company would be pointless as they are unlikely to be able to satisfy any court judgment against them.
The first step would be to contact the company’s insolvency practitioners (administrator, liquidator, etc.) to check if it is likely for any money or assets to become available for distribution amongst the company's creditors, including their employees.
If it appears unlikely that the company will be able to cover these payments, employees will also have additional rights to claim through the National Insurance Fund (NIF). The following debts, if owed to employees by an insolvent employer, can be recovered from the NIF:
· Up to 8 weeks' arrears of pay (up to the current maximum statutory limit on a week's pay) less basic rate tax and NI contributions.
· Up to 6 weeks' holiday pay (up to the current maximum statutory limit on a week's pay) which accrued in the 12 month period ending on the date of the insolvency, less basic rate tax and NI contributions.
· Statutory notice pay (up to the current maximum statutory limit on a week's pay) less basic rate tax.
· Statutory redundancy payment less any amount already paid by the employer
Any claims in excess of the above limits should be claimed from the insolvent employer in the usual way, such as through the insolvency practitioner or through court.
To be able to claim from the NIF, the following conditions must be met:
· Only employees can claim, therefore the self-employed, agency workers, etc are not covered
· The employer must have been made officially insolvent
· The employee’s employment must have been terminated
Assuming the above criteria have been met, the procedure for claiming requires the application to be made to the Redundancy Payment Office responsible for the employer’s area, by using form RP1. To get a copy of the form and for further details, you can contact the Redundancy Payments Helpline on 0845(###) ###-####