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Former Employer Won't Pay Annual Leave & Expenses Owed

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by jonny, 20 May 2014.

  1. jonny

    jonny Member

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    What can you do when your former employer wont pay your 4 weeks notice, 1 week's annual leave and a $700 expenses reimbursement? He just doesn't answer phone calls, when you do track him down he just lies to your face and says he will pay but never does!

    He has a number of limited companies and every few months the pay slip had a different company name on it. He doesn't pay superannuation either, nor is your tax money paid to the ATO. He has sham companies that just pay the wages every week but never do any work. They just run up huge tax and super debts and then go into receivership.

    It doesn't help that this guy's mate is a receiver and seems to give him advice of how to get away scott free! This guy is a crook!

    Does anyone know what I can do?

    Can I place a caveat on his property and stop him from selling it, as this is what he's trying to do as the tax man is getting close. I may be able to force him to pay me this way?

    Anyone got any good advice, other than be more fussy about who you work for next time you dipstick ?

    Thanks
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    This sounds like a thing called phoenixing.
    http://www.timebase.com.au/news/2013/AT644-article.html

    As an employee, you are probably an unsecured creditor.
    If so, then you are in a long queue that starts with the ATO,
    and then (usually) the employer's finance provider/ bank,
    then the secured creditors, then the unsecured creditors.
    If you are saying to yourself
    "...but after all those guys, there probably won't be anything left for me..."
    sadly, you are probably right.

    If you are in the relevant union, talk to them.
    If not, have a talk to Fair Work about your unpaid entitlements, and the ATO about the unpaid super.

    Oh, and the caveat? Probably not, and it's not much use anyway.
     
  3. jonny

    jonny Member

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    Thank you Tim.

    I have been to the ATO and they say it could take 12 months to go through and do an investigation into the unpaid super, even thou I can produce pay slips, a contract and a statement from my super fund showing no payments. 12 months is pretty useless as he will have called the receivers by then and all chance of getting that will be gone too.

    Fair work cant help as they say im not covered by an award, so I have to go to the small claims court but im owed over the $10K threshold, so do I just try and get $10K out of it before the receivers are in?

    The logic behind the caveat, is that he is down as I director of this business and the business address is his home address, he is trying to sell it so he can buy one in the wife's name only, so he has nothing in his own name. If I can slow down the house sale it gives me more chance of getting him to court whilst the business is still solvent

    Its pretty poor when an employer can get away with doing things like this as a serial offender and there is nothing any employee can do about it, it just reinforces to me that its pretty important you pick who you are going to work for pretty carefully.

    A costly lesson has been learned!
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jonny,
    Have you sent your former employer a Letter of Demand (as opposed to just tracking him down and asking for the money)?
    Have you considered going to small claims for an amount equal or less than $10K (e.g. the $700 expenses owed and one week's annual leave)?
     
  5. jonny

    jonny Member

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    Thank you for your post John,

    Yes at this moment I am left with no option but to try and get him to the small claims court before he winds this company up, my 4 weeks notice and my expenses just about gets me to the small claims limit so its defiantly worth a go.

    Yes I sent a letter of demand, as expected no reply or response at all.

    Its an everyday occurrence for this guy, to receive a court notice or debt collection letter.
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    U can apply for an injunction to stop him disposing of his assets and u can write to ASIC saying he owes wages and to not close his company.
     

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