Unpaid Unique staff consider legal action


Remaining Unique Distribution staff are looking to take legal action as their salaries remain unpaid for a second month.

Staff are still not permitted to enter the Hayes warehouse due to problems with insurance payments, which Unique is attempting to resolve via managing receiver Chantrey Vellacott.

Chantrey Vellacott was reappointed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) earlier this month as it conducts a VAT fraud investigation into Unique parent company IGB concerning activities dating back to 2005. A hearing has been scheduled for this month, following which HMRC intends to charge individuals associated with Unique.

IGB’s assets, including funds for salaries and payments to creditors, have been frozen since January.

Chantrey Vellacott is understood to be in discussions for the sale of the business, but was unavailable for comment as Mobile News went to press.

Unique technical director Neil Brookes said staff were seeking legal representation for payment of salaries. Brookes said: “Many staff members are seeking legal representation to make applications for the payment of salaries, on the grounds that they have worked in good faith. I am also considering my legal position.

“The restrained funds have not been released to make these payments and the decision to do that sits with the managing receiver. We are hoping to challenge this decision.”

Brookes said staff have been attempting to work from home.

“We still have a core of committed staff who are doing what they can,” he said. “Senior management believe this is a viable business bstill ut the non-payment of salaries means keeping staff is difficult.

“We would like to see this resolved as quickly as possible. It has been a very difficult time.

“It is a great shame that a company that has such a history and reputation in the industry has ended up in this situation through no apparent fault of its own.

“All options are being considered for the continuity of the business.”