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Many of us have woken up to the news this morning that construction giant, Carillion, has gone into compulsory Liquidation. The writing may have been on the cards for some time; the Company’s shares have lost 90% of their value since 2017; the Company has been issuing profit warnings over the past year; and costs have significantly overrun on some large public sector contracts. The knock on effect could be dramatic for many:

Suppliers and other creditors

If you find yourself in the position of being owed money by Carillion, it is important that you take prompt steps:

1) PWC have been appointed as Special Manager to oversee the running of Carillion in the short term who have confirmed that unless otherwise notified, any goods or services supplied from the date of the Official Receiver’s appointment (15 January 2018) will be paid. https://www.pwc.co.uk/services/business-recovery/administrations/project-rome/suppliers.html 

2) As a creditor you will be asked to complete a Proof of Debt form to lodge with the Liquidator for all goods or services provided before 15 January 2018.

3) Review your terms and conditions! Many suppliers may have Retention of Title (ROT) terms as a clause. To mitigate your liability, you may wish to enforce this clause. Practically, you should contact PWC at an early stage to advise of your terms, which may result in you being able to claim back some of your supplies, or ensuring that it is paid for as a ‘ransom’ payment if it is required going forward.

4) Plan for the worst. When a company goes into Liquidation, it is advisable for creditors to mark the debt as a write-off and claim back the VAT bad debt relief at the earliest opportunity. Any return to creditors in the Liquidation will then have to be recorded later.

5) Produce a revised cash-flow. It is important to revise your cash-flow to see how this bad debt is going to impact your business in both the short and long term.

6) Take further advice as necessary.

 

Employees

Carillion are reported to have employed more than 43,000 staff worldwide with 20,000 in the UK.

Again, unless otherwise advised, staff have been asked to continue to work as normal and they will be paid for the work they do during the Liquidation.

Compulsory Liquidation automatically terminates employee contracts (Re Foster Clark Ltd's Indenture Trusts [1966], Loveland v Horscroft). Further guidance should be issued shortly by the Liquidator and PWC, but it is presumed that any arrears of wages, accrued holiday pay, redundancy pay and statutory notice pay will be required to be claimed by the National Insurance Fund.

Employees may wish to consider the following practical steps:

1) Prepare your information. Make sure you have copies of your payslips and employment contract. You may need this information to make a claim to the National Insurance Fund.

2) If you have been asked not to return to work, make sure you get your RP1 form in early to the Redundancy Payments Office (RPO). This is now done online and information on how to claim should be sent out shortly by the Liquidator. Although the RPO have internal targets to process and pay claims within certain timescales, with large redundancies there is undoubtable going to be pressure put on the RPO. If you get your claim in early, you have a better chance of getting paid earlier. 

3) Register with Job Centre Plus. You may need your P45 also, so you will need to contact PWC to ask for this.

4) Contact your Bank/Mortgage/Credit Card provider. If you are struggling or anticipate struggling in the short term because of your recent job loss, you may wish to ask for a holiday period on your mortgage or a freeze on some interest payments. You may be surprised at how Banks can help people facing similar situations.

 

If you have any general questions on Liquidations or wish to discuss how these events will affect your business, please contact one of the Business Recovery & Insolvency team on 01392 288555.