Employment Law

If you are considering shutting down your business – for whatever reason – it is important that you understand the rights your workers (past and present) have during the winding up process.

Employee rights rank higher than the rights of creditors and shareholders on a business closure, and in some cases employees may have a claim against directors or other senior management staff personally.

We can provide employment advice on the closure of any type of business, including sole-traders, partnerships, companies and not-for-profits.

What we do

  • Advise you on employee entitlements on the closure of the business
  • Advise you on your personal obligations as a director or officer of the business
  • Advise you on necessary record keeping following the end of the business
  • Manage claims against your business or you personally arising out of your workers:
    • Unpaid superannuation or PAYG
    • Under-payment and other employee entitlement claims
    • Discrimination and sexual harassment claims
    • Bullying claims
    • Unfair dismissal claims
    • General protections claims
    • Work health and safety (WHS)

The MV difference

  • Our Employment, Industrial Relations and Safety Team is led by William Ward, an Accredited Specialist in employment and industrial relations law. Collectively our team has over 35 years of employment law experience.
  • We offer a quarterly HR Managers’ Forum, which is a friendly and informative workshop, led by our employment law experts. With ‘Chatham House rules’ is an ideal environment for you or your HR manager to get the latest legal updates and discuss topical employment issues with colleagues. The forum is free to attend (although places are limited).
  • Although we have off-the-shelf documents that can be purchased, what we really love is getting to know our clients well. By allowing us to develop an ongoing relationship with you, we can become an extremely cost-effective resource.  Once we understand your business, we work with you as your HR partner, and many of your questions or issues can be solved on-the-spot in a short phone call or single meeting with our experienced employment lawyers.

FAQs

Directors can be personally liable for debts incurred by the company whilst trading insolvent. These debts can include employee wages and entitlements. Directors, business owners and senior managers can also be personally liable for breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), for example a failure to pay wages or leave entitlements. Not only can directors, business owners and senior managers  be held liable for underpayments, but civil penalties of up to $12,600 per breach can be ordered against you.

It is usually a very difficult decision to make when you decide to close your business.  One of the concerns you will have is about the financial impact the business closure will have on your workers.  If your business assets are not sufficient to satisfy the unpaid employment entitlements, employees (but not contractors, and not employees who were also directors) of a business that has gone insolvent or bankrupt can make a claim for payment of their accrued employee entitlements from the government, under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme.  We can assist you, or your workers, in understanding how that scheme works and can help those entitled to make a FEG claim.