The closure of Unique’s Hayes site has been blamed on the recently discharged accountants placed in charge of the distributor by HMRC.
Staff have been locked out since Monday due to the lack of a completion certificate for the building, which compromised the firm’s employer’s liability certificate, according to commercial distributor David Hinc.
‘It’s a hangover from the time that Chantrey Vellacott were in charge’, Hinc said. ‘We’ve executed part of our disaster recovery plan and staff are working remotely.’
He added: ‘It was a new building and when we moved in we completely gutted it, and the work was ongoing. The bottom line was that Chantrey Vellacott didn’t see it as important.’
He said that builders were currently working on a ‘whole plethora of minor bits and pieces’ so that the certificate could be granted and staff allowed to return to their desks.
Accountancy firm Chantrey Vellacott were appointed by HMRC to look after the business while it investigated Unique for alleged VAT improprieties.
Last week a judge discharged Chantrey Vellacott. IGB has now appointed VAT lawyers Hassan Khan to fight the VAT charges.
‘It doesn’t really concern Unique, other than that we are an IGB company,’ Hinc said.
And Hinc dismissed suggestions that Unique was unable to trade due to HMRC restrictions.
‘We can buy and sell, that’s not a problem, but we need a facility to despatch from.’
Hinc added that he hoped that staff would be allowed back into the building on Monday.