Unique Distribution’s future looks bleak after the accountants placed in charge of the company said staff would not be paid this month.
It is the second month in a row that staff have not received their pay on time.
Accountants Chantrey Vellacott, who were reappointed as management receivers by a court last month while HMRC investigates Unique’s parent company IGB, told Unique’s directors that funds would not be made available to pay the wage bill for March.
Hinc described the decision as ‘catastrophic’, and said a failure to pay staff would breach their terms and conditions of employment.
Hinc said that he, along with operations director Nick Thomas and technical director Neil Brooks would keep fighting for the survival of the business.
Thomas said: ‘We’re still here because we believe we’ve got a viable business, and we believe we can make it a success. If we’re given a chance we believe we can make it work.’
But Hinc conceded that their options were now ‘very, very limited’.
After February’s salaries were delayed Unique’s Oxfordshire-based sales team, lead by sales director Jo Bennett, took advantage of the breach in their contracts and joined rival distributor Brightstar.
And now the distributor is facing the prospect of more staff leaving the company.
‘We’ve maintained the loyalty of a band of employees but it’s unreasonable to expect them to stick around without being paid. It puts our staff in a very difficult position,’ Hinc said.
And he admitted that the patience of suppliers who are owed money was running out.
He said: ‘On the whole people have been very supportive, but there comes a point where they have to look after their own businesses,’ he added.
Staff have been locked out of the Hayes building for five weeks, and Hinc said all work was now completed and insurance for the building had been obtained, but it was Chantrey Vellacott who were unwilling to let staff back into work.
An application for a review of the management receivership order is pending, but no court date has yet been set.
Chantrey Vellacott declined to comment.