Advice for employee in company about to go insolvent
April 24, 2006 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Help! Best advice for employee in 100+ person company likely to become insolvent very soon (UK)

Hi all,

I have good reason to believe the company I work for may well become insolvent in the next month or two. Assuming this, does anyone have any good recommendations for how to best protect myself, apart from 'run'!

1. I have some expenses outstanding; I assume they'll not be refunded?
2. I'm not sure I'll get my next paycheck. Do I have to work? The contract talks about abandonment clauses - 2 consecutive days. So what if I would work every second day?

any suggestions / experiences much appreciated.
posted by to Work & Money (12 answers total)
Rent or otherwise watch a copy of Office Space. Pick a role and act it out at work over the next weeks.

Attempt to acquire a Red Swingline Stapler, and otherwise enjoy yourself in light hearted ways, cause there's probably nothing you can do about the stuff that matters.
posted by tiamat at 4:32 PM on April 24, 2006

There's a good chance your expenses will be paid, since the company heads have some control over who exactly is going to get screwed. Most of them would rather screw VendorCorp than Employee, seeing as it makes no difference to them.

That being said, it's far from a guarantee.

As for working, I'd suggest burning all available days off, and trying to schedule job interviews that are accessible by taking a long lunch, arriving late, or leaving early. And then actually doing your job in the meantime, and hoping for the best.
posted by I Love Tacos at 4:32 PM on April 24, 2006

If you act out Office Space, my suggestion is to be Peter Gibbons, but without the penny-theft.
posted by I Love Tacos at 4:34 PM on April 24, 2006

If you have any vacation time or sick days available, now would obviously be a wonderful time to take them.
posted by kindall at 4:41 PM on April 24, 2006

Now's the chance to bring the computer/laptop/projector home to prepare for a presentation, etc. When they go tits up a lot of these things will go unaccounted for.

My friend knew his company was about to shut down their branch and so he went to work extra early each day, hoping he would get in before they locked everyone out. Sure enough they did one day but he beat the lockdown by an hour. When he got his marching orders from his boss (who was also laid off) he left with a xeon and a chair. The boss didn't really mind. Having been the first to arrive his car was closest to the door to boot.
posted by furtive at 4:48 PM on April 24, 2006

In the UK receivers have been getting strict on employees who take stuff from their former employers. The company's defunctness doesn't mean the stuff belongs to nobody, it means it now belongs to somebody else, and if you take it that's formally theft and you can be prosecuted for it.

Word to the wise, and all that.
posted by Hogshead at 4:57 PM on April 24, 2006

Not that I'm advocating it, but ...

At a previous employer that went south, some people (developers) walked with the documentation for large, technically complex, unfinished projects. And the client contacts. And then parlayed that into lucrative post-crash consulting gigs.

I myself got caught trying to get the Aeron down the stairwell.
posted by bhance at 7:24 PM on April 24, 2006

In the US, any assets the company has will be auctioned off in order to repay any debts the company had.
posted by Paris Hilton at 10:42 PM on April 24, 2006

If you have a mortgage, sign up for payment protection insurance, pronto. Does help a fair bit. :)

If the company is going belly-up, nick all the envelopes. Comes in handy as nice envelopes to mail cheques to, in the future.
posted by badlydubbedboy at 6:56 AM on April 26, 2006

Oh, and one other possibility. Pray that your company gets bought out, and that the new owners are willing to hire you on as a consultant (or permanent employee).
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:47 PM on April 26, 2006

Kiwi I'm trying to get in touch about a previous blog.
Can you email me at my addy -
posted by rumi at 7:26 AM on February 27, 2007

Thanks in advance!
posted by rumi at 7:26 AM on February 27, 2007

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