Whirlwind Print Pty Ltd and sister company Whirlwind Print NSW Pty Ltd have been put into liquidation with staff directed to apply to the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) for redundancy pay, holiday pay and other entitlements.
The liquidation notices were published by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission late Wednesday and come a week after rival operation CMYKhub bought some of Whirlwind’s print equipment, its customer list and took over the lease of its Knoxfield factory.
Liquidators Andrew Hewitt and Ahmed Bise of Grant Thornton were appointed to manage the process on Tuesday with Bise today telling ProPrint a full review will now be done into both companies.
Bise said the full extent of what is owed to staff is currently being calculated by Whirlwind with a letter outlining each employee’s entitlements and a separation certificate to be distributed Friday or early next week.
“It will also include details of the federal government’s FEG scheme which the employees will be able to lodge a claim with for their entitlements,” Bise said.
“The reason why the vast bulk of the staff will be able to do that is because they’ve been made redundant as a consequence of Whirlwind’s insolvency.”
Bise said each application would be reviewed by FEG on a case-by-case basis, but wanted to be clear up that an employee securing a new job in the near future would have no impact on application.
“In so far as to concerns about employee’s getting their money concerns obviously the department will review each individual’s claim on a case by case basis but it is certainly the liquidators expectation that the FEG scheme will respond and the employees will get their money.”
Following on from that will be a full investigation into both companies.
“It is part of our obligations to investigate the transactions around the assets that have been sold so that is something that will be completed in due course,” Bise said.
“The commercialty of the transaction is absolutely something that the liquidators will consider.”
A number of former Whirlwind Print staff, some who have worked for the company for a number of years, have contacted ProPrint and said they were all made redundant on Tuesday with liquidators delivering the news they would have to apply for their entitlements through FEG.
The staff member said the liquidators also said they would need to apply for entitlements, including that day’s pay, redundancy payments, holiday leave and other dues, through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG), which has been set up to allow employees to recoup their entitlements after a company enters liquidation.
The staff have also expressed their disgust with how the process has been handled and say it has been a very stressful two weeks with staff feeling they have been left in the dark.
Another staff member said around 20 Whirlwind staff were offered work at CMYKhub.
The fallout for the staff is in addition to a number of Whirlwind suppliers, in Victoria and NSW, which are also chasing money with at least one paper company owed a seven figure sum in unpaid debts.
A number of small businesses have also been caught out but have vowed they will do all they can to be paid.
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