Hurt and humiliation, and now liquidation

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 13:29 28/11/2013

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A Palmerston North employment advocate is disappointed two of her clients have missed out on more than $10,000 in Employment Relations Authority awards after their former employer liquidated her company.

Pridex Kitchens (PN) was placed into liquidation earlier this year, owing creditors $390,000.

Among them were former employees Nicola Watson and Helen Hobbs, who were owed $5535 each.

Those sums are from Employment Relations Authority judgments they won towards the end of last year.

They were awards for hurt and humiliation after the duo were made redundant by Pridex owner and director Rosie Davey-Hicks.

The liquidation wrapped up this week, and all creditors missed out.

Jenny Murphy, who represented Watson and Hobbs at ERA hearings, said she was disappointed the money was not paid.

"I did make my clients aware at the time that if the company was liquidated there is nothing we can do."

The case had taken time to be resolved due to counterclaims by Davey-Hicks, which Murphy said significantly reduced the chance of money being recovered.

It was extremely rare for an ERA payment to be transferred from the company to an individual, as it required evidence showing the person was accountable for the company's actions, she said.

There was scope for the law to be tightened so sole directors were held to account - "they are usually the mind of the company."

Davey-Hicks could not be reached for comment.

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