who will give them credit
who will give them credit when they are refusing to pay staff for work already done.
Troubled integrator 2e2 Group has let go 319 UK sales and admin staff and, to add insult to injury, their pay for last month is being withheld, sources claim. After weeks of negotiations by investors and bosses to keep the debt-laden business afloat, the decision was taken yesterday to call in administrators FTI Consulting for …
"Except that leaves the staff open to legal action by the administrators..."
That's IF the administrators can pick individuals out of a mob of angry staffers...
I take your point though, company assets and all that. Boils my blood that people can be treated like this, though. Next report will probably be that any staff who haven't turned up for work following not getting paid will be fired for breach of contract and not get redundency pay, or somethign similar.
Potential legal action from the administrators only if they can prove who took an item. A friend worked for Enron, and made off with a number of laptops when they collapsed. He said that with hindsight it wasn't a surprise they went bust - among the many pointless puchases by the senior management was an enormous model railway for the boardroom!
Many years ago (2002 I think) when The Accident Group in Manchester went belly up, they owed their staff back pay as well. There were reports (and pictures) of some staff removing fully populated Cisco 6500 switches from the DC, loading them into their cars/vans and driving off (wasn't just cisco switches but as I'm in networking that caught my eye). I don't recall the administrator going after them but I may be wrong.
No class action law suits in the UK. I do agree thought that the directors will most likely walk away with their massive pension pots and bonuses intact, only to wreak havoc on other companies. All thanks to the old boys network that keeps the senior suits on the merry-go-round.
"Customers will be asked to undertake to pay amounts due to the companies (without set-off or counterclaims) together with an undertaking to pay for the ongoing cost of services as they are incurred at the existing contractual rates,"
So the firm are wanting to rip off customers who are also creditors? If I was a customer, my reply would be good luck with that.
This may prove tricky and will depend on the contractual documents applicable. Usually, they will always include a clause that renders contracts null and void on any insolvency process of a supplier or customer.
2e2 customers are however are legally obliged to pay debts for services already rendered and delivered.
....about 5 years ago.
I used to work for one of the companies 2e2 bought out and left as soon as that deal completed - this was obvious from the start. No business that is as aggressively acquisitive as this over such a short time frame is genuinely in it for the long term - its about lining your pockets as quick as poss for the people at the top, and then buggering off when it all goes wrong.
How long until Capita follow suit i wonder, though the sheer volume of government contracts in their bag may stave off a total collapse ....
My husband was an employee of 2e2 until a conference call along with the other 318 at 11am this morning, They were told they were redundant with immediate effect and yes you thought right - you won't be paid on Thursday!!
Thanks for nothing 2e2, not only are we now broke this month but you had the audacity to let my husband incur another £100 petrol costs by sending him to Scotland yesterday to work on a contract!!
I'd like to see the fuckers walk 300 plus people to the gate.
The laws on corporate responsibility really need to be tightened up in this country - and employees should be placed at the head of the list when it comes to doling out whatever assets remain. Waiting until two days before pay day before telling people they won't be paid is not just unfair it's irresponsible and should not be allowed to go unpunished.
Bet the director's made sure their expense accounts were all settled before they made the announcement.
That's true in the UK too, we have to claim what the government will give us in compensation for lost salary and we are counted as prefferential creditors for the rest of the salary. The government portion is not as much as I was getting paid and comes out of National Insurance contributions.
I imagine that those who were made redundant were escorted off the premises so that they couldnt take anything with them.
However anyone who is still employed by this bunch should be immediately going on sick leave. I mean as of tonight/tomorrow. Pick up any kit, phones, etc you can, and phone in asap on the sick. This will give you time to find a new job as you wont have to be at work. The only reason you are still employed is so the administrators can try and recoup the credit for services supplied, if they dont leave you in the customer can claim breach of contract. You will not be paid I can almost guarantee it.
Also as you are at home any kit you have on you cannot be removed. Just deny all knowledge of said kit, you have left it in the office, in the data center, etc... Remember not to use it, answer calls to it, etc, you wantto establish you dont have it!
I would not normally advocate theft, etc, but this bunch of shysters is going to screw everybody.
Who is looking after the interests of the employees? Not the administrators that is for certain. Surely they should appoint a leader.
Furthermore I am not sure that you are obliged to return the laptops or any other equipment if you are not getting paid.
Take what you can out of the company, they owe you!
Aslo if 2e2 in another form survives they must expect to be sued for unpaid salaries.
"....Furthermore I am not sure that you are obliged to return the laptops or any other equipment if you are not getting paid......" Be careful as those laptops are assets and belong to the company. Whilst you could argue that the compnay owes you cash it is up to the auditors to sell the business (which means someone else then owns the laptops) or liquidate the assets. By helping yourself you are committing theft, and a criminal record is not a good thing to be adding to your CV.
Now, if you should find yourself inthe position that you can pinch the laptop that is used by a senior manager or director without them having any way of tracing it to you.....
"Laptop, what laptop? I left it at work guv, in the server room/build room/desk. Sorry"
Yeah, just make sure the disks from the CCTV system go mysteriously missing too..... Oh, what, you actually believe those CCTV cams aren't there to record employee thefts too?
When I was made redundant last October
Walked in the next day and filled the car up with equipment
They didn't care as the entire office was going to be sent to the tip
Got a nice projector, server, 10 x 2TB drives, a couple of 22" LCD monitors and a few tools
I am keeping them for a rainy day, which is looking like today
The law may pay say that unpaid employees are the highest priority, but that doesn't mean that they'll get paid anytime soon. As the HMRC are the first to get paid, if there's not enough cash from liquidating the company (which itself takes time), then the money comes from a state fund that pays out very belatedly.
I am sure that several employment laws were broken today. Whilst 2e2 say it is uncertain that remaining employees will get their January salary payment, all those made redundant today have been told they will get nothing from 2e2. NO January salary payment, NO redundancy for notice period, and expenses likely WILL NOT be paid. Those made redundant today also had no consultation period! This is nothing short of scandalous.
I'd been a customer of 2e2 for a number of years and prior to that Kingswell, a good company and small enough to feel that you, the customer, was important. Then Kingswell and Trisys had the misfortune of being gobbled up by this greedy bunch. What is it with these companies - they are nothing more than acquistion shells hell bent of stripping them back to the bare bones and off-shoring wherever they can just to sell off the business at a vast profit once they've found a likely punter. I did read somewhere that the 2e2 were looking to sell for around $400m+ sometime not so long ago but wanted to hold out for more - well they had their a$$es well and truly smoked by this but unfortunately (again) it's the regular employees that are going to suffer once again through the greed and incompetence of the board and their so called "advisors". What a bunch of shysters - they should hang their heads in shame, trouble is they'll pop up again somewhere and stick their snouts in somebody elses trough. These guys can just walk away with nothing more than a slapped wrist - the greedy scum, but the employees stand to lose so much more. Then there's the fallout that will no doubt bring down smaller suppliers who may not be able to weather this. My thoughts are with all of those goods guys and gals at 2e2 and hope you can find a way out of this almighty mess - I'm so very sorry.
So... Are all of the employees that are still based on Government sites considered a security risk? - How would they fare with pinching laptops and servers etc...?
Surely a disgruntled employee in a government position working in national security departments of inteligence is a security risk? Have they been taken off site yet?
Maybe they will start selling national secrets?
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Well the majority of the boots on the ground that I encountered in 6 1/2 years with Prime and then 2e2 were too professional and not dumb enough to "start selling national secrets"
Unfortunately I witnessed first had the disregard the board of 2e2 have for staff. I watched them move a profitable, small, agile technical team that worked closely with the sales force to turn opportunity into revenue repeatedly, into a bigger, slower, more process-bound sister company. A company that was itself an acquisition at a time it'd been a failing business.
Then move said team out but cripple their actions with tactics such as sending their work to other teams and departments, and then question why they went from an average 120% utilisation to <20%.
Then watched as that team was slowly made redundant and/or left. Watched as contracts were lost because this sister company used a skills matrix - and only a skills matrix - to determine who was the best fit for a particular piece of work.
I left myself some years ago but I never wished the company ill and continued to remain in touch with many, many friends there - mostly all very talented and hard working and none of whom deserve to be treated in such a cavalier fashion. My heart genuinely goes out to them.
2E2 have been on a hiring spree recently. They have "poached" a lot of staff from my employer and several of my workmates have gone to work for 2E2 in Reading. I was approached by them directly about a month ago. Interview was all set up, then I got a phone call from their recruitment guy telling me that all recruitment had been suspended. Now I know why.....
I find it very frustrating that we have such as system like this in this UK where directors of these failed companies do so well out of a failure whilst the normal employee who has a mortgage, family to feed etc is left with nothing. These so called Directors should be banned from running Companies anywhere in Europe for a set period of time and certainly should be under obligation to not receive any pay of any sort whilst others are not. Perhaps I am just dreaming. But if we pull out of Europe even more workers rights are likely to get thrown out as well I expect!
Fantastic, just like the Soviet Union was like in 1992. Withholding pay, well they should watch out, "they pretend to pay" "we pretend to work". Quid pro quo. Respect works both ways, and workers in IT often know many others in their field.
Same applies to outsourcers who pay late always. Nothing to do with interest on the payroll money (not theirs) in their bank account then, oh nooo...... of course it forces the employees into debt, often at high interest rates.
My experience is that if the administrators are any good they will be able to flog the business for an amount based on a discounted value of customer service agreements in place, in 2e2s case this should be a substantial amount. So some of the staff will need to be retained; most likely these will be in technical delivery and related administration.
My advice 'don;t be passive' you're debtors you have a rights including the right to be consulted; GET YOUR VOICE HEARD, militate and make sure you're listened to. If they want you to work on get agreement to be paid by the administrator - if they won;t stop working call in sick. Believe it or not administrators NEED you.
A glimmer of hope of some compensation is that staff rank high in the payouts Some will be pleased to hear the Directors will be pretty much last (see link below). This is of course cold comfort and nothing can compensate for the anguish and worry that staff and there families will be going through.
Good luck and don;t go quietly
There are a lot of unhappy people this morning, I’m one of them and there are another 319 right behind me.
As further details have emerged it seems as though in some areas there has been a selection process going on for redundancy where people in the same role as those told to leave with no pay are being retained. Such selection processes are normally public and subject to consultation periods rather than being purely at management discretion.
I’d suggest this and the no pay and no redundancy payment approach is a gambit by 2e2 management and auditors to get staff off the books as quickly and as cheaply as possible in the hope the staff don’t understand or bother to enforce the fact they have certain employment rights.
Obviously most people came away from yesterdays meetings and conference calls in a state of shock, panic and anger and the first thing they did was update their CV and check out their finances – whilst everyone needs to move forward as quickly as possible we also need to recognise our rights and these are being abused by our (ex) employer.
Of course the board, the senior management team and administrators are all scrambling around trying desperately to find a buyer to rescue what is left of the company. The irony here is the board are sitting pretty on their cash piles and won’t be worrying about mortgage repayments or feeding the kids and the nepotistic senior management team will be paid off by the new suitor.
Any potential suitor must think long and hard about what they’d be buying – the remaining staff will be one step behind the 320 of us in preparing the CVs and customers will be busy invoking contract exit clauses.
In terms of my next suitor, or employer, I’ll be looking carefully to see if they have been too acquisitive just to continually restructure finances to hide debt. This coupled with the “eclectic” accounting practices enabled by Venture Capitalist and Private Equity ownership are the underlying tools that enabled the board to mismanage the company into its current sorry state.
I’d like to wish all of my ex-2e2 colleagues the best of luck for the future and take the opportunity to say it’s been a pleasure working with you all. When I joined I asked, “what does 2e2 stand for?” and was told “to escape to” – well lets take this as the opportunity to think we’ve “escaped from” a debt laden mismanaged business.
Oh they knew this was coming. When notification was emailed to staff on the Monday evening, not half an hour later a further communication came from the HR Director telling individuals who were on the distribution list, attend at 10am for an 'update'. When we were all huddled in the corner of the office come 10am, with no privacy from the rest of the 'staff', the one token Director who attended didn't have the guts to talk and it was the Administrator dishing out the dirty words of non payment. Telling us to refer to the 'packs' by his side for any Q&A's regarding claiming wages through the Insolvency Service! Couldn't even be straight and say whether the people staying were going to be paid come Thursday. Kept bleating on that Terry Burt had got agreements in place with the banks but they pulled the rug on the Sunday! One ex-colleague, got made redundant the previous week, rehired the following and then made redundant again like the rest of us on the Tuesday! They even had a 'new starter' on the Monday! Within an hour our systems were disabled and laptops 'locked' so we couldn't even get any photos or personal correspondence off our laptops.
It always was this way. Disposable commodity.
These behavours have guaranteed the total end of 2e2. 320 + people with bad blood about the name is one hell of a force to be reckoned with and bad blood doesnt just go away. 2e2 is now a poisoned challace, what fool would buy this cursed company or its wretched brand.
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