Courtaulds staff ‘in limbo’ after closure

Courtaulds, West Mill Belper
Courtaulds, West Mill Belper

Thirty employees of Belper textile manufacturer Courtaulds have been left ‘in limbo’ by the way the firm went into administration, a former employee has claimed.

The staff affected are said to be employees of CUK Clothing Ltd - a spin-off company into which the 30 employees were put earlier this year.

However, because that part of the business didn’t have a director at the time of the closure it cannot go into liquidation and the staff cannot apply for redundancy or go for new jobs without risking forfeiting their right to payment.

The employee, who did not wish to be named, said: “The company was split into two earlier this year - one part covered the factory and the other the upstairs staff - the sales team, technical staff, product managers - that kind of thing.

“After the business folded, we weren’t made redundant like the factory workers so we can’t move on - and all the company say is that they are working on it.

“We can’t get a redundancy form and we can’t even go to the job centre to look for new jobs as we would be breaking our terms of employment and would then forfeit the right to any redundancy - we are in complete limbo.”

Mid-Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham says sources have also told her that the owners transferred many of the company’s best assets into other holding companies before it was sold, leaving only limited assets available for the administrators.

A spokesperson for administrators RSM Tenon said: “RSM understands that the Board of CUK Brands Limited is now properly constituted.

“RSM has been approached to initiate a creditors meeting in respect of CUK Brands Limited and is currently seeking advice and undertaking pre-appointment checks before formal notices are issued to the employees and creditors.

“This process is expected to be finalised in the next few days.”

The closure of the Belper firm was announced late last month, making 334 workers redundant and ending a 200-year-long association with the Amber Valley town.