I'm looking for some advice please.
I own a 15 year old business registered as a cc.
For some time now the effort involved in running the business has exceeded the benefits. There are numerous reasons for this. Mainly the abilty to manage the major expenses like wages and other labour costs has been removed from my control by our Industrial Council that has been awarding double digit increases for years now. Last year I was forced to pay bonuses equivalent to 3 weeks wages when the company really couldnt afford it.
The chronic skills shortage in our industry (average age of an artisan is now 46) has also driven up the cost of the skilled portion of our labour. We also battle to retain skills as the bigger concerns poach our in house trained staff.
Anyway back to the point......I am now considering closing the business.
Hopefully I can sub let the premises for the balance of my lease. If I am really lucky I could sell the business out of the cc with the balance of the lease.
I'd probably be lucky to fetch nett asset value. I'm in a hurry to take up an offer of employment.
Needless to say I cant see anyone taking the staff as part of the package.
If I plan things carefully and trade to the right point in time I am sure I will be able to settle all outstanding creditors. What I will not be able to afford to do is pay out a retrenchment package.
The question I have is : What recourse would my staff have? I assume they would have to sue the cc. Can I be held personally responsible?
Hell I'd also like a retrenchment package. I'm the longest serving member of staff ;>)
Any input appreciated!