Directors’ Redundancy Payments from HMRC – What to Expect

Most company directors are probably well aware of the statutory redundancy payments their employees can claim if they have been working for the business for at least two years, but many directors are unaware that they may also be entitled to claim. If your business is struggling financially and closing the company seems to be the best solution to HMRC debts, creditor pressure and constant cash flow concerns, you may be able to claim director redundancy pay.  

Are you Entitled to Director Redundancy pay?

If you are the director of an insolvent company that has been trading for over two years and you choose to liquidate the company, you could be entitled to redundancy payments. You may also be entitled to other statutory payments such as unpaid wages, holiday pay, and notice pay. To claim these statutory payments, you must be able to prove that you have been operating as an employee of the company.

To determine your employment status, you will be asked by the liquidator to complete an Insolvency Service questionnaire. The questions you need to answer will focus on:

  • Whether you have a written, oral or implied contract of employment;
  • If the money claimed is owed by the insolvent company;
  • If you worked at least 16 hours per week for the insolvent company;
  • Whether your role was more than non-executive or advisory.

As a basic rule of thumb, if you were paid through the PAYE system as an employee then your claim is likely to succeed. If you were remunerated through dividends, your employment status will be more difficult to prove.

Making your Claim

The average director redundancy pay claim is for around £12,000, which can prove to be a real lifeline when your insolvent company has just been closed down. Claims must be made through the Redundancy Payments Service, part of the Insolvency Service, and your liquidator will tell you how to process your claim. If the claim is successful, it will then be paid by the National Insurance Fund.

Claims for redundancy and other statutory payments should usually be made within six months of the liquidation, although this can be extended to 12 months in some circumstances.  

What can you Claim?

Like employees, company directors are entitled to claim for a number of statutory payments. That includes:

  • Redundancy pay – Company directors made redundant on or after 6 April 2017 can receive a maximum of £489 per week, capped at £14,670 (for 20 years of service).  

 You will receive:

    • Under 22 years old – Half a week’s pay for every year of service;
    • Between 22 and 40 years old – One week’s pay for every year of service;
    • 41 years old or older – One and a half week’s pay for every year of service.
  • Salary and holiday pay – Company directors can also claim for up to eight weeks of unpaid wages and up to six weeks of holiday pay for holiday days that have been accrued but not taken.
  • Notice pay – Company directors are also entitled to ‘payment in lieu of notice’ if their employment ended without the proper notice being served. In this case, directors can claim for one week’s pay for each year of unemployment (up to a maximum of 12 weeks) instead of receiving notice.   

Need advice?

Are you a company director considering a voluntary liquidation? Perhaps you’d like to discuss whether you’re likely to eligible for statutory redundancy pay with one of our experts? For confidential, no-obligation advice, please contact Simon Renshaw today.  

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