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‘Get tough on rogue company directors’ says Hartlepool campaigner

Joe Michna
Joe Michna

An employment rights campaigner is backing new government proposals for tougher bankruptcy laws.

Joe Michna, manager of Citizens Advice Hartlepool, says he supports the plans, which include fines, to try to stop employers deliberately dissolving companies to avoid paying money owed to current or former workers.

The Government is proposing that company bosses who dissolve their firms to avoid paying off staff or meeting their pension commitments will risk being hit with fines.

It follows recent high profile company collapses that have left employees out of pocket.

Mr Michna says he has also encountered such cases in a long career with the citizens advice bureau during which time he has represented over 8,000 local people.

He said: “I have been advising and assisting local people for over 30 years with employment law problems and have had many examples of local company directors who do the same thing – that is dissolve their company and then start-up a new company to avoid paying what is owed to employees.

“I have also had examples of local company directors dissolving their companies after an Employment Tribunal has made a compensation award to their former employees.

“They do this to deliberately avoid having to pay the Employment Tribunal award.

“Tougher laws are needed to stop company directors dodging their responsibilities and I am supportive of any government plans to do this.”

Citizens Advice Hartlepool, in Park Road, is seeking any donations to maintain its employment rights service.