My name is Rachael Ball. In the photo you will see my husband, Steve, my very active 18 month old, Georgiana and Willow the dog. Also known as my family.
I don't know where to start........ This is a bit of a long story so bear with me whilst I share it with you as best I can.
Whilst I was on maternity leave looking after our gorgeous baby Gee my husband started to work for Smarter Coatings Commercial Ltd. When he started to work there we thought all our prayers had been answered, my husband loved the job and it was a little bit more money which was very helpful with all the additional expenses of having a new baby. Everything was going well so we decided that I could take the additional three months maternity leave so that I could be at home for the full year. We had saved up some money but with Steve's wages we would be ok. Hooray! I could spend three more precious months at home being Mum. However, this excitement was very short-lived.
On the 1st November at 2.22pm my husband got an email from the current owner to say the company had been sold. He said that he was to deal with the new owner Gary Adams and detailed his number. At no point prior to the email had we ever been informed the business was going to be sold. A little bit nervous by the news we tried to remain calm. Steve met with Gary and everything seemed fine, he even mentioned about getting Steve a company car and new equipment. Phew! But things rapidly went down hill when on the 15th November, Gary Adams failed to pay Steve his wages and travel expenses. We contacted Gary who on Friday 17th November at 6pm EMAILED Steve to say he was being 'let go' and there was no money in the business. FEAR AND PANIC doesn't even start to cover it. At that time of day there was nobody we could call for advice so we spent the whole weekend worrying about what we were going to do. Neither of us had a wage coming in, we had bills to pay and a little one to feed and look after. Once all our bills were paid we had less that a few hundred pounds to live on until Steve could get a new job.
Luckily our families were able to help us out to make sure we could buy Gee some Christmas presents to try and make sure she had a lovely First Christmas. But it did hang over us. We had done nothing wrong. Why should we be the ones suffering?
Over the next few months we went through two lots of mediation (both times failing due to Mr Adams' non-compliance) and eventually has no option but to take our case the Employment Tribunal system. On the 23rd March we won the case again Smarter Coatings Commercial Ltd and we award the full amount of £4,200 and they were given 6 weeks to pay.
Whilst we were waiting for a case to be heard in court Mr Adams first of all set up a new business, Smarter Coatings Rendering Ltd, on the 13th March he applied to have the old company struck off, in full knowledge that the Employment tribunal case was pending and 23rd April he resigned as director from Smarter Coatings Commercial Ltd, leaving this company without a Director. What this meant for us was that after the 6 weeks came and went without receiving a penny from the company, with no active director, the high court bailiffs could not execute a writ as there was no director. Leaving us where we are today.... still legally owed £4,200 but no one able to help recover it. We can't take any further legal action without there being a director so we are stuck.
Our last option is to apply to bankrupt the company and hope that the official receiver when they liquidate the company is able to pay Steve the money he is owed. However, this costs £1,800 and as we have already spend around £350 on trying to recover the money so far we do not have the funds to do this. We are asking for your help so that we can continue to fight for what is rightfully ours. Obviously we would like Steve to be paid the money owed to him but this is about making a stand. We need to make a stand a say 'this is not right' we don't need employers like this and they shouldn't be able to continue to do this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!
Rach, Steve and Gee
If we do receive a settlement, without having to take the action above we donate any money we receive to Wellidogs, the dog rescue home we got Willow from.