Pursuing an employer for payment when they are no longer trading
Last updated 3 September 2020
Your next steps will be different depending on what the status of the company is.
This means that the company still exists. However, the company may already have taken steps to deregister, so you should do some further research by following the steps below.
Step 1: Search ASIC Published Notices
Even if your employer is listed as registered, they may still be in the process of voluntary deregistration.
You can check whether a company is in the process of deregistration by looking at the ASIC Published Notices. Companies are listed on the ASIC Published Notices two months before they are deregistered.
You will know if the company is in the process of deregistration if it has submitted a Winding Up application. If this applies to you, you should read the information on what to do if your employer is in the process of deregistration below.
Step 2: Call ASIC
If your employer isn’t listed as deregistered or in the process of being deregistered on either the ASIC Register or the Published Notices, you can ring ASIC to confirm there haven’t been any delays in website updates.
You can call ASIC’s Customer Contact Centre on 1300 300 630. It is open Monday to Friday 8:50 am to 5:00 pm.
Step 3: Set up a Company Alert on ASIC
Even if you have followed all the steps above and confirmed that the company is still registered, you may still be concerned that your employer will deregister as a company in the near future.
To make sure you are notified of any changes to the company’s registration as soon as possible, you can set up a Company Alert on the ASIC website. Instructions for doing this is on ASIC’s website.
This means that the company no longer exists.
To find out what avenues are available to you to pursue unpaid wages, you should read our resource on “Pursuing an employer for payment when they are deregistered”.
This means that the company still exists, but is in the process of voluntary deregistration or being deregistered by ASIC.
In either case, you can apply to ASIC to stop the process in certain circumstances. These circumstances are if you:
You should seek legal advice if you don’t know whether you have a claim against your employer, or if you need help commencing proceedings against your employer. You can also find more information on bringing legal claims against your employer for unpaid entitlements.
You can apply to ASIC to stop the deregistration process by filling in an online enquiry form.
In your enquiry you should include:
The reason you want to defer the deregistration of your employer
Brief details of the legal action you have brought / are about to bring against them
Any documents you have supporting your claim that your employer owes you money. These documents might include pay slips or any correspondence with your employer discussing the issue.
If ASIC grants your request and stops the deregistration of your employer, they will not stop it indefinitely. Instead they will delay the process to allow your legal proceedings against your employer to take place. After that they will recommence deregistration.
If the company status refers to “administration”, this means that the company still exists, but is being managed by, or in the process of, being appointed an external administrator.
If you think you are owed money as an employee by a company that is under administration, you may be a creditor. For more information about what employees can do to recover debts from a company under administration, you can look at ASIC’s “Voluntary administration: A guide for employees”.
If the company status refers to “in liquidation”, this means that the company’s assets are currently being sold off by an administrator to settle their debts. Once liquidation is finished, ASIC will deregister the company.
If you think you are owed money as an employee by a company that is in liquidation, you may be a creditor. For more information about what employees can do to recover debts from a company in liquidation, you can look at ASIC’s “Liquidation: A guide for employees”.
If you confirm that your employer is in liquidation, you may be able to recover unpaid entitlements under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme. For more information about this, please have a look at the information on the Australian Government Attorney General’s Department website.
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This resource was last updated on 03 September 2020. This is legal information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should always contact a lawyer for advice specific to your situation. Please view our disclaimer for more information.