It can't be just us in the NTI newsroom, but this seems like a very bad time for the Insolvency Service to be bragging about the amount they have spent on wages. Of course it is a record, because everything you read is in this year of tumbling personal bests; the £453.4 million paid out by the Service in missing wages and benefits to workers at businesses that went to the wall in 2020 was the most in a decade.
A total of £297.5 million was paid out in redundancy pay, whilst £93.3 million was for months that would have been earned working a notice period, according to numbers obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, which takes away all the fun of meeting someone in a brown mac on a street corner and exchanging a paper bag for some information before they disappear into the swirling mist.
It is reported that a further £28.4 million went on unpaid holiday pay and £34.2 million on outstanding payments for wages, overtime and commission owed. Where does all this money come from? (scream the Daily Mail, with visions of bread being levered out of urchin's mouths to be given to those with widescreen TVs and a gambling habit). Well, as we in our glorious profession know, it comes from the National Insurance Fund, going to former members of staff as a result of their employers bumping uglies with an insolvency process.
Unsurprisingly, the amount paid was up by 31 per cent on 2019, being £107.3 million higher than the £346.1 million paid that year. Who knows what it would have been had not 00 Sunak stepped in to save all of our lives ...
... but we just thought you would like to know.