Mannway employees fight for entitlements

Ex-Mannway workers still wait for $5 million entitlements, delaying investigation into the company

By Brad Gardner | April 1

Mannway employees owed more than $5 million are still fighting to get their entitlements, putting a hold on the investigation into the running of the failed carrier.

Rodgers Reidy Chartered Accountants is working with the Federal Government to get what is owed to more than 350 ex-Mannway workers.

The firm was appointed last year to recoup money for creditors and find out if Mannway traded insolvent or committed fraudulent activities before it went into liquidation.

A Director of the firm, Geoff Handberg, says the investigation will continue once former employees are taken care of.

"I’m hoping that will be out of the way in four to six weeks," he says.

Handberg says it can be a lengthy process to get entitlements.

Individual employees need to agree on what they are owed before a claim is sent to the Federal Workplace Relations Department, which runs the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS).

GEERS is set up to help workers who lose their jobs due to the bankruptcy or liquidation of their employer.

It covers unpaid wages, annual and long service leave and redundancy pay. Superannuation is not covered.

Handberg says there is "no kind of golden rule" on how long it will take to complete the investigation into the running of Mannway.

"It depends on what you find," he says.

Handberg says it will take at least a year to complete his findings, but the issue may then drag on for longer if the courts become involved.

Mannway failed on the back of a massive debt burden and the loss of key contracts.

An initial investigation raised suggestions Mannway may have traded while insolvent.

Mannway shut its doors on December 18 last year after receivers could not strike a deal with potential buyers to save it.

An auction to get rid of the last of the operator’s assets ended yesterday. Trucks and trailers started as low as $9 each, including a 2004 prime mover and a B-double tri-axle drop deck.

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