Staff at a British battery manufacturing company have not been paid for the last four months after the company was acquired by an Australian firm, according to new reports.
The BBC reports that Recharge Industries, which assumed control of Britishvolt after the latter went into administration in January 2023, stopped paying employees in July. After a series of redundancies, the surviving workforce numbered around 26, but now more than half of this group have also quit due as a result of not being paid, the BBC stated.
Allegations also persist regarding unmet pension obligations and an IT contractor's non-payment, which has locked employees out of critical computer systems.
The lack of wage payments is just one of the financial challenges that have riddled Britishvolt since Recharge Industries took charge, including the non-payment of around £2.5 million, which remains outstanding long after it was originally due, according to the broadcaster.
What can your reward tech do for you? The 5 outcomes your employee benefits technology should be driving in 2024
In the growing and complex world of employee benefits, where employers want to do more, employee expectations are rocketing.
Your employees no longer just want better benefits technology, they expect it. Half of your employees say workplace technology is an important factor for them when choosing a new employer (Benefex, 2023 Evolution report). Yet, just 23% of global employees say the technology used for employee benefits is excellent.
To meet these growing expectations, global benefits technology is adapting in new and interesting ways – and at pace. In this webinar, Benefex’s Gethin Nadin, Chief Innovation Officer, will explore five ways employee benefits technology is evolving to help HR and benefits leaders deliver on growing employee expectations.
Engagement of disparate workforces
Customisable benefits experiences
A better understanding of your people through data
Informed and supported employee decision-making
A single home for culture
Join us for the low down on the outcomes your benefits tech should be driving.
Nevertheless, insiders within Recharge Industries remain steadfast in their assertion that a new investor deal is on the horizon.
But some Britishvolt employees appear sceptical about this prospect. As one employee told the BBC: "We've heard this time and time again since August. He tells us there's an investor waiting. But he can't tell us who it is. It's always the same story."
Another employee went so far as to label Collard's claims as “BS”.
What is Britishvolt?
Britishvolt was a fledgling enterprise with grand aspirations, aspiring to establish a £4 billion "gigafactory" to produce battery packs for the next wave of electric vehicles. The proposed plant was set to take root on the grounds of a decommissioned power station near Blyth in Northumberland, an ideal location blessed with a deepwater port and excellent access to transportation networks. Yet, the venture grappled with financial difficulties and plunged into administration earlier this year.
After reviewing numerous offers, the administrators at EY decided to sell Britishvolt's assets to Recharge Industries for an agreed sum of £8.57 million. EY has confirmed that £6.1 million was received upon the initial completion of the transaction, leaving a substantial balance outstanding.
Although the majority of Britishvolt's workforce was laid off following the company's entry into administration, a group of 26 employees was retained. If the BBC’s reports are accurate, that number would now stand at around 12 to 13 at most.