Former Diamonds & Pearls staff paid by the taxpayer
Staff left waiting for wages following the collapse of Tamworth jewellery retailer Diamonds & Pearls have been paid more than £100,000 from the taxpayer-funded Redundancy Payments Office.
Diamonds & Pearls 2009 went into administration in February, with 100 retail workers losing their jobs after 36 stores throughout the country were closed down.
At the time, shop staff accused the firm of a “cloak and dagger” approach after they read about the administration in the trade press before the firm informed them of their fate.
Some were left chasing up to five weeks’ worth of pay following the collapse.
The Insolvency Service, which runs the Redundancy Payments Office (RPO), had to step in to pay their final week’s salary as the fund pays out when companies have not met their wage commitments because of insolvency.
Following its collapse, Diamonds & Pearls was quickly sold on to a firm called Renaissance Jewellery for an undisclosed sum. Fifty of the stores were kept open and the firm now has a head office in Solihull.
The RPO will now become a creditor of Diamonds and Pearls 2009 and will seek to recoup its money as part of the administration process, which is being handled by RSM Tenon in Worcester.
The RPO said, to date, £105,963 had been paid out of the National Insurance Fund in respect of the insolvency of Diamonds and Pearls 2009.
The administration in February this year was the second time in 12 months that the business had gone under.
Its previous collapse came early last year, and it was subsequently bought out by a consortium of jewellery suppliers.
It then went on to buy accessories brand Johnny Loves Rosie for an undisclosed sum in July 2009.