Companies (Consolidation) Act, 1908

Preferential payments.

6 Edw. 7. c. 58.

209.(1) In a winding up there shall be paid in priority to all other debts—

(a) All parochial or other local rates due from the company at the date hereinafter mentioned, and having become due and payable within twelve months next before that date, and all assessed taxes, land tax, property or income tax assessed on the company up to the fifth day of April next before that date, and not exceeding in the whole one year's assessment ;

(b) All wages or salary of any clerk or servant in respect of services rendered to the company during four months before the said date, not exceeding fifty pounds; and

(c) All wages of any workman or labourer not exceeding twenty-five pounds, whether payable for time or for piece work, in respect of services rendered to the company during two months before the said date: Provided that where any labourer in husbandry has entered into a contract for the payment of a portion of his wages in a lump sum at the end of the year of hiring, he shall have priority in respect of the whole of such sum, or a part thereof, as the court may decide to be due under the contract, proportionate to the time of service up to the said date; and

(d) Unless the company is being wound up voluntarily merely for the purposes of reconstruction or of amalgamation with another company, all amounts (not exceeding in any individual case one hundred pounds) due in respect of compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906, the liability wherefor accrued before the said date, subject nevertheless to the provisions of section five of that Act.

(2) The foregoing debts shall—

(a) Rank equally among themselves and be paid in full, unless the assets are insufficient to meet them, in which case they shall abate in equal proportions; and

(b) In the case of a company registered in England or Ireland, so far as the assets of the company available for payment of general creditors are insufficient to meet them, have priority over the claims of holders of debentures under any floating charge created by the company, and be paid accordingly out of any property comprised in or subject to that charge.

(3) Subject to the retention of such sums as may be necessary for the costs and expenses of the winding up, the foregoing debts shall be discharged forthwith so far as the assets are sufficient to meet them.

(4) In the event of a landlord or other person distraining or having distrained on any goods or effects of the company within three months next before the date of a winding-up order, the debts to which priority is given by this section shall be a first charge on the goods or effects so distrained on, or the proceeds of the sale thereof :

Provided that in respect of any money paid under any such charge the landlord or other person shall have the same rights of priority as the person to whom the payment is made.

(5) The date herein-before in this section referred to is—

(a) in the case of a company ordered to be wound up compulsorily which had not previously commenced to be wound up voluntarily, the date of the winding-up order; and

(b) in any other case, the date of the commencement of the winding up.