AWOL Payroll outfit Plutus says it's very solvent, but can't say when it will pay workers

Also won't say why <1,000 people didn't get paid

Stricken Australian payroll-services-for-contractors outfit Plutus Payroll is “very solvent” and has “no prospect of receivership”.

Plutus came to The Register's attention earlier today after readers told us the company had “suspended” its operations due to a dispute that left it unable to pay its customers.

Vulture South has since received unprecedented quantities of email regarding the situation. Most readerssay they received a pay slip last week, but that funds have not reached their bank accounts. Superannuation payments, which Plutus makes monthly, are also nowhere to be found. Many readers are therefore worried they won't see up to a month's pay, often several thousand dollars.

A Plutus spokesperson told The Register the company is “very solvent”, is not in liquidation or receivership, but would not comment on the nature of the dispute or the likely time required to resolve it.

“The company does not want to inflame speculation,” the spokesperson told us before acknowledging that offering no detail would likely do just that. The spokesperson appears to feel it's hard to make things worse for Plutus at this point, as he told us “We were well aware that making this announcement would make trouble.”

He described the company as “very regretful”, said its officers “are very much working on resolving the dispute as quickly as possible” and said the company intends to ensure those owed money receive it as soon as possible.

Those owed money can expect at least daily email updates, he added. Recruitment companies can also expect funds they have lodged with Plutus to be available.

Peter Acheson, CEO of recruitment company PeopleBank , told The Register that the company received an email from Plutus on Monday evening, advising it of the suspension and requesting it not to make any payments for contractors' wages. Acheson had some good news for the 150 Peoplebank contractors who use Plutus for payroll, as his company has not forwarded any cash to Plutus since before April 24th. Contractors that have time sheets describing their work since then and who will allow Peoplebank to handle their pay will therefore be paid: Acheson's company would have sent the money to Plutus, won't do that now and will happily pay contractors direct as it won't be out of pocket.

Another source of comment on the situation comes from Tim Munk, formerly Plutus' general manager for contractor care. Munk took to LinkedIn to say that “Having been ejected (along with various other staff) by the new owners of Plutus back on 1st March, I am deeply saddened to hear the recent news on their website and their latest mailout.”

Munk goes on to “offer my personal assistance to any contractor wishing to ask questions and/or seek guidance on the matter. I’m not entirely sure what I can do to help, but I am most certainly willing to try.”

If you know more, feel free to send me a mail. ®

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