Construction company fires all staff on site

The staff were called to the meeting around lunchtime without realizing that they would leave the room unemployed.

All employees of a Gold Coast company were gathered for a board meeting over lunch on Thursday. By the time they left the room, they were all unemployed.

All 15 of them were terminated on the spot after the company, Pivotal Homes, became the latest victim in Australia’s struggling construction industry.

Its general manager, Michael Irwin, publicly announced just hours later that the organization had gone into liquidation, citing rising labor and construction costs as the reason it was impossible to continue.

Staff were not warned that the business was going bad, nor were they notified to look for a job.

Tom Egan, Pivotal Homes’ chief sales manager, said he and a dozen other staff members were “devastated” by the company’s sudden collapse.

“Nobody knew,” Mr Egan, who has worked in the construction industry for 25 years, told

“At 1:30 p.m. [on Thursday] everyone was called to the boardroom. The liquidator has informed us that we have been terminated.

“It’s devastating for everyone, you had staff there [who had been working for] up to 10 years.”

Mr Egan said he only reported to the CEO, Mr Irwin, and further oversaw all operations, and saw no signs that the company was on its last legs.

Emphasizing that no one knew it was coming, Mr Egan explained: “All bills have been paid, nothing has ever gone unpaid, there was no warning sign.”

Staff do not receive severance pay.

Instead, liquidators pay any leave entitlements they’ve accrued, and that’s it.

The sales director, who worked for Pivotal Homes for just over three years, said he was planning a short break from the industry. has reached out to Pivotal Homes for comment.

Dozens of angry customers have reached out to Mr. Egan demanding answers, even though he no longer works for the company.

He said anyone running out of money due to the collapse should contact Worrell’s liquidators, Chris Cook and James Robba.

Affected homeowners can also claim home warranty insurance, administered by the Queensland Government through the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

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Ashley Wu, 38, mother of two, suspected that the staff at Pivotal Homes had no idea of ​​their impending doom because of her interactions with them leading up to the company’s collapse.

The Brisbane native tried to build a house after buying vacant land in Ipswich last year but was beset by pricing problems and delays.

She’s worried about what will happen to her $18,000 deposit? now that the company has gone bankrupt.

Earlier this year, Pivotal Homes asked Ms. Wu to pay an additional $34,000 for her $363,500 build.

Ms. Wu consulted with her lawyer, who said she was not legally required to pay because the contract was fixed.

But understanding the stresses of the construction industry, Ms. Wu negotiated with the company and agreed to pay an additional $24,000.

On Wednesday they finally reached an agreement and so the landowner was confused when he learned that just a day later the company had gone bankrupt.

The staff also asked Ms. Wu to agree to sign contracts which could then be sent to the municipality less than 24 hours before the company officially went bankrupt.

“It seemed like the staff were unaware,” she said.

The construction industry has been hit hard by collapse this year.

Two major Australian construction companies, including Gold Coast-based Condev and industry giant Probuild, have already been liquidated this year.

Smaller operators such as Hotondo Homes Hobart and Perth firms Home Innovation Builders and New Sensation Homes as well as Sydney-based company Next have also collapsed, leaving homeowners with unfinished homes.

An industry insider told earlier this year that half of Australia’s construction companies are on the brink of collapse as they act insolvent, and the homes of thousands of people could be affected in the coming months.

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