Payroll management firm Plutus Payroll Australia, which ceased operating this week under mysterious circumstances, has denied the problem is larger than it claims after some customers complained of not being paid for a month.
Business Insider has been contacted by one contractor who claimed he had not been paid since April 13 and had not received remuneration for work performed since April 10.
Other complaints seen on the Whirlpool tech forum claim between two weeks to two months of missing pay.
In response, a spokesperson for Plutus told Business Insider that, as far as the company is concerned, the non-payment issue was “contained to pay which was processed on April 27 and 28 — and likely May 1 and May 2”.
“People who are claiming that they have had issues since April 10 may be citing legitimate and normal course of business issues with pay from prior pay periods – but that is not this issue,” said the spokesperson.
Plutus Payroll on Monday night stripped its website of content and posted a single message saying its operations had been halted “due to a commercial dispute”. Out of its total base of 4,000 contractors, up to 2,000 are reportedly owed money.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson said the company had “no intention” of seeking administration and is “committed” to eventually making the payments to contractors.
Rival payroll outsourcer Ayres Management said Wednesday that it has been “swamped” with calls from worried Plutus contractors.
“We’re really surprised by the amount of calls flooding through. People are feeling anxious and apprehensive, particularly with the rumours currently swirling within the industry about the future of Plutus,” said Ayers managing director Colin Cuthbert.
The Plutus spokesperson said that any contractors that have not been paid for work before April 27 could have been affected by a separate and unrelated problem, which “could be due to their recruiter, their paperwork, their hours or any one of hundreds of factors which are relevant to payroll administration”.
“If that issue was then resolved and the agreed wages were due to be paid on 27 or 28 April — as appears to be the case with this one contractor — then, the pay may have been caught up with the non-payment issue on that day,” said the spokesperson.
“In either event – it does not mean that the issues have existed for weeks.”
Plutus has not commented on the nature of the dispute that led to the problems.
The company’s frozen activities are also affecting the workplace insurance coverage of contractors, with some that have not found a new payroll provider reportedly facing problems such as being locked out of work sites.
“The contractors are understandably aggrieved and they’re very upset, and the company is similarly very upset about that because it builds its brand on providing a good service to its people,” a Plutus spokesperson told Business Insider on Tuesday.