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We're not heading to a collapse, says Plutus Payroll -- and tech contractors will get their money

Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Plutus Payroll Australia has responded to anxious technology contractors who are missing their pay, saying the company is not going into administration and is “committed” to paying the missing funds.

The payroll management outsourcer has not paid out wages to a reported 2,000 mainly IT contractors, last night sending out emails to affected people and posting on its now-bare website that the business had stopped operating “due to a commercial dispute”.

“[Plutus is] not in receivership, it’s not in administration, and it has no intention to be in either of those states,” a company spokesperson told Business Insider.

“It’s simply suspended its activities because of the nature of the dispute means it cannot make payments… a payroll company must be able to make payments.”

The spokesperson said that a second email would go out to affected contractors this evening to assure them Plutus is “committed” to paying any money owed as soon as the commercial dispute has been resolved, and that frequent communications would go out until that resolution is reached.

The company could not give any indication to how long it might take to resolve the issue.

“[Plutus staff] want it to be done very quickly, they are very mindful that people’s compensation is at play here, and that has given them tremendous inspiration to get this resolved as urgently as they possibly can.”

Plutus has more than 4,000 contractors under its management, but the spokesperson could not give an estimate of the number of people that the company owes payments to – other than that they were affected over the period from April 27 to today inclusive.

Whirlpool forums show many technology workers complaining about missing pay managed by Plutus, as well as a lack of response to enquiries from the company in recent days. Speculation is rife on Whirlpool and social media about the root cause of the “commercial dispute” — internal politics, a disagreement with a major bank and staff layoffs have all been put up as theories.

Plutus, for now, is not willing to address any of the speculation.

“There’s an absolute avalanche of information on social media. That is the domain of social media and the company is not responding,” said the Plutus spokesperson.

“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.”

Impacted contractors have reportedly received pay slips but no actual money in their bank accounts. The first email last night saw Plutus apologise for the suspension in operations and recommend customers “make alternative arrangements for their pay”.

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