Insolvent Rebellion Derby faces employee issues

Update: looks like a bunch of other sites have picked up my comments on this issue, including (form a quick Google) 1UP, Nukezilla and GamePlanet.  That’s nice.


Original post: Gamesindustry.biz reports on reports of unpaid wages and withheld redundancy packages have from Rebellion Derby, the former Core Design studio responsible for the creation of Tomb Raider.  They talked to me about the legal implications – here’s their article:

Reports of unpaid wages and withheld redundancy packages have begun to emerge from Rebellion Derby, the former Core Design studio responsible for the creation of Tomb Raider.

Rebellion acquired the studio and its assets in 2006, but announced its closure in March of this year – at the same time as a number of junior positions were made redundant at the company’s main Oxford studio.

An email received by GamesIndustry.biz from the wife of a Rebellion Derby employee claimed that the company, “has failed to pay all the remaining Derby employees any wages owed for April, and any agreed redundancy payments for all those who left during April.”

“In addition to this there are still a small number of employees working in the Derby studio – effectively for free, asset stripping the building,” accused the email.

“Rebellion are claiming ‘financial difficulties’ as the reason for non-payment of wages and redundancy packages, but this has all been done verbally, over the phone, and are refusing to send anything out in writing,” continued the claim. “They seem to be claiming that as Rebellion Derby is registered as a separate legal entity, and it’s not currently making money, that they is no money to pay their remaining, and just left employees.

“The feeling amongst those who have been left is that it looks like they will be putting the studio into liquidation in order to get out of paying the packages that they have agreed.”

However, Jas Purewal, a lawyer at Olswang LLP and writer of GamerLaw, has confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that as a subsidiary Rebellion Derby’s ability to pay is not dependent on its parent company’s situation.

“The mere fact that it has a solvent parent company is immaterial,” stated Purewal. “Since generally parent companies are not legally obliged to rescue their insolvent subsidiaries. A parent company is only liable to contribute funds to its insolvent subsidiary if there is some pre-existing debt which the parent already owes to the subsidiary. Generally if there is no debt, there is no obligation.”

Employees of an insolvent company are termed ‘preferential creditors’ and are therefore entitled to have their wages and redundancy payments paid to them in priority to most other creditors’ claims. However, this depends entirely on whether the insolvent employer company has the funds to actually pay them with,” he added.

“It’s worth bearing in mind though that if you are made redundant by a company in the UK and that company is unable to pay you, there is a statutory body called the Redundancy Payments Office. The office was set up expressly to help employees where their companies either cannot or will not pay them.”

Referring also to the ongoing legal disagreements between Infinity Ward employees and Activision, Purewal pointed out: “There is a theme here of an increasing awareness amongst games developers that receiving payment for their work is not necessarily set in stone – it can be affected by other developments.

“For all developers it’s worth paying close attention to your employment agreement and making sure it’s updated and that you and your employer are clear as to its terms to avoid any misunderstandings in the future”.

Representatives from Rebellion have so far failed to respond to requests for comment when contacted by GamesIndustry.biz.



Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/gamerlaw or subscribe to our weekly email newsletter here

17 comments

  1. Hi Friends,
    Nice post.I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts. Thanks for this information . I really appreciate your work, I saw this site while browsing and think it may be relevant http://www.nichewills.co.uk . Keep up the good work!
    Will Writer

  2. I in addition to my pals have already been studying the best helpful tips on the blog and so instantly I got an awful suspicion I never thanked the blog owner for them. My people are already thrilled to see all of them and have in effect pretty much been having fun with those things. We appreciate you turning out to be well considerate and for having this sort of perfect topics most people are really wanting to know about. Our sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to earlier.

  3. Thank you a lot for giving everyone an extremely marvellous opportunity to check tips from this site. It is always so kind and also packed with a great time for me personally and my office co-workers to search your web site nearly three times every week to study the new tips you have. Of course, I’m also certainly motivated for the extraordinary opinions served by you. Certain 1 points on this page are basically the best we have all had.

  4. Thanks so much for providing individuals with an extremely brilliant possiblity to discover important secrets from here. It is often very amazing plus packed with fun for me and my office friends to search your web site at the least thrice in one week to learn the latest things you have got. Of course, I’m usually satisfied with your exceptional tactics served by you. Certain 4 points on this page are surely the simplest I have had.

  5. My wife and i have been satisfied Albert managed to conclude his analysis out of the precious recommendations he was given from your very own web pages. It is now and again perplexing to simply possibly be handing out information that some people could have been trying to sell. And now we take into account we’ve got the website owner to thank because of that. The explanations you made, the simple site navigation, the relationships you will help create – it’s got everything superb, and it’s assisting our son and us know that that content is excellent, and that’s seriously indispensable. Many thanks for all the pieces!

  6. I am glad for writing to make you know what a extraordinary encounter our princess went through reading through your web site. She picked up a wide variety of issues, which include how it is like to possess a wonderful helping style to let certain people quite simply have an understanding of selected multifaceted topics. You undoubtedly did more than my expected results. Many thanks for providing those useful, healthy, revealing and cool tips about that topic to Tanya.

  7. A lot of thanks for all your hard work on this site. Debby really likes conducting internet research and it is easy to understand why. My spouse and i learn all regarding the lively ways you provide informative things through this web blog and even attract participation from other people on this matter so our own daughter is certainly being taught a lot. Take advantage of the rest of the year. Your doing a very good job.

  8. I wish to show thanks to this writer for bailing me out of this circumstance. After scouting throughout the world wide web and obtaining concepts which are not productive, I thought my entire life was done. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the problems you have sorted out by means of your short article is a critical case, and ones that might have adversely damaged my career if I had not come across the website. Your understanding and kindness in playing with every aspect was valuable. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come across such a point like this. It’s possible to at this point relish my future. Thanks very much for this specialized and result oriented guide. I won’t be reluctant to endorse your site to anyone who wants and needs recommendations on this problem.

  9. Needed to send you a very little observation to finally thank you so much as before for the spectacular advice you have documented on this site. It has been so wonderfully generous of people like you to allow openly all that a few individuals could possibly have distributed as an electronic book to help make some profit on their own, primarily seeing that you might well have tried it in the event you wanted. These guidelines in addition acted to provide a great way to fully grasp most people have the identical dream just like mine to realize much more in terms of this problem. I’m certain there are millions of more fun times in the future for folks who view your blog.

  10. I happen to be writing to let you understand of the fabulous discovery my child encountered studying yuor web blog. She mastered such a lot of issues, with the inclusion of what it’s like to have an amazing helping mindset to have a number of people without difficulty know chosen complicated subject areas. You undoubtedly surpassed her desires. I appreciate you for offering those effective, trusted, explanatory and also cool thoughts on that topic to Gloria.

  11. I really wanted to construct a quick remark to express gratitude to you for some of the precious steps you are showing on this site. My time-consuming internet lookup has at the end been rewarded with useful insight to go over with my guests. I ‘d repeat that many of us website visitors are truly blessed to exist in a fantastic network with many marvellous individuals with insightful hints. I feel quite happy to have encountered the website and look forward to plenty of more exciting moments reading here. Thanks a lot once again for all the details.

  12. I needed to post you the little note so as to thank you very much again over the gorgeous techniques you’ve discussed on this page. It’s simply seriously generous with you to offer unhampered precisely what a few individuals could possibly have offered as an ebook to get some dough for their own end, principally considering that you might have tried it if you ever considered necessary. These smart ideas likewise acted as a good way to be certain that other people online have a similar zeal really like my very own to learn significantly more pertaining to this problem. Certainly there are some more fun occasions in the future for people who read your website.

  13. My husband and i have been quite peaceful Edward could finish off his investigation by way of the ideas he gained through your web page. It is now and again perplexing to just be giving freely things that some others could have been selling. And we do understand we have got the writer to appreciate for that. These illustrations you have made, the straightforward site navigation, the friendships you can assist to create – it is all remarkable, and it’s letting our son in addition to us believe that this article is satisfying, which is especially pressing. Thanks for all!

  14. I am also writing to make you be aware of what a really good encounter my cousin’s daughter developed going through your webblog. She figured out a wide variety of issues, which included what it’s like to have an awesome helping spirit to have other people with no trouble thoroughly grasp certain tricky issues. You actually surpassed our expected results. Many thanks for providing these productive, safe, explanatory and cool tips about that topic to Gloria.

  15. Thank you for all your hard work on this blog. My mum enjoys engaging in research and it’s really simple to grasp why. Most of us learn all of the dynamic mode you offer efficient items by means of the web blog and as well invigorate response from people on the point while my simple princess is always discovering a whole lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the year. You have been carrying out a stunning job.

Comments are closed.