Redundancy support receives boost with ICAS backing

Fergus Ewing
By David Menzies, ICAS

11 November 2015

Scotland’s business minister hails insolvency profession’s contribution to economy at ICAS Insolvency and Restructuring Conference.

Scottish Government Business Minister, Fergus Ewing MSP, has hailed the contribution that Scottish Insolvency Practitioners (IPS) make to the Scottish economy in a keynote address to the ICAS Insolvency and Restructuring Conference.

Mr Ewing highlighted a recent survey carried out by ComRes for R3 which indicated that in 2013-14 Scottish insolvency practitioners had rescued more than 900 businesses and saved nearly 22,500 jobs. Adding that this was achieved by just over 100 professionals, he said “that is an incredible contribution [to the Scottish economy]”.

The minister told conference delegates: “This clearly shows the direct link between the insolvency profession and Scotland’s financial health.

“Insolvency practitioners have a vital role in maintaining a thriving economy in Scotland. “

The Insolvency and Restructuring Conference brings together experts in the insolvency and restructuring profession to discuss the key issues affecting the insolvency and restructuring community.

During his address to the conference, Mr Ewing also announced a formal collaboration between ICAS and the Scottish Government’s Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiative through a Memorandum of Understanding.

PACE seeks to assist businesses and minimise the risk of redundancy before it happens, and provides practical support where redundancies do occur. PACE also offers a range of services including skills development and employability support for individuals impacted by redundancy, to help improve their prospects of finding work.

David Menzies, ICAS Director of Insolvency, said: “Insolvency practitioners already work closely with PACE to ensure that those affected by redundancy as a result of employer financial difficulties receive appropriate support.

“This new agreement will extend that reach through our membership of over 10,500 chartered accountants in Scotland who are often the first port of call for businesses requiring advice or who hold key positions within companies that may be having to face making redundancies.

“Collectively our chartered accountants and insolvency practitioners can ensure that employers and employees have access to appropriate assistance to minimise the effects and risks of redundancy which have such a detrimental impact on the Scottish economy.”

The conference also heard that the Debt Arrangement Scheme, a statutory debt repayment plan, had repaid over £100m to creditors since new regulations were enacted in 2011.

Earlier this year, the Financial Inclusion Commission in England and Wales recommended that a scheme similar to DAS be introduced in England & Wales.

Mr Ewing said: “It is tremendously gratifying to see a respected body like the Financial Inclusion Commission recognise that Scotland is leading the way when it comes to issues of personal debt management and debt relief.”

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