Re Sunday Tribune Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date26 September 1984
Date26 September 1984
Docket Number[1982 No. 10,390P]
CourtHigh Court
(H.C.)
In re Sunday Tribune Ltd

Classification - Preferential debts - Test applicable - Unpaid wages or salary of servants or employees - Whether employee engaged under a contract of service or a contract for services - Claimants in first category entitled to be paid as preferential creditors -Companies Act, 1963 (No. 33), s. 285.

On the 15th November, 1982, the High Court made an order directing that The Sunday Tribune Ltd. be wound up by the court, and appointing an official liquidator. During the winding up of the company, the official liquidator applied to the court for the determination of the proper classification of the debts proved by three creditors of the company in respect of wages or salary owed to each of them by the company for services rendered to the company by each of those creditors. The three creditors claimed that the sums so due to them were debts payable in the winding up in accordance with the priority specified in s. 285, sub-s. 2, of the Act of 1963. It is provided by sub-s. 2 (b) of that section that, in the winding up of a company, there shall be paid in priority to all other debts all wages or salary (whether or not earned wholly or in part by way of commission) of "any clerk or servant" in respect of services rendered to the company during the four months before the relevant date. The first claimant had been employed by the company on a shift basis as sub-editor of the newspaper published by the company. He was required to attend at the company's premises at a specified time and he had worked under the guidance of the chief sub-editor and to his instructions. The second claimant had been paid a fixed sum each week as a journalist for writing the material for a weekly column published in the company's newspaper; she was required to attend and particpate at the company's editorial conferences. The third claimant had furnished regularly articles for the company's newspaper but each article had been commissioned separately by the...

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