DIRECTORS of a boutique hotel have been forced to appoint a liquidator following a dispute with an electrical company.

The Blue Ivy on North Hill, Colchester, has called in Greenfield Recovery after a legal petition to wind up the company running the hotel was presented by Edmundson Electrical.

The hotel and restaurant, which is in the former offices of law firm Thompson, Smith and Puxon, has only been open since October following a lengthy refurbishment process.

Director Carl Blanchette said the hotel was fully open for business and there was no threat of closure despite going through the process of being voluntarily wound up.

He said: “The dispute is with an electrical company which was from when the building work started.

“We are working through it with the help of our recovery company and there is no threat to the hotel.”

Usually the liquidation process can be stopped by paying off the petition, convincing a court to dismiss it or by entering into an alternative formal insolvency process.

Dav Da Frera worked as a kitchen porter at the hotel from October until January but says he has only been paid a total of £879 for his time, when his monthly salary after tax should have been £1,120.

Since leaving the company he has started working with a care agency and last week was forced to work 80 hours to make up for his shortfall in income. He said: “It is disgraceful.

“They have been withholding my payslips and my P45 from when I left and I have got all the paperwork to prove what I am owed.”

Mr Da Frera was discussing his dispute with Acas which provides advice on employment disputes, but was told it could not take up the case because the company had entered liquidation.

Mr Blanchette said the company was aware of Mr Da Frera’s concerns and said he would be paid in full.

He said: “It is overdue but he will be paid what he is owed.

“When there is a winding up order the company’s bank accounts are frozen which is what is happening while we get through this.

“He has had letters saying he will be paid and going to the press is not going to help.”

Edmundson Electrical was not available to comment, nor were Birmigham-based Greenfield Recovery.