Jargon Buster

Redundancy through insolvency might include lots of unfamiliar words or phrases. We've compiled this list to help explain some of the jargon.


A formal insolvency process where an Insolvency Practitioner becomes the Administrator. The Administrator may seek to run and or sell the business. He may also just decide to realise the assets of the business.


This terms applies to an individual who has become formally insolvent, that is a bankruptcy order has been made against him by the Court.

Case Reference Number

Your Insolvency Practitioner obtains the reference number from the Redundancy Payments Service. Sometimes it can take a few days after the Insolvency Practitioner has become involved for the Redundancy Payments Service to provide a reference number.

If your employer has become insolvent but not appointed an Insolvency Practitioner to deal with its affairs it may not be possible to get a reference number and make a claim. You may have to wait some time for the business to become formally insolvent. This may take 6 months or never actually happen.

Alternatively you can make a claim to the Industrial Tribunal. If the Industrial Tribunal decides you are owed money then the Redundancy Payments Service will accept your claim.

Company Voluntary Arrangement

Is a formal arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986 where a company reaches a binding agreement with its creditors as to how the company's debts to them will be paid in full or in part.

Compulsory Liquidation

This occurs where a company has had a court order made placing it into Compulsory Liquidation. This court order is often obtained at the request of a creditor who has not been paid. The Company's affairs are normally dealt with by the Official Receiver but are sometimes dealt with by an Insolvency Practitioner.

Creditors Voluntary Liquidation

A formal insolvency process whereby an insolvency Practitioner known as the Liquidator collects in the assets of a company

Individual Voluntary Arrangement

Is a formal arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1986 where an individual reaches a binding agreement with his creditors as to how his debts to them will be paid in full or in part.

Insolvency Practitioner

A person who is licensed to take insolvency appointments for example as Administrator or Liquidator

Insolvent / Insolvency / Formal Insolvency

Insolvent is the term used when a person or business cannot pay money they owe when it falls due – this does not necessarily mean that any formal process has been followed.

Insolvency is the process that occurs when a person or business is Insolvent.

Formal Insolvency is used when a person or business has a legal procedure used to deal with the process such as Administration or Bankruptcy.

Official Receiver

A Government official who sometime becomes a Trustee in Bankruptcy or Compulsory Liquidator. He is also the person who initially deals with Bankruptcies and Compulsory Liquidations.


Redundancy Payments Service. The RPS is the part of the Government responsible for agreeing and paying your claim.

The Insolvency Service

Is the Government Agency that deals with Bankruptcies, Compulsory Liquidations and Directors conduct. The Redundancy Payments Service is also part of the Insolvency Service.

Trustee in Bankruptcy

An Insolvency Practitioner who has been appointed to deal with a bankrupt's affairs. This is sometimes the Official Receiver, a Government official.