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The corporate watchdog has wound up 17 abandoned companies over the past year, giving employees hope of getting at least some of the $570,000 they are owed in entitlements.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission appointed liquidators to companies including a Queensland strip club and an SA perfume store, with some of the 32 employees now eligible to reclaim lost pay through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme.

The scheme is a legislative safety net designed to help employees access unpaid entitlements because of their employer company’s liquidation or bankruptcy.

The move will also allow a full investigation into why the companies failed.