Company bosses who dissolve their firms to avoid paying off staff or meeting pension commitments will risk being hit with fines, under new government plans.
Ministers want tougher insolvency laws, after recent high-profile collapses devastated workers and pension schemes.
The Insolvency Service could also make companies prove they can afford to pay salaries and pension payments if they are also paying dividends to investors.
The TUC says the plan does not go far enough and is "tinkering at the edges".
It wants the government to enforce a more radical overhaul of corporate governance in the UK, which would include honouring its commitment to have workers represented on company boards.