Out-of-work Pike River miners will start finding out today whether they have jobs, and if not, how much they will be paid out.

However contractors, and the families of contractors who were killed in the mine, may not receive a cent.

About 100 contractors were employed by Pike River Coal, including Milton Osborne, one of the 29 men killed.

His grieving wife, Anna, sobbed as she spoke of her concerns about provision for her family.

"My children have no father because of this and it's something that should never have happened in the first place," she said last night.

"And because of this we are now trying to deal with what's owed to us. He [Milton] worked his arse off for that company and it's a slap in the face to say, well, he's dead and there's possibly no money coming because of it."

At a press conference yesterday, Pike River chief executive Peter Whittall said there was no obligation to continue paying contractors.

"We don't have any obligation commercially to a contractor, beyond their ability to render a service.

"It's a pretty clinical way of looking at it, I'm sorry, but the reality is they ... become a creditor, like anyone else."

On Monday, Pike River Coal was placed in receivership.

Yesterday, receivers announced that 114 out of 157 Pike River staff would be made redundant immediately. They said no job was safe, including Pike River managers and Mr Whittall.

Letters were sent out to all staff outlining severance agreements. They are expected to start arriving today.

It is understood statutory officers and engineers will be among the only staff to retain their jobs.

The rest are eligible to be paid up to the $18,700 statutory maximum for wages, holiday pay and other entitlements. That money would come from the $9 million the coal company has left.

Miners yesterday said they were "in limbo" as they waited for their letters.

But they were not surprised at the announcement and had been expecting redundancies.

Russell Smith said he did not need his letter to make decisions about his future.

"I'm going to take my redundancy and go overseas," he said.

"I've had two job offers."

Mr Smith is a member of the Mines Rescue team and said he would keep working to recover the bodies of his 29 colleagues.

"I still have a big obligation to get those guys out. But after that I'm going to Oz. I want to settle back down and make a new life.

"I know a lot of people that will take me on straight away. My old employer has offered me a job for good money, and anyone else who wants a job - he'll take them on, too."

He said the mood at yesterday's meetings was "angry".

"Anger is the biggest thing. A lot of people have lost a lot of money. They are angry that they won't get what they are really owed."

Bernie Monk, who lost his son Michael in the tragedy, thanked contractors on behalf of the families for working "their guts out".

"Some of them worked 18-20 hours a day to try to get our loved ones out and then to be told that they're in receivership and they've got no money - I'm just gutted for them.

"I'm gutted and I'm going to push the pin and do my upmost to help them now."