to speak to dd about this

(51 Posts)
tyun Fri 22-Nov-13 20:30:28

Have name changed in case anyone in rl recognises this.
Eldest dd (28) has just opened a cafe and dd (18) and ds(15) are both working in it at the weekend and after school/college some nights. She is finding it hard and she has not paid any of their wages (but has paid the other staff. DD and Ds have spoken to her about this but all she says to them is that she knows that its difficult for them but she can’t afford to and that she is currently not paying herself.
I want to have a word with her about it but DH is adamant I should not. He says we should be proud of her gumption to start her own business and that the first few months are always the hardest and most stressful and so anything to alleviate this in the current climate should be welcomed. DH says that families should help each other as much as possible and be willing to put themselves out in order to help other members succeed and they aren’t exactly desperate for money as they both still live with us. He also says that the sacrifice that dd and ds are making will pay off in the future if they have a successful entrepreneurial older sister to help them with any problems they might have.
I can see his points to an extent but I can’t get away from the fact that if it was anyone but her I would have told them to demand to be paid or to walkout. DD and DS did accept not being paid for the first couple of months, they were really eager to help her but they do seem to be getting fed up with the situation. I feel really conflicted about it really, AIBU to have a word with her.

toffeesponge Fri 22-Nov-13 21:18:15

They should get all the tips, quite frankly. She shouldn't take any as she is getting all her bills paid while having free help and gets to keep all the profits once there are some.

turnaroundbrighteyes Fri 22-Nov-13 21:18:38

I don't think you should speak to her unless it's to offer her a listening ear and support.

Agree with the others that its up to your other children to decide and communicate their wishes without pressure from either you or DH.

Workberk Fri 22-Nov-13 22:28:33

I think this is out of order. She is taking them massively for granted.

Has she got a business plan? When should she start making a profit?

Monty27 Fri 22-Nov-13 22:30:44

Pfft! If you can't pay staff, don't employ them. I'm angry on your other dcs behalf.

bundaberg Fri 22-Nov-13 22:35:55

i wouldn't speak to her. I think your husband makes a lot of good points,.

if your other children mention it to you I would say to them that they don't have to continue working there if they don't want to.

they're more than old enough to decide what to do for themselves, without you wading in IMO.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Fri 22-Nov-13 22:39:18

I will bend over backwards for my siblings.

But this is taking the piss. 5 months working for free is a joke.

Monty27 Fri 22-Nov-13 22:50:19

It might even be a good business lesson for them. Get them to sit her round a table and negotiate at least some sort of interim payment. At LEAST!

Retroformica Fri 22-Nov-13 23:03:46

5 months is taking the piss. Is she going to pay them back with interest?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 22-Nov-13 23:08:02

I think your oldest is taking the piss. Her siblings are not in a joint venture with her so they should be being paid. She isn't paid because she's the owner of the business but they are not. Your DH is totally wrong on this.

WhoNickedMyName Fri 22-Nov-13 23:13:35

Your DD's business plan is seriously flawed if she is relying on free child labour to make an attempt at a successful business.

If your DH is so keen on helping out family tell him to get in there and do his 5 month stint.

I wouldn't speak to your DD about it, but I would tell your other two children that they are not obliged to work there and you would support their decision to stop if they don't want to.

AndHarry Sat 23-Nov-13 09:07:45

Presumably the time they are spending there is preventing them from getting a paying p/t job and studying for their GCSEs and A-Levels? If this were me, I would tell my DS that he was to concentrate on his coursework/exams and wasn't allowed to work and I'd be telling DD2 that she should've concentrating on her studies and should not feel pressured to work there.

If your DH is so keen to help your DD1 then he should be either paying your DCs' wages or working there for free himself.

Casmama Sat 23-Nov-13 09:24:48

What makes her think that a business not covering its bills now will start to in the future?
It's hard running your own business and not always successful. Your eldest needs to figure out how things are going to change.

It may be work asking if she has a record of how much she owes her siblings- if not she is taking the piss.

lljkk Sat 23-Nov-13 09:58:41

The eldest DD could offer the others shares in future profits, that would be a reasonable offer.
It is valuable work experience for youngest especially.
I would encourage them to move on or renegotiate a better deal, but they are old enough to make own decisions.

carabos Sat 23-Nov-13 10:06:16

As others have said, this is a flawed business plan. She has one full time member of staff (herself) and two part timers ( perhaps adding up to another full timer) who are unpaid.

That's quite a subsidy for the business after 5 months. She should be sharing the business plan with her sibs so that they can see when it is projected that they will be paid and make their decisions based on that. DD can work for nothing in her own business forever if she chooses, so the others should have the same info and options.

If business is not growing at all after 5 months, then she needs to think again.

IDontDoIroning Sat 23-Nov-13 11:00:16

I agree with the other posters. After this length of time she should be over the initial capital drain of setting up buying equipemnt stocks etc and should now have an idea of how the business is doing. We aren't talking about helping her out in the early days to get a bit of cash behind her.
Basically if she has to get 3 people to work for free to cover her costs she's in trouble, even if two of which only work weekends and after school/ evenings. However thinking about it that's not just a few hours a week and weekends are probably her busiest times. Her business isn't viable and you need to ask yourself and her what would happen if she had to get paid staff.

As yourself if anyone else would work those hours regularly for no pay ? Would your dh do regular work that ate into his leisure family and personal time for no pay? This has gone from helping out to being taken for granted.

I can't see your dhs Pov about her being much of a role model - dd isn't much of an entrepreneur if she can't keep her business afloat without unpaid labour and is setting herself up for a huge problem when they both have enough and stop.

A poster above makes a good point about studying - this must be impacting on their studies. Your 15yo must definately be studying for GCSEs and won't be able to put in this amount of time much longer and the 18yo will either be studying for a levels or will want to have a paying job. What does your dh think about that?

If it was your family's business and the income was keeping a roof over their heads then I think he would have a point about everyone all pulling together and doing their bit. But that's not the case, they really aren't getting much out of it at all. They are giving up their free time, time they could be going hobbies, spending this with friends studying or even getting a proper paying part time job.

If it wasn't for the impact on studying I might be quiet and let the siblings work it out for themselves but make it clear they can quit if they wanted to.

But I think the impact on studies is too important so have a word with your oldest if you think she's making unreasonable demands on their time.

What would your prefer a daughter with a failed business and 2 others with good grades or a daughter with a failed business and 2 others with poor grades with the associated impact on their futures.

EduCated Sat 23-Nov-13 11:05:14

If your DC decided they weren't happy with the situation and wanted out, what would your DH say? Would he be ok with it, or would he put pressure on them to keep at it?

NoComet Sat 23-Nov-13 11:06:59

In that case DH should pay the other DCs money.

Even at 18 the younger DC will feel under pressure to continue helping, at 15 the youngest DC probably couldn't find a decent job.

It's pure blackmail and totally unfair.

sleepyhead Sat 23-Nov-13 11:17:25

What are the medium term chances of this business ever making enough money to start paying a wage?

I'd worry that this is just masking a basic flaw and staving off the inevitable.

What is your elder dd doing to change things?

Mia4 Sat 23-Nov-13 11:23:04

Just a though OP, most businesses don't make any real profit until one or two years after they start. How long is this unpaid business going to be for given that? Does she actually have a business plan or is she muddling along? If it's the latter expect failure, if it's the former then she should have some idea of overheads including staff wage.

Mia4 Sat 23-Nov-13 11:24:49

Also I think your DC need to be the ones asking this question to her, not you or your DH OP.

Canthisonebeused Sat 23-Nov-13 11:58:54

Leave them to sort this out the selfs.

DontmindifIdo Sat 23-Nov-13 12:29:54

I would make sure your younger DCs know they don't have to work for her and you'd support them telling her they won't work for free anymore. I'd also ask her at what point does she see her business making a profit? Because if it's lack of customers, does she really need 2 other staff members, or is she wasting their time. On the other hand, if she is getting lots of customers, why isn't she making a profit on the food she serves? Does she need to look at her pricing?

Has she taken on large debts she needs to pay off before it makes a profit? In which case, she should know if customer numbers stay approximately the same, how long it will be until she is able to pay her DB and DSis. If the answer is "never" she owes it to them to tell them the truth.

If she has no idea why she's not making a profit, then perhaps this isn't a vaiable business.

I'd definately be encouraging the 18 year old to use the experience she's got to get another job, if she's thinking about Uni next year, it would be very helpful if she can get a job in a highstreet chain shop, she's more likely then to get a transfer to a local branch than trying to look for a job when she gets to uni, plus if she's giving up her free time and more importantly her study time to work, she should at least be going off to uni with a bit of cash behind her.

for your 15 year old, I would make sure he's not working more than 1 day a weekend and 1 night a week. Beyond that it is going to impact on his GCSEs, and again, why should his future be sacrificed for your DD1s?

DontmindifIdo Sat 23-Nov-13 12:31:23

Although Mia - in the case of the 18 year old, I agree it should be them asking the quesitons, the younger child is still just that, a child, who might not realise they are allowed to say no, particularly if their dad is telling them to stick it out and the importance of helping out family.

nennypops Sat 23-Nov-13 13:53:56

I'm almost more concerned that they're working after school. How are they getting their work done? I'd be really concerned if they're jeopardising their GCSEs and A Levels just to help their sister out.

I'm also a bit puzzled about the business model. This is a café employing eldest dd full time, her siblings part time, plus "other staff" which seems to imply at least two others. Given that it doesn't seem to have that much custom if she's still not making any money, does she actually need that many staff anyway? Is she just getting her brother and sister to do stuff that she could do but doesn't want to?

AnnieJanuary Sat 23-Nov-13 14:51:22

Could she risk being shut down if she's found to have unpaid staff? Doesn't that break a few labour laws?

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