to feel very betrayed by this

(87 Posts)
rutile Wed 02-Jan-13 18:26:49

I run a small business and I employ my brother (18) part time to help me with the admin. Today he told me that he’s been offered another job and that if I don’t raise his pay then he’s going to take it. We have been struggling recently but we are about to enter a very busy spell and I could do without having to recruit a replacement and show them how I want things to be done etc. I have always treated him really well (eg I gave him 3 weeks off around his exam period in the summer) and I feel really hurt that he has been going behind my back looking for another job to spring his increased wage demands. DP says that’s capitalism for you and said I should have listened to him when he said I shouldn’t have employed him and mixed family and business.

zandy Wed 02-Jan-13 18:29:01

Wish him well and send him on his way. He needs to work for others before he can properly appreciate the value of working for family.

CaptChaos Wed 02-Jan-13 18:31:50

Is he worth the extra money? Could you afford to pay him more? If not, then recruit someone new, you're pretty much guaranteed to have lots of applicants.

DP is probably right, without very clear boundaries, mixing family and business is probably not the best idea.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 02-Jan-13 18:32:48

If he wants to further his career/earn more then he's totally entitled to.

PessaryPam Wed 02-Jan-13 18:33:47

Yup, let him go.

I agree with Zandy

StuntGirl Wed 02-Jan-13 18:36:07

If he's found another job let him go. I agree he could have raised the issue more tactfully, but he's 18. He has no real world or job experience. Ensure he works his notice and if you can get him to help train the new starter - extra experience for him and he's not leaving you totally in the lurch wrt training.

rutile Wed 02-Jan-13 18:43:28

I probably could afford to pay him a little bit more and he is quite good at it. Its just I have been far more understanding and accomadating than a normal employer would be and he has been really sneaky and then issued me with an ultimatum.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 02-Jan-13 18:47:12

Is his new job a full time one? Just thinking that he might be ready for full time hours now. He will also be looking to gain more experience at his age, and a part time job for your sister doesn't look that great on a CV. I don't think he's done anything that bad, surely you would expect him to look elsewhere at some point.

hopenglory Wed 02-Jan-13 18:48:00

Wish him well, Let him go and find somebody else, otherwise you'll behaving the same conversation in about 3 months

rutile Wed 02-Jan-13 18:50:02

No its a part-time job in a bar that he's going to do whilst finishing his A Levels.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Wed 02-Jan-13 18:50:57

Let him go with your blessing and let him find out for himself whether the grass is greener or or not

It is examples like this that reinforce to me that having friends/family as employee/employer rarely works out well long term

NatashaBee Wed 02-Jan-13 18:52:41

As long as he gives you notice as specified in his contract (does he have a contract?) then he's perfectly entitled to work elsewhere. Bar work is probably not much more than minimum wage though - so are you paying him min wage? Can he not do both jobs for a while if he wants more money?

rutile Wed 02-Jan-13 18:55:27

He's got a contract and he's on the minimum wage

SandStorm Wed 02-Jan-13 19:01:08

He needs to learn that if you issue an ultimatum you have to be prepared to follow it through.

uiler Wed 02-Jan-13 19:01:35

YABVU you pay your brother the minimum wage which is the lowest you can legally get away with and is a poverty wage and then get upset when he tries to get a better offer to use as leverage to get you to up his pay.

poiler Wed 02-Jan-13 19:05:24

You need to decide whether he is worth the salary increase if he is pay it if not then boot his backside out of the door.

Have to say I admire his confidence, for a 18yo he sounds to have a lot of balls.

EarlyInTheMorning Wed 02-Jan-13 19:05:50

Even if you paying him a little more to get him to stay he's obviously looking for other options. You might increase his wages and find that in three months time he still wants to go. Be graceful about it, wish him good luck, give him a fantastic reference (sounds like he deserves it) but ask him to work his notice and train a new person (I'm looking for work blush)

2beornot Wed 02-Jan-13 19:06:22

What would you do if it wasn't your brother? Because you should exactly that. He hasn't treated you more favourably than any other employer so he should expect that back.

I do think he's entitled to do what he did however, but he should be prepared to go through with it!!

e4r Wed 02-Jan-13 19:17:43

You can hardly expect unquestioned loyalty family or not when you only the minimum wage. You are paying the least you can in order to maximise your returns and he is doing the same. The way that he seems to have chosen to do this when you sound to need him the most shows a ruthlessness to be admired.

e4r Wed 02-Jan-13 19:18:53

sorry that should be

You can hardly expect unquestioned loyalty family or not when you only pay the minimum wage.

libelulle Wed 02-Jan-13 19:19:54

You only pay him the minimum wage!!! And you have to ask why he is leaving?!

HecatePropolos Wed 02-Jan-13 19:21:09

Let him go. You have to be able to separate family and business. Treat him as you would anyone else.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 02-Jan-13 19:21:55

He's not being "sneaky" in looking for a new job. He's considering his future, and good luck to him.

NervousReindeer Wed 02-Jan-13 19:23:20

I agree let him go. He'll quickly realise it had it more comfortable

CloudsAndTrees Wed 02-Jan-13 19:23:25

He's 18 and still a student! There's nothing wrong with paying him minimum wage!

OP I agree with getting someone else in and getting your brother to help with the training.

Lulumama Wed 02-Jan-13 19:24:39

he's a young lad with a levels to consider, maybe college/ uni/ further education to fund, so why shouldn't he look for something more lucrative?

this is why family & business can be a bad mix at times

you need to treat him like any other employee and don't be surprised when he treats you like a boss

did you expect him to stay for ever?

racingheart Wed 02-Jan-13 19:26:21

You could remind him that you have been more flexible than a non family member and would really appreciate him returning this loyalty by staying on until the busy time is over.

Do you have a notice period that he has to work? Could you expect him to work this, to cover the busy period?

But overall, I'd let him go. It will be good for him to work for a less flexible employer, and good for you to train up someone who you can build a truly professional rapport with.

Hope your busy time goes well, whatever happens.

LIZS Wed 02-Jan-13 19:30:14

would you feel equally betrayed had he not been family ?

rutile Wed 02-Jan-13 19:31:07

I didn't think he'd stay forever but I thought he'd be here until he went to university and that he'd help me recruit and train a replacement. Not issue an ultimatum when he knows we're at our busiest and I need him.

Lulumama Wed 02-Jan-13 19:33:04

you have to take out the fact he is family, he is still an 18 year old, who are not generally reknowned for being selfless and give him a hard time

you can't expect that he would have read your mind and known exactly what you expected from him

oliyer Wed 02-Jan-13 19:39:16

YANBU he's been a right little shit, waiting for the most oportune time to strike. I'd be fuming and tell him shove his wage increase demands up his arse and show him where the door is, I'd also make it clear that this stunt would be taken into account should he ever need you for a reference.

CelticPromise Wed 02-Jan-13 19:44:03

It's not a 'stunt' ffs he's got a new job. He is perfectly entitled to do so. You could appeal to his better nature but if he wants to leave that's fair enough IMO. He hasn't ' issued an ultimatum' he's handed in his notice and explained why.

3smellysocks Wed 02-Jan-13 19:46:38

if he wasn't your brother how much would you be paying him?

OkayHazel Wed 02-Jan-13 19:57:28

You simply cannot expect anyone to work for you forever. Even your brother, unless you give him part ownership in the company!

Good luck to the boy! Your business does not sound like a sustainable career.

libelulle Wed 02-Jan-13 20:07:56

There's nothing wrong with paying him minimum wage...until he realises that there are jobs out there that pay more. He just has! Don't expect loyalty if you pay peanuts - especially for family. This is just your attitude coming back to bite you, sorry!

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Wed 02-Jan-13 20:14:54

Stunt ? Christ almighty.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Wed 02-Jan-13 20:16:10

If your business suffers because of this, there was something wrong with your plans in the first place, tbh

peaceandlovebunny Wed 02-Jan-13 20:20:25

let him go.

family always do this. they are family to get the job, family to get extra time off, family to get their transport paid for, then when work slows down and you have to lay them off they stop being family and become employees demanding vast amounts of redundancy etc not taking into account that if they'd behaved like employees the company wouldn't need to be taking drastic action.
not me. my dad taken advantage of by his brothers, in the 1960s.

let him go. you'll be well rid of him. get someone on a more formal arrangement.

RobotLover68 Wed 02-Jan-13 20:27:38

People are allowed to move on - family or not! If I was on min. wage I'd be looking for something else too - you're an employer it goes with the territory - pay the right money or find someone else


FestiveWench Wed 02-Jan-13 20:38:34


You have the wrong attitude to running a business IMO.

Bogeyface Wed 02-Jan-13 20:44:20

He is an 18 year old working as an admin assistant. I wouldnt expect more the NMW for that!

OkayHazel Thu 03-Jan-13 00:37:25

I wouldnt expect more the NMW for that!

Exactly why he went and got another job!

HeadfirstForAMistletoeKiss Thu 03-Jan-13 00:51:46

Minimum wage for an 18 year old is £4.98. If you pay shit wages then don't be surprised when staff look elsewhere and leave!

AmberLeaf Thu 03-Jan-13 01:10:06

If it was that cushy working for you, why would he look for a job elsewhere?

OkayHazel Thu 03-Jan-13 01:11:05

Precisely MistletoeKiss!

Noone is happy on minimum wage, especially when there obviously jobs he can do (and has been offered) for more.

To those saying 'let him leave, he'll realize how good he had it' - I'm sure the extra cash in his pocket will soften the blow!

BettySuarez Thu 03-Jan-13 01:19:20

I doubt you'll be able to replace him with anyone else for NMW - my DD aged 16 earns £6.72 an hour stacking shelves in a supermarket.

Perhaps you thought you were doing him a favour by employing him which has led to a skewed sense of betrayal?

Wish him luck, provide him with a good reference

Angelfootprints Thu 03-Jan-13 01:27:46

So you admit you could pay him more and he is good... So why not pay him more to reflect his ability then in the first place then?

Where is your loyalty to him as an employer?

I feel sorry for him you have chosen to pay him less than you can afford and that he is worth.

Darkesteyes Thu 03-Jan-13 01:32:20

And you were expecting him to help train up his replacement as well while on NMW.

HeadfirstForAMistletoeKiss Thu 03-Jan-13 01:43:47

Yes, loyalty is the word.You expect loyalty from him, but where is his from you?

Perhaps with his timing he was hoping you would see how valuable he is to your business? It sounds like you will miss him!

CaHoHoHootz Thu 03-Jan-13 01:48:05

YAB very U and a bit mean (sorry)

Working for your sister as an admin assistant doesn't sound like the most exciting thing for an 18 year old to be doing. Bar work ( especially if he gets tips) sounds like a lot more fun and every penny counts if you have only been earning NMW.

Wish him luck and give him a nice bonus when he leaves. smile

OldMacEIEIO Thu 03-Jan-13 01:55:35

What an absolute ingrate.

make sure you one of his kidneys before he leaves

MrRected Thu 03-Jan-13 01:58:58

I think you might be worried about the prospect of finding a replacement for him. I suspect you'll struggle to get somebody to do his job for GBP4.98 per hour and you know this.

He is perfectly within his rights to seek a higher wage. In fact, I applaud him for having the gumption to seek out better opportunities for himself.

Kaida Thu 03-Jan-13 02:41:34

Either the job, wage and conditions are good enough that it was a favour employing him, in which case you'll replace him no trouble, or your NMW job was bad enough that no-one would blame him jumping ship.

misterwife Thu 03-Jan-13 06:34:04

'I probably could afford to pay him a little bit more' - so do, if you value him that much.

Tee2072 Thu 03-Jan-13 06:59:13

Of course it's a stunt, but it's one that lots of people pull, being your brother has nothing to do with that part.

So treat him the way you would any other employee; insist he work his notice and wish him luck in the future.

buttercrumble Thu 03-Jan-13 07:09:11

I dont blame him , if you only pay him the minimum wage...

msrisotto Thu 03-Jan-13 07:26:22

YABU for feeling betrayed! You're only paying him minimum wage and bar work will be much more sociable and fun for him. I think this is a good opportunity to employ someone outside of family and friends where you have complicated politics to work around.

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 03-Jan-13 07:31:22

Yabu - and mean

Why shouldn't he earn more if he can? He is not here to prop up your business for the minimum wage. Think about how YOU act.

PanickingIdiot Thu 03-Jan-13 07:36:02

I thought he'd be here until he went to university and that he'd help me recruit and train a replacement. Not issue an ultimatum when he knows we're at our busiest and I need him.

Sorry but you can't run a business with that sort of attitude.

Employees work for you for the money, for the experience, or for the professional fulfillment. Not because you are busy or need a replacement trained. Just like you aren't employing them because they have bills to pay, are you? You employ them because you need their skills to make your profit.

If supply and demand is such that they get a better job elsewhere, and you can't or don't want to compete with those other employers, then you'll have to re-think what kind of employee you want to attract next time and what you can offer to them that's better than what they get elsewhere.

WinkyWinkola Thu 03-Jan-13 08:45:44

Looking for another job is hardly a betrayal, family or not. What a silly attitude.

Minimum wage is pretty shitty too. It's not a living wage.

I'd expect a pretty high turnover of staff in future if I were you.

FredFredGeorge Thu 03-Jan-13 09:20:42

YABVU, fair enough you hoped he'd stay longer, lots of employers do with their valuable employees, and to help that they pay them more, or offer other incentives.

Pay him more, or wish him luck in his new job - bar work is almost certainly more valuable job than admin for family in any case. It teaches a lot of good skills.

TameGaloot Thu 03-Jan-13 09:34:56

I think the op thought the other incentives were the amount of flexibility she gave him. He won't find other employers as flexible about taking time off for exams, will need to use his holiday and won't necessarily get that time if there are other people needing it too

FlimFlamMerrilyOnHigh Thu 03-Jan-13 09:45:50

Jesus, all these people complaining that the diddums is being exploited. When I was 18 and a student I did all kinds of shitty jobs and the minimum wage didn't exist. A part time job as admin assistant to an understanding and flexible employer is definitely cushy!

BettySuarez Thu 03-Jan-13 09:58:36

I don't think anyone is saying he is being exploited flimflam

He accepted the work but now has a better offer elsewhere and so is going to take it. It's not a 'betrayal' or a 'stunt', it's a perfectly natural and sensible decision.

I think OP that it's you who sounds a bit entitled and needy if I may say so. It must have taken your brother quite a bit of courage to make the decision he has.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 03-Jan-13 10:08:23

Experience of a bar job will stand him in good stead when he wants to find work as a student to support himself, he will have developed a good skill set. Plus it is a step up from working for your big sister, I'm not sure you are displaying a professional attitude to your relationship.
You paid him minimum wage and gave him 3 weeks off so he could study and take the exams he needs which doesn't sound especially generous. How many hours a week is he working for you?
Let him go and consider whether it is worth losing the relationship over.

Narked Thu 03-Jan-13 10:18:11

WOW! This sums up everything that worries me about the idea of working with family.

You pay him as little as you can legally get away with, he's good at his job, you could afford to pay him more and you feel betrayed!!! Why the hell wouldn't he look elsewhere! He's given you a chance to match the better offer rather than just walking.

You sound like you need to grow up.

FlimFlamMerrilyOnHigh Thu 03-Jan-13 11:15:15

BettySuarez 'now has a better offer elsewhere and so is going to take it'

I think you're missing the point. He's not just saying he's going to take another offer. He's saying he's found another job but he'll stay if she gives him a raise.

But I agree, it's better to avoid mixing family and business. It would probably be better for him too to be employed elsewhere.

suburbophobe Thu 03-Jan-13 11:21:32

He needs to find his way in the world so I think it can only be a good thing that he is stepping into it.

Maybe he can help you train the new person?

Xales Thu 03-Jan-13 11:31:51

If you are going to run a business then you have to separate feelings out of it. Your brother was an employee. While it is nice to have a lovely friendly relationship with employees you need to remain professional.

People are going to come and go in a business. It happens.

We have an apprentice from university in our department and she is on less than £3 a hour! She slaves her guts out and works overtime for no extra. Our boss wants to give her a set role and duties. The rest of us are saying no. She is there to learn and help her studies, she will not learn the rest of the job just be stuck doing that bit and if he wants her to do a proper official job then he has to pay her a proper wage. He just sees her as cheap and doesn't care. That is wrong.

I don't think there is anything wrong with paying NMW to an 18 year old who has probably learned a lot as they go. Once they have learned the extra they will be off like a shot to where there is more money. That is the way of the world.

If your business is struggling to pay someone NMW for part time hours then you need to look and see if you really need someone or can do a few hours more yourself or if there is a problem with your business that it is not making enough money to support the people needed to make it work? Or look at a temp, slightly more expensive but only use them for when you are busy and need them and cover it yourself during the quiet periods.

whois Thu 03-Jan-13 11:35:55

Minimum wage is pretty shitty too. It's not a living wage

No and it doesn't have to be a bloody living wage when your 18, living at home and working for pocket money FFS.

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 03-Jan-13 11:42:58

Pocket money?
Or building up a fund to help see him through his first year at University.
Maybe he's developed claustrophobia working for his big sister and wants some space, rather than being seen as an ungrateful child.

WinkyWinkola Thu 03-Jan-13 11:46:26

So if you're living at home, you shouldn't be entitled to decent pay? Really? Gosh. No wonder young people don't have a hope in hell of getting on the property ladder.

In fact, I think some employers actually resent paying their staff anything. Staff should be honoured to have the privilege of working at all. grin

RugBugs Thu 03-Jan-13 11:50:27

If he has little/no bar work experience he's most likely going to spending his time washing tables and collecting empties.
This is also the quietest time of the year for bars/pubs (the weather made for a disappointing last half of Dec too) so it seems an odd time to be recruiting.

I'd be wondering if he was just calling your bluff, and nmw is unfortunately pretty standard for entry level jobs, call it an apprenticeship and employers can pay even less.

littleladyindoors Thu 03-Jan-13 12:01:57

I work for family, and I would never go like this. Someone who has been working for you will know this is a busy time, and you really shouldnt issue an ultimatum. I understand where you are coming from totally. We dont even get paid, because we reinvest and work on the business.
I would let him go, training someone new is a pain but let him go and get other work. We had someone leave us in the business thinking the grass was greener, and left in a horrible way just before our busiest time of the year.

As for the minimum wage thing, if you can find a job at 18 with minimum experience for a lot more then good for you. Id work for minimum wage now, with my experience if I needed a job. Many places arent even paying that, due to apprenticeships and volunteers now.

ComposHat Thu 03-Jan-13 12:08:53

There is nothing 'sneaky' about looking for another job, he is an employee who is entitled to sell his labour to whoever he chooses. You pay him the legal minimum and are surprised that he wants to look elsewhere?

If you are expecting unquestioning devotion and loyalty in exchange for shite wages just because you share a genepool then YABVU.

BettySuarez Thu 03-Jan-13 13:31:59

I honestly don't think that his rate of pay or the fact that he is your brother should have any bearing here.

If you had posted to say that you were employing a teenager part-time who had now decided to look for another job, all of the responses on here would be 'eh?' 'and?'

I presume that you have issued him with a proper employment contract (if not, why not?) and that in there it states that he needs to give x amount of notice?

So is he working his notice or not? If he is then what are you complaining about?

If he isn't then he will learn the hard way that he needs to treat his employers fairly if he wishes be treated fairly by them.

I have employed family before (I have employed my teens part-time too) and there have never been any problems as we have always kept work and family seperate and kept everything on a professional level.

Not any any point would I have expected my kids to feel 'obligated' or 'grateful' for the work/pay they had and I actively encouraged them to move on when the time was right for them

It's a mistake to make assumptions based on a percieved family loyalty

skullcandy Thu 03-Jan-13 13:49:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

12ylnon Thu 03-Jan-13 14:42:37

He's 18 and you expect him to stick with a minimum wage job? I understand that you may not be able to pay him more, but i don't think you can be annoyed at him for making the most of the opportunity he's been given. I would be very proud of him if i were you!

I would be hurt if a member of my family went about it in this way (not that I am in your situation). I can understand why you would feel betrayed, but I think the best thing to do now is let him go. At 18 the grass will always be greener on the other side, and if you increase his wage now (whether you can afford to or not) you will always be worrying about whether he would do the same again. Wish him the very best of luck and ask if he would be prepared to stay on long enough to train someone else (even if you pay him more for a few weeks to do so).

GrumpySod Thu 03-Jan-13 16:50:35

yanbu. I'd be well cheesed off.
Hope you find a good replacement quickly.

oldraver Thu 03-Jan-13 16:55:30

Get him to draft an advert for a new employee before he goes

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 03-Jan-13 17:07:11

where has op gone ?

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 03-Jan-13 17:10:24

She has flounced anyfucker!

ComposHat Thu 03-Jan-13 17:13:35

Get him to draft an advert for a new employee

Something like - Schuck required, must be prepared to work for a pittance and offer a lifetime commitment. Employer reserves the right to get shirty if you ever attempt to seek alternative employment.

StuntGirl Sun 06-Jan-13 20:19:28

You lot must have been in very lucky positions to be able to turn down NMW jobs at age 18! I certainly didn't get anything better than that at that age.

ComposHat Sun 06-Jan-13 20:31:57

Well regardless of that he HAS found something better.

SO he can hardly be blamed for taking it.

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