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.

HandragsNGladbags Fri 22-Nov-13 20:32:49

How long has it been going on for?

If they decide to help an elder sibling willingly I would stay out of it. If they are disgruntled then they shouldn't be pressurised into continuing with the situation imo

I'd speak to her. If your DH wants to lend her money to support her new venture then it should be his, not his other DCs'.

WipsGlitter Fri 22-Nov-13 20:34:10

I think your other children are old enough to decide for themselves if they're prepared to keep working for nothing.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 22-Nov-13 20:34:24

YABU I think, if her sibs think family loyalty is more important then they will stay- if they think they are unpaid labour then they can leave.

tyun Fri 22-Nov-13 20:34:39

Its been going nearly 5 months.

IslaValargeone Fri 22-Nov-13 20:35:15

Depends how long they have been doing it?
If they agreed to do it for free for a while then they should stick to the arrangement.

IslaValargeone Fri 22-Nov-13 20:36:39

Ah, cross post.
5 months, that's a bit much then.
I think it's up to them to speak up, not you.

LEMisafucker Fri 22-Nov-13 20:37:01

unless she made it clear to them that this would be a no pay job then she is well out of order, if she can't afford to pay her staff, she is doing something wrong - unless of course she is going to give her siblings equal share in the profits then she starts to make money.

witchremix Fri 22-Nov-13 20:38:01

I would leave it up to them but I think I would make it clear to the working dc they may never get paid and see if they are happy to help their sister like that?

Jinty64 Fri 22-Nov-13 20:39:31

Your dh should either pay dd & ds's wages himself or go and work in the cafe himself to "show support". I would not be happy with this.

Annunziata Fri 22-Nov-13 20:39:59

I would speak to her. If she is not making enough to pay wages now, she will not be making enough in January and February, they are always the worst. Your other dc have been very good to to 5 months already, but asking them to wait longer is wrong.

Is she keeping a record of what she owes them, making plans of when she will pay them, and what kind of interest/bonus she might give as a thank you? It's great if they are prepared to help her out like this, but it needs to be their choice, rather than an assumption that they'll comply just because they are family - especially with your DS who's still a child

If your DH is so keen to assist, is he helping out of free too?, or considering helping her with a loan perhaps? That may be better than her siblings feeling pressured/fed up with the situation

phantomnamechanger Fri 22-Nov-13 20:42:48

I would not allow this - she needs a loan or something to boost her takings while she starts up, but she should not be relying on a hell of a lot of free labour - if YOU wanted to offer some of your time FOC, that's all well and good, but not at all fair on the siblings to be forced/expected to put up with it. They have shown willing, been understanding, but 5 months is taking the piss. They could be earning doing other jobs.

Smartiepants79 Fri 22-Nov-13 20:44:10

Is there no way she can pay at least some of the wages and buy herself a bit of goodwill?
I would speak to her, trying to put their point across without taking sides.
I also agree that it is up to her siblings really. If they are not happy to work for free anymore then I wouldn't put any pressure on them to change their mind.
It's fine to say she is not taking a wage but it is HER business and she will (hopefully) reap the benefits. What will they get?

tyun Fri 22-Nov-13 20:48:19

No neither me nor DH work there. She specifically asked them to work for her and they didn't mind the non-payment at first but are getting annoyed now.

Liara Fri 22-Nov-13 20:52:17

I'm really not sure about this one.

I think it is great when family can help out, and it is really hard getting a business off the ground.

But your other dc should benefit too.

Maybe she can offer that she will keep tabs of how much she owes them, and give them that plus a bonus of a share of the profit when she does turn the corner?

Twoandtwomakeschaos Fri 22-Nov-13 20:53:48

Unless they knew it would be long-term and unpaid, I think it is rather unfair of her. They aren't happy (you say they have already approached her asking for their due) and working for her stops them actually earning money elsewhere. If it wasn't your eldest DD, what would you do? You say you'd advise them to walk out if they weren't paid. Well, perhaps you should, as their Mother, even if you feel you can't speak to DD1 (though, as HER Mother, can't you tell her she is being unfair, either in not making explicit that she expected the work to be unpaid and long-term or in promising pay and not following through?). Realisitically, the longer they work and the more they have owing, the harder it will be for her to find that sort of money.

loveandsmiles Fri 22-Nov-13 20:55:04

5 months is a long time. However I do think her siblings are old enough to speak up for themselves.

I would feel proud that my children were pulling together and helping each other out and would like to think that DD1 would help her siblings out in future if need be. On the bright side, they are gaining work and life experience that is always good to add to a CV in future........ grin

Twoandtwomakeschaos Fri 22-Nov-13 20:56:44

Actually, having read your latest post Op, I think she is perilously close to taking them for mugs and abusing their goodwill, which may have a long-term impact on the family's realtionships. Also, DS is a minor and, therfore, you have a legal role in sticking-up for him.

Chlorinella Fri 22-Nov-13 21:01:44

5 months is too long to be working unpaid .
They should be speaking to her about this , and I think you should be involved too , I feel she's taking advantage of them .

SlowlorisIncognito Fri 22-Nov-13 21:04:51

I think you do have to say something. It may be a long time before she makes any money, if she ever manages to make any at all! Is your DH expecting her to exploit her siblings permenantly? Presumably, if they were not working for her, she would have to pay other staff, so it might even be giving her the impression her business is almost viable when it is not.

I think you need to sit down and talk to her. Ask her when she expects to be making enough money to pay her siblings, and how she is going to pay them 5 months wages (or more) if the business folds. I think you should also support your other children if they decide they no longer want to work for free, although try and persuade them to at least give her some notice. What will she do if they decide enough is enough and walk out leaving her in the lurch?

Do they get anything in the way of tips? If not, what happens to them?

MammaTJ Fri 22-Nov-13 21:05:53

5 months is seriously taking the piss out of their goodwill! It is nice to have a succesful enterpenerial older sister, but not at their expense. All that teaches them is to roll over and play dead and be taken advantage of.

toffeesponge Fri 22-Nov-13 21:06:06

What is she doing for money then if she hasn't paid herself? How is she paying her bills and buying her food?

tyun Fri 22-Nov-13 21:11:19

They do get a share of the tips. Her boyfriend is paying her bills at the moment.

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?

Mia4 Sat 23-Nov-13 16:35:37

Very true DontmindifIdo, OP should tell her kids this or perhaps OP should show her DP this thread and/or tell him that he should be explaining this to them since it's his relative and they'll be worried about letting him down.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now