Employees' Issues

(1 Post)
GrumpyOldHorsewoman Tue 04-Oct-16 11:41:50

Don't know if this is the right place to post this, but I'm just looking for some advice.

DH and I started our new business in November last year. It is quite seasonal in that we can be very busy from October until March and slack right off during the Spring/summer. We did get very quiet this summer and it was a real struggle keeping all the staff on at full pay, but they were worth it to me so we endured the loss. My accountant is always bollocking us for paying our staff too much (they take home a guaranteed wage of £350 per week for around 35 hours, supervisor on £500 per week). We have 4 staff and one supervisor which is the number we need to cope when we have a full workload (finite capacity), which meant that we were paying a wage bill of around £10k per month for about 7 months when the staff really didn't have enough work to do. Now we are getting busy again and our supervisor has suddenly quit, one of the staff is leaving to work abroad (after asking for a bonus we couldn't afford to pay yet) and another walked out this morning after an argument with one of the others and the last one wants a month's holiday, commencing in two weeks. I admit to being more than a little aggrieved after the financial hardship I've borne to keep them all on (at full pay) during the long lean spell that as soon as the workload increases to a normal level they go elsewhere. DH and I were in business before and it was a regulated industry with its own rates of pay so we had none of these problems. We work with horses, so our staff are performing stable duties and, having worked in various sectors within the horse industry, I know that our pay rates, hours and working conditions are excellent. DH wants to keep on paying these rates (in excess of £10 per hour) but I think it's unsustainable for at least half the year anyway - I'd rather pay £8 per hour with overtime and bonuses where warranted as I think it would be better if employees actually saw the benefits of a greater workload reflected in their pay packets and it would also alleviate the burden on us to maintain full-hours wages during the quiet season. I'm seeking advice really - can I canvass your opinions please? Obviously I'd love to pay my staff £10 per hour, but our business just can't cope with that at this stage.

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