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AIBU to feel hoodwinked and annoyed?

(52 Posts)
gratingteeth Fri 10-Dec-10 14:46:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HecTheHallsWithBoughsOfHolly Fri 10-Dec-10 14:50:51

£375 is not a lot really, I know things are tough but speaking as an ex-employer, you have got to do something for the staff, if you want to get the best out of them.

That £375 will do a lot for the company. Never underestimate how important it is to do these things for your staff. At the end of the day, the people you employ and how they work for you make or break you. If they feel good, they work well, you benefit. If they are unhappy, their work suffers and your company - and ultimatly your lifestyle! really suffers.

When you are self employed, you do have to take the hits. You enjoy the rewards when times are good, and you tighten your belt when times are tough. That's the nature of the beast.

It is good business sense - and good employer sense! grin to give them a treat.

hotbot Fri 10-Dec-10 14:52:14

its difficult i know, but sometimes you cant put a price on staff morasle for future business,particularly if as you say he has sacked some of them.
so yanbu but neither is he.

Have a great family xmas and good luck for the new year

EricNorthpolesChristmas Fri 10-Dec-10 14:55:36

Presumably this is a business expense, and not coming out of his pocket (I mean his income)? It will cost him less than that by being tax deductable or what have you, and he does need to follow christmas traditions. Saving face is actually important, as if the staff think the business is under threat they may jump ship, or start to feel insecure which will not be good for their productivity. I feel for you, but that's the thing about running your own business. I'd rather DH spent £150 on christmas, or the electric bill, than MOTing his van but it's a business expense...

ProfYaffle Fri 10-Dec-10 14:56:33

tbh I think reassuring the staff is a sensible thing to do. If there have been redundancies I imagine the better ones may be looking for other jobs in more secure businesses. Giving the impression of the business doing well may give them a greater sense of security and prevent staff losses.

HecTheHallsWithBoughsOfHolly Fri 10-Dec-10 14:56:48

"Saving face is actually important, as if the staff think the business is under threat they may jump ship,"

oh god yes, if they think the company is in trouble it will be!

Your husband is making the right business decision.

happycamel Fri 10-Dec-10 14:57:07

what Hec said.

Could you raise your earnings? Extra shifts, weekend work, promotion etc. My friend has started doing parcel delivery for DHL - it's evenings and weekends only, self employed, she picks her shifts and it has really helped them out financially. It's helped their relationship too - before that DH was grouchy cos the burder was all on his shoulders, now they're lovely together again.

frgr Fri 10-Dec-10 14:58:06

How many people is the work event for?

£375 sounds like a very cheap event (i work in a team of 6 with £50 a head, although there are literally no other events or nights out with work at any other time of year).

i think you are being a bit unreasonable - your H is trying to be a responsible business owner by ensuring he doesn't lose the morale of the key staff he's trying to keep - if others are being made redundant i think you've underestimated the knock on effect it has on other people - they may already be worried about their financial security and looking for other jobs once Christmas is over. A small work event can really, REALLY help to mitigate those effects. i've seen it at DH's workplace (his previous one).

i would agree with you that your DH is being a bit off IF you've had to go without something important.. you mention paying bills late? THAT is important, but it depends on how much by etc. but cancelling an optionl trip, gifts to each other, that's just what has to be done if you're struggling a bit this year - sorry to be so blunt <shrug>

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Fri 10-Dec-10 14:58:35

It migth look like a bad plan to you, but your DH is doing a sensible business thing - he's saying thank you to all the people who've worked really hard this year, and and keeping them sweet for the future.

it's good for staff morale and it's good for the business.

traceybath Fri 10-Dec-10 14:59:01

Yes what Hec said.

If thats also the only staff thing he does then its advantageous from a tax perspective to do this.

Pretty normal to invest in the business and suffer a bit at home though to be honest.

Hopefully things will pick up soon.

TwinklePants Fri 10-Dec-10 15:00:54

I can totally understand where you're coming from, but I can't really see your DH having much choice. I don't think £375 sounds like a lot of money at all for a Christmas do for his staff and as other people have pointed out, as a business expense it will be tax deductable.

I would be cross if he'd spent the cash on an unneccesary frivolity, but it sounds like he is being quite sensible given the low sum, and taking into account the difficult circumstances (redundances etc). He sounds like a good boss to be honest, and has been straightforward with you about your financial situation as a family. Hopefully by scaling back some of your plans you will still be able to have a nice Christmas.

frgr Fri 10-Dec-10 15:01:28

traceybath oh yes i'd forgot about being able to write it off with tax (within limits, maybe the limit is £50 per head annually which is why my work have that limit? guessing though!)

could the OP get a part time job, help out in the business? it sounds like OP's DH has a sensible business head but maybe needs more support rather than facing a "furious" wife who "doesn't believe" he's being honest etc. sad

SerendipitousHarlot Fri 10-Dec-10 15:01:46

I agree with the other posters. Staff morale is really important, and they need to feel valued at the moment. I know you and your dc do too, but it's much easier for him to do that at home.

He's making a really good decision imo.

Deliaskis Fri 10-Dec-10 15:03:21

Agree that really it is the sensible thing to do. Staff goodwill can make or break a company, and presumably they've been working hard under tough conditions with probably no payrises etc. I would see it as a business expense like any other.


traceybath Fri 10-Dec-10 15:04:52

I think its up to about £160 per head or somewhere around that amount annually.

DH does staff events every month so exceeds that by some way but morale is important. Gosh there have been stages in the past when the employees were paid more than DH but thats how it has to be when you have your own business with employees.

Its tough though and I do sympathise.

frgr Fri 10-Dec-10 15:08:42

hmm, just spotted this:

"But I can't remember the last time I bought myself new clothes, or just bought something on a whim. It's been so hand to mouth.

Dh and I had a chat last night and he said we'll still be able to have quite a good Xmas"

it sort of leaps out at me that OP doesn't really know how the business is faring? seems to be in a bit of the dark there, having to get an idea from her DH whether Christmas is affordable?

in which case, if the OP is so un-involved with how the company is doing,i'm not sure it's reasonable to expect to have no input or support for his opinion yet still expect treats and frivolous things - after all i'm sure the DH would have a company with massive profits if he could hmm so that is slightly unfair tbh.

especially to be "furious" about it despite not having a clue. i'm starting to feel more sorry for the Dh the more I mull this one.

AliBellandthe40jingles Fri 10-Dec-10 15:16:28

frgr - all depends how much the DH shares with the OP though surely?
Although in her position, I would be making sure I knew every damm penny that was going in and out of a business that I was relying on to support my family and was struggling.

OP - I think your husband is doing the right thing. Hard as it may be to swallow, having to recruit new staff if existing ones leave will be an expensive business and probably cost more than £375.
I honestly thought you were going to say he was spending thousands, but a few hundred that is tax deductable is a very small amount in the context of other business expenses.

Trifle Fri 10-Dec-10 16:16:49

I disagree entirely. Staff do NOT need a Christmas party.

I would be mightily pissed off if my family had to go without just so that office staff can get trashed on my money. I think it's ridiculous.

I employ 3 people, we're not having a Christmas party, I;ve never given one and I;ve had the same 3 staff members now for 4 years.

Staff are not going to stay in a job just because the boss gives them a treat once a year. You cant buy loyalty, people either want to work for him or dont.

If I were you I;d be outraged. He obviously feels his staff are far more worthy than his family.

frgr Fri 10-Dec-10 16:27:52

Trifle, i think you're missing the point a bit.

Staff don't need a Christmas party, and people don't stay in a job OR leave if they don't get one. But, in times where a compancy is struggling and redundancies have been made, there may already be the niggle in the back of people's minds about the future financial security of staying in their job there, i.e. if the company is struggling to pay for even the most (in this case, very relatively low cost) basic tax-deductable expenses. Especially if there has been one every year before.

that is exactly what happened in my DH's old place of work - the place is still going, but with him as the sole breadwinner we just couldn't risk ending up with him being last out the door. he'd already lined up job interviews after the 1st round of redundancies. a company cutting back on basics like a cheap Xmas event would just be another alarm bell. you can't buy loyalty, but you can build confidence in the business in many small ways. this is one of them.

besides, the OP isn't having to go without. she's said that she struggled to pay bills this year, fair do's. but she hasn' qualified them, it seems to have been mostly resolved albeit still not great, and she complains about not being able to indulge buying whims or new clothes.

far from feeling his staff are worth more than his wife's interest in spending company profits, the DH appears to have a good busienss head becuase he realises a company (their livlihood! the people who actually do the work to turn a profit) is ONLY as strong as its people. if they are not confident in their or the company's financial viability, it's basically like rats of a sinking ship.

i think you're trivialising the issue into a black and white "they don't need a party, so since OP is struggling, just cut it" - this is a very VERY short sighted manner of thinking, albeit one which i'm not surprised at, judging by the culture in a lot of small British companies.


AliBellandthe40jingles Fri 10-Dec-10 16:37:54

Trifle - it isn't a question of buying loyalty, it is a question of reassuring people that they too aren't going to lose their jobs.
They may love the company, love the boss and love their jobs - but if they worry that in 6 months time they will be struggling to pay the mortgage and feed their families then of course they will look elsewhere.

And having looked elsewhere, if they are offered something with more attractive salary etc then most people will take it and loyalty be dammed - because that won't keep a roof over your head.

Ormirian Fri 10-Dec-10 16:47:37

A small business has a christmas do every year. One year during a recession things get a bit dicey, everyone knows it but everyone keeps plodding on, crossing their fingers and hoping. They don't leave or look for other jobs because they like the company they work for and they feel that it's probably going to be OK. But then, come christmas, no party! First time ever. It might just ring a few warning bells that things aren't OK, that there is a major problem. A company is only as good as it's staff. That is the burden of moving from a one-man band to an orchestra. You have to keep the string section happy grin

AliBellandthe40jingles Fri 10-Dec-10 16:50:58

Good metaphor Orm grin

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 10-Dec-10 16:59:34

I agree with most of the posters here. Good staff need to be valued. They will give much more back.

£375 is not much - that used to be around our per head budget back in the last days of Sodom 2006.

NemoTheRedNosedFish Fri 10-Dec-10 17:27:15

I agree with Trifle.

I think that my dc and my partner having a good happy Christmas is more important than my employees having a knees up. It's true that a good Christmas doesn't have to cost that much more money but flippin heck it helps.

Does seem like the dh is putting his employees before his children in this.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 10-Dec-10 17:38:24

NemoTheRedNosedFish Fri 10-Dec-10 17:27:15

"Does seem like the dh is putting his employees before his children in this."

The employees are what will keep the company going when times get really tight.

A little bit of good will goes a long way.

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