Page 2 | To think that refusing to do an handover so you can be called back as a consultant is a dick move?

(156 Posts)
AFewScrewsLucy Sun 24-Oct-21 20:45:06

Colleague handed in notice. And has outright refused to do a handover of knowledge, because they wants company to keep them on with a retainer and consultancy fees. so when a particular procedure happens, the company would have to being them back and pay them to do the work? They are leaving to start their new business in consultancy for this procedure.There is a member of staff that will be taking the role on and the procedure is quite specific to the company.
Is this person a dick, or that's just how business works etc.

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fashionSOS Sun 24-Oct-21 21:03:44

Company is in the wrong for only having one person able to easily do this, and for waiting until they resigned to consider training someone else up. Poor planning.

titchy Sun 24-Oct-21 21:03:49

I do agree they're being a dick though. Why are you trying to tell management their job can be done without hiring them back? Why does it matter to you?

daimbarsatemydogsbone Sun 24-Oct-21 21:07:14

VladmirsPoutine

I'd say they're being dickish about it especially if they're really going around the office saying they are 'self-preserving' grin like a jar of pickled gherkins grin

Yeah that bit is dickish.

Using knowledge to set up as a consultant - not at all dickish - and if the company doesn't want that to happen they should take steps.

Having been a self employed consultant though - this person doesn't sound as if they will make a go of it.

Stellaris22 Sun 24-Oct-21 21:09:46

I think it’s a smart move on the employees part here. They’ve dedicated their time and energy in being skilled at something, they absolutely should hang on to it. Employees have no requirement to give away their knowledge for an employers benefit once they are no longer employed by them. A lot of employers take advantage of people as it is, too right employees shouldn’t want to give away a niche skill.

It’s a bit cheeky if the employer helped pay for any training though.

drpet49 Sun 24-Oct-21 21:10:34

* Company may have taken their eye off the ball but I would not hire this person as a consultant*

^This. No one is irreplaceable. The consultant thinks they are gods gift.

AFewScrewsLucy Sun 24-Oct-21 21:10:44

Ok. Imagine a relatively complex set of reports from a database that has had a lot of tweaking/personalisation and modification/customisation. They have worked on these reports, alongside the database provider. If these reports aren't done on time it has a negative impact on business operations.

This person is claiming because of the level of 'inside knowledge' they have of the system, no-one else could possibly do it and if they did they're going to cause irreversible damage to the data. Management are scared.

The remaining colleagues and person that is replacing them, say whilst they don't know the exact procedure, they do know enough about the procedure and the systems to work it out. They also can liaise with DB company etc. They are confident that they can complete the procedure. And would also take measures to ensure that the data is not lost in the event of any possible mistakes. Ie. Back ups and test environments etc.

Sorry if it's too vague.

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fashionSOS Sun 24-Oct-21 21:10:59

Lostmarbles2021

Perhaps the company can pay a one off fee for training.

It is a dick move IMO and not really a smart one. The company will only pay them for a minimum amount of time until they can get something more sustainable set up and being self employed relies a lot on word of mouth and your reputation. He/she/they would have been better off being generous with their time and knowledge - it would have left the relationship positive and people on the same field tend to talk (may be not in this case), who knows how much business might not go their way if they have soured this relationship.

I assume the company trained them. The knowledge they gained really belongs to the company - not legally I guess - but morally. It lacks integrity what they have done. I wouldn’t trust them or use them unless I had to.

Not necessarily re training.

When I was hired for my current role, I came with pre-existing knowledge. I can and do train staff up in some of it, but not all of it.

To give you an (untrue) example, it's a bit like I've been employed to paint teapots for a company that has a major contract with a business that only speaks Spanish. I'm happy to train up staff to paint teapots as well as I do, but I feel teaching them Spanish is well outside the scope of my contract, as that's not something you pick up on a job. People go to university to learn that...

In general, not doing a proper handover is really unprofessional, but without knowing exactly what the colleagues does and what their job is supposed to involve, you can't say for sure.

DerAlteMann Sun 24-Oct-21 21:12:28

If the company is stupid enough not to have got a reserve trained up it deserves all it gets. What would it have done if the employee concerned had gone under a bus?

AFewScrewsLucy Sun 24-Oct-21 21:13:08

Stellaris22

I think it’s a smart move on the employees part here. They’ve dedicated their time and energy in being skilled at something, they absolutely should hang on to it. Employees have no requirement to give away their knowledge for an employers benefit once they are no longer employed by them. A lot of employers take advantage of people as it is, too right employees shouldn’t want to give away a niche skill.

It’s a bit cheeky if the employer helped pay for any training though.

But they are still employed by them. They still have 2 weeks notice (had to give 6) and have refused to do handover.
Employer has paid for all training etc.

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fashionSOS Sun 24-Oct-21 21:13:49

AFewScrewsLucy

Ok. Imagine a relatively complex set of reports from a database that has had a lot of tweaking/personalisation and modification/customisation. They have worked on these reports, alongside the database provider. If these reports aren't done on time it has a negative impact on business operations.

This person is claiming because of the level of 'inside knowledge' they have of the system, no-one else could possibly do it and if they did they're going to cause irreversible damage to the data. Management are scared.

The remaining colleagues and person that is replacing them, say whilst they don't know the exact procedure, they do know enough about the procedure and the systems to work it out. They also can liaise with DB company etc. They are confident that they can complete the procedure. And would also take measures to ensure that the data is not lost in the event of any possible mistakes. Ie. Back ups and test environments etc.

Sorry if it's too vague.

In that example, I wouldn't necessarily provide a handover in how to maintain/customise the reports (unless specifically employed as a database administrator), but I would provide a handover in how to run them, as they stand.

Are they doing that?

AFewScrewsLucy Sun 24-Oct-21 21:14:35

DerAlteMann

If the company is stupid enough not to have got a reserve trained up it deserves all it gets. What would it have done if the employee concerned had gone under a bus?

The leaving person is the one who would have had to train up anyone...and they're refusing to.... And I see no reason why they would have agreed to train even before notice.

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nanbread Sun 24-Oct-21 21:16:32

If I were the employer, I'd hire them in for one day as a consultant and use that day for them to train up the new person - rather than actually do the procedure themselves - then blacklist them and badmouth them.

If they are refusing to do a handover of knowledge while still employed when they've been asked to do so, then that's extremely bad form. They're not doing their job.

fashionSOS Sun 24-Oct-21 21:16:44

Employer has paid for all training etc.

The leaving person is the one who would have had to train up anyone...and they're refusing to.... And I see no reason why they would have agreed to train even before notice.

So no one could do this before, and the employer didn't think it was a good idea to pay to train up at least two people? Still sounds short-sighted.

TheBlessedCheesemaker Sun 24-Oct-21 21:18:40

Consultant will almost certainly not have factored in that HMRC will view this as a continuation of a previous role which puts him on the wrong side of IR35 tax rules nor the fact that the company ‘owns’ the intelligence property (knowledge) he has picked up as a result off his employment, so the company could possibly sue him for profiting from it at their expense. And he probably hasn’t also built in the cost of professional liability insurance that he will have to take out…

titchy Sun 24-Oct-21 21:19:31

The point is the requirement for them to make sure someone else was familiar with the process and it was fully documented should have been in place from day one.

They're not creating an xml file from the database by any chance are they....

VladmirsPoutine Sun 24-Oct-21 21:19:38

Thing is with self-employment word of mouth goes a very long way so in that sense they're not getting off on the right foot esp if they intend to stay in a similar industry.

Lostmarbles2021 Sun 24-Oct-21 21:19:58

So it sounds like the knowledge is very specific to this company? Can they use the knowledge for other companies or just yours? It sounds like your company will be their main customer yet they are treating the company badly - that’s really daft. Very short sighted. Of the company to rehire them as a consultant they will only ever do the bare minimum to get the knowledge transferred.

I’m not a business expert, far from it, but my life experience makes me believe that good businesses are a lot about nurturing good relationships and building trust. I stand to be corrected though.

InRustWeTrust Sun 24-Oct-21 21:20:24

Depends a bit on the back story. If the person has gotten the hump after years of bad treatment it’s not ideal but understandable. Or they might have always been a dick and engineered the situation.

It is daft for the company to have for itself in Thai position.

Had a similar situation in a previous job. To be fair there were faults on both sides. The employer did treat the guy badly in various ways. Years before he created a piece of software initially with the best of intentions, to save a lot of work and then the department became reliant on it. He used this to bolster his security so he could coast and make a job he was unhappy in bearable when really he should have left.

New boss came in a clocked the situation right away. Basically managed him out very quickly and when to outside tender for software. At a much higher cost than the in-house thing but in the long run it for the department out of a hole.

Tilltheend99 Sun 24-Oct-21 21:21:00

There is a lot of money in consultancy. It rips off the nhs so YANBU.

AFewScrewsLucy Sun 24-Oct-21 21:21:15

@fashionSOS

No they're refusing to show anyone anything about how they're run (it's not a case of change a few dates and press 'go')

Imagine like a driving instructor refused to show you everything about driving... Except how to change into reverse gear. The colleagues know enough that there's a clutch involved and the gearstick. And would just need to work out that you have to lift the reverse button and move it into the slit marked R. They're confident they can work out how colleague does it, even if they don't quite know the details yet. Leaving person is implying that nobody could possibly work it out, and so they have to come back to change gears for you. For a small fee of course.

I think they're being self-serving.

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Fetarabbit Sun 24-Oct-21 21:21:29

AFewScrewsLucy

Ok. Imagine a relatively complex set of reports from a database that has had a lot of tweaking/personalisation and modification/customisation. They have worked on these reports, alongside the database provider. If these reports aren't done on time it has a negative impact on business operations.

This person is claiming because of the level of 'inside knowledge' they have of the system, no-one else could possibly do it and if they did they're going to cause irreversible damage to the data. Management are scared.

The remaining colleagues and person that is replacing them, say whilst they don't know the exact procedure, they do know enough about the procedure and the systems to work it out. They also can liaise with DB company etc. They are confident that they can complete the procedure. And would also take measures to ensure that the data is not lost in the event of any possible mistakes. Ie. Back ups and test environments etc.

Sorry if it's too vague.

Inside knowledge to one business isn't a good business idea to be honest, especially as you say someone else can just liaise with the provider to find a way of doing the process- they might even find ways to make improvements to be honest. Pulling reports from a database is standard fare, even with tweaking and customisation to suit the needs of the business. As I'm assuming he has worked on the process during work time yes he is being cheeky, but the employer is being ridiculous.

sussexman Sun 24-Oct-21 21:21:43

Of course you ANBU. Yes, the employer should have handled it. I'd suggest that a responsible employer would have a) refused references and b) refused to hire them as a consultant unless satisfactory handover was done. One might also raise the matter of intellectual property rights to the procedure that the original contract probably assigned to the employer.

ICouldHaveCheckedFirst Sun 24-Oct-21 21:22:07

I worked with several It consultants. One, who came across as conscientious and unassuming, use to wait until management approached him 2 weeks before his contract was up, when he'd regretfully explain that in the time that was left he could either complete the project, OR document what he'd done so far, but not both. His contract was extended. I saw him do this at least 3 times - management just didn't learn!

I also had a team member who was outraged to be asked to document the process she had developed. Not really sure why, but I suspect it was to preserve a stranglehold on doing a particular thing. Me asking her to document it was an example of me 'bullying' her, apparently confused.

It's a culture + management issue.

Disfordarkchocolate Sun 24-Oct-21 21:22:36

They are being a dick but the company should have had this sorted already.

BobLemon Sun 24-Oct-21 21:22:55

Understand the situation. All blame and consequences sit firmly with the Company for failing to capture and document processes.

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