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Shockingly awful employee, ruining our business

(24 Posts)
GrumpyOldHorsewoman Thu 25-Apr-13 10:25:07

I won't go into the whole story as it's too long and tedious, but we have a girl working for us whom we promoted to assist our yard manager last August. Since then, we have lost four valuable members of staff (and another about to go) - all citing this girl as their main problem. I have also received complaints from four customers of her behaviour/attitude when they have visited the yard. Unfortunately, the yard manager she was assisting is one of those who has left. She is not up to doing the job on her own, she puts massive unnecessary stress on DH because she is unable to manage and passes all problems onto him. Her attitude to all the staff is vile and she's a complete princess who cries and flounces if someone says the wrong thing to her. As a consequence we have an unmotivated staff, reluctant to do anything for her and I have had enough. DH will not demote/sack her, despite everything because he's fairly ignorant of unemployment law and imagines that every bad apple will sue him for unfair dismissal. I am not prepared to stand by and watch her destroy any trace of morale our business has, nor watch another good member of staff leave because she is intolerable to work with. She said she wanted to travel, so DH organised a job for her in Australia and now she doesn't want to go. I'm at my wits end - can anyone offer advice?

flowery Thu 25-Apr-13 12:08:55

If you DH is reluctant to act because he is (rightly) concerned about the legal consequences if he does it without employment law knowledge, given the impact she is having on your business, I'm surprised you haven't already sought professional advice on how to deal with this woman so you can get on with running your business.

Anyway, whatever the reason you haven't done that yet, you need to do so as soon as possible.

BoiledEggonLegs Thu 25-Apr-13 12:29:00

Why would you let 4 valued members of staff leave because of this one girl who everyone hates?

I don't get why you wouldn't get employment advice and just let them leave instead of getting rid of her someway?

I bet those 4 or 5? don't feel very valued!

BoiledEggonLegs Thu 25-Apr-13 12:30:26

Haven't you got a disciplinary procedure to put her through and then fire? Customer complaints are enough to give warnings aren't they?

SavoyCabbage Thu 25-Apr-13 12:42:21

Find out what the law is and then follow it until you can sack her. You can't go on like this, that would be madness.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Thu 25-Apr-13 14:16:24

I wasn't aware at the time that the employees who left did so because of working difficulties with her - that was something they admitted afterwards. (except one - the wife of the original yard manager who made it very clear she despised this girl, but I thought it was personal).
We've had good legal advice from our industry body, but DH's interpretations always verge on the 'panicked' side of things. I would have fired this girl long ago - lord knows she's given me enough reasons to do so on the grounds of gross misconduct, but DH will not hear of it. He's being ridiculously stubborn, I think it's also to do with the fact that some of the horses she rides are quite good and have done well, so he's afraid to upset their routine as much as anything. It's infuriating.

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 25-Apr-13 14:19:16

What everyone's said above.
And stop doing things like finding her a job in Aus. This sends the message that she is valued...

LemonBreeland Thu 25-Apr-13 14:23:11

Can you not just go over your dhs head and fire her for gross misconduct.

Trazzletoes Thu 25-Apr-13 14:25:15

Was she perfectly normal and amiable before her promotion? if not, why on earth did she get promoted?

If your DH doesn't want to do anything about it then he is your problem, really.

LazyMonkeyButler Thu 25-Apr-13 14:25:30

May I ask why you promoted her to a position of authority/responsibility in the first place?

I completely agree that you need to work your way through a legal grievance/disciplinary process & then sack her completely fairly and legally, if need be.

Is it possible she would change her ways if given written warnings? Does she just feel that she can get away with anything she likes at the moment?

flowery Thu 25-Apr-13 15:01:29

If your DH has taken advice which resulted in him being so paranoid he won't act in a situation like this, then the advice was not good, but I agree he is at least partly the problem.

Sparkleandshine Thu 25-Apr-13 15:14:50

Phone ACAS for advice

Ultimately provided you follow the process you will be fine.

Basically, you have to call her into a meeting to say she is being disciplined and what for (must be a misconduct or Gross misconduct as stated on most standard contracts). Invite her to a hearing.

Put her on paid leave for a week - this is to give her time to organize her defence

then have the meeting with two of you present (you and a notetaker/witness doesn't have to be DH), where you DECIDE if she is to be dismissed because of the conduct (you cannot decide in advance).

There are some circumstances where you can dismiss instantly (like if she thumps someone or commits a criminal act of which there is no question it was her).

look at this page and the associated guide - if you look at page 31 there is a guide as to what constitutes gross misconduct.

I have had to do this twice now, and it is fine, worrying but fine. Take advice, but you can do it!

mrsdinklage Thu 25-Apr-13 15:22:57

Is your DH seriously prepared to loose every member of staff ?
I wouldn't work for someone like that. Your staff were not valued - as no one bothered to ask why they were all leaving. I still resent the fact when I left a good job - due to bullying my boss never had the decency to ask me why I left. (I think she actually knew - but didn't want to tackle it)

DolomitesDonkey Thu 25-Apr-13 17:38:19

Send her off to pony club camp - they won't tolerate any shit there! grin

I hope you get it all sorted very soon.

hermioneweasley Fri 26-Apr-13 21:09:03

It sounds like the problem is your DH not this girl.

ICanTuckMyBoobsInMyPockets Fri 26-Apr-13 21:19:46

What is your position in the organisation?
Can you take the lead and get things started?

NoWayPedro Sun 28-Apr-13 10:29:34

If someone has committed gross misconduct AND several other misdemeanours resulting in customer complaints etc., and for whatever reason neither you or DH have acted appropriately, then tbh I'm not surprised you are in this situation and her behaviour will get worse. You are giving a message of what she's doing is acceptable.

Can only presume your DH has been given poor advice if what you say is true.

Review her job description and R&Rs with her and set some objectives. Should she fail to meet those then you need to pull her up on it in a warning capacity or otherwise. It needs to be factual based obviously but it doesn't seem v difficult to do tbh.

Think you need to have a serious chat with your DH as lack of action on his part may hugely impact your business long term.

tribpot Sun 28-Apr-13 10:33:20

Who's actually in charge of this business? Is it your DH's? If yes he's running it into the ground but you can't stop him. If it's a joint venture you need to act in a way which is much more appropriate for a responsible employer.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Tue 30-Apr-13 14:08:06

Thanks everyone for your advice and links.

DH and I are partners in the business, but his is the company name (ie the business is based upon his expertise, but owned in joint names, iykwim).

I agree he is also my problem and a very stubborn person, although he finally admitted that we need a staff meeting because too many cages have been rattled and she is the common denominator. At least the first step has now been taken which will hopefully put us on the path towards dismissing her. Her behaviour is disgraceful - she treats this place like her own private paradise, picking and choosing which jobs she does and thoroughly pissing everyone else off. She called DH a c**t in front of a customer a couple of weeks ago! (I've only just heard about that one..) I'm about to write a written warning for it, as the customer was not impressed (DH didn't tell me). angry angry angry

Dozer Tue 30-Apr-13 17:18:30

Your DH is a problem, if he wants the business to be Ok he needs to face the fact that she needs to be "managed out" (in accordance with the law of course, but it's not rocket science).

flowery Tue 30-Apr-13 17:29:15

OP that behaviour is gross misconduct and enough to fire her for if you choose. Follow a fair procedure absolutely to the letter though, whether you choose to issue a written warning or dismiss. If you are about to write the warning does that mean you've already had the hearing?

newbiefrugalgal Tue 30-Apr-13 17:32:46

How long has she been employed by you in total?

tribpot Tue 30-Apr-13 17:41:54

It sounds like you could do with establishing what the company being jointly owned actually means, except for tax purposes. If your DH wants to have the final say on such matters I'd be tempted to bow out of any day-to-day management because I couldn't work in that kind of environment.

Calling your DH a c**t in front of a customer is so far beyond acceptable I cannot fathom why he didn't see sooner that he had to address it. If he can't see this kind of management issue for what it is, an alternative might be for you to become the managing partner whilst he provides the expertise that fuels the business' development.

vitaminC Tue 30-Apr-13 17:56:07

Document, document, document!

Keep a written record of everything reported to you and the action taken. She won't have a case for unfair dismissal if you can prove the facts you're holding against her and the disciplinary proceedings you followed!

Start with a written warning for the latest incident, then gradually increase the punishments (suspension without pay, final warning etc) until you have enough to fire her.

But your husband really needs to be on board or you'll end up losing the business! sad

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