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Employment advice please help!

(13 Posts)
dizzydixies Fri 03-Jul-09 15:59:23

Am hoping someone can help me with this as my head is about to explode. I'm currently on unpaid matty leave which is about to finish next wk and then I'm on annual leave until 20th Aug. Whilst I've been off I've been helping a local community group do some research into setting up a cafe in our town with the view to running it for them once we're up and running.

none of the work I've done has been paid but it has been extensive and always with the agreement that if the cafe gets off the group I would be running it.

we had a meeting again on Thurs with someone to help with the funding and it was mentioned that once the cafe was nearing completion we would have to advertise for staff and carry out interviews for all the posts.

now I benefit either way as I'll have a cafe in my town however I wouldn't have spend SO much time and energy during my matty leave getting it all in order if I thought I'm not going to get a job at the end of it. my current position is no longer suitable and I could have put all my time into job hunting elsewhere sad
can anyone advise at all?

dizzydixies Fri 03-Jul-09 16:00:27

group ground blush I should really have previewed sorry!

RibenaBerry Fri 03-Jul-09 17:12:23

Unless you have actually been offered the manager job, not a lot you can do I'm afraid. If you did all this work with the understanding that there would be a job at the end of it, do you have any emails or letters with the group that could be seen as a job offer? Did you ever talk about details like salary and hours?

dizzydixies Fri 03-Jul-09 17:21:55

no, no details ever entered into because this is all on behalf of a community trust and I was brought onboard to deal with this project. I've done all the groundwork to get it to this stage and the next step is to set up a CIC or social enterprise company of which I would be one of the directors.

I knew we would have to go down all the official routes for any other staff for the cafe, its mainly going to be manned by volunteers, but I thought seeing as I've basically started up the business and I'd be a director the managers job would be mine

have been completely naive haven't I? sad

dizzydixies Fri 03-Jul-09 17:25:48

the chairman and the trustees of the trust have all spoken openly & often with me about me running it and when I raised my concerns after the meeting on Thurs the trustee said there was no way I wouldn't get the job hmm

do we, as a trust, have to advertise the manager's job by law?

flowerybeanbag Fri 03-Jul-09 18:21:26

There's no specific law that says jobs must be advertised. But it's good practice to do so, and more importantly, as a trust who are getting funding from somewhere else for this project, it is highly likely that a condition of the funding is that open and fair recruitment procedures must be used for every appointment. This is particularly true if any public money is involved - when public sector organisations give grants or anything similar, there are often very stringent requirements in terms of policies and procedures, including recruitment.

Given what you've described, and what you've been told by the trustee, it seems highly unlikely you won't get the job so I don't think you need to either panic or take this personally.

dancingqueeen Fri 03-Jul-09 19:10:25

are you a charitable trust / similar? it sounds like you might be. In which case the directors do have to demonstrate that they are acting in the best interests of the organisation when deciding who to employ. There would also be a conflict of interest if you are one of the directors and you shouldn't be involved in the decision making about who is employed to run the cafe.... As flowery says, similar points might also apply if you have received grant funding /public funding to set up the cafe

however, as you have put in a lot of the work into running the cafe and it soundsl ike you have a lot of enthusiasm about it then there would certainly be a very good argument to employ you to run it.

dizzydixies Fri 03-Jul-09 20:14:28

the trust isn't yet charitable but wishes to take on charitable status which is why the cafe is going to be run as a seperate business with the profits going back into the trust

it has still to be decided how exactly to form the new business either a CIC or social enterprises business of which I am supposed to be being a director

flowery its not that I'm panicking but I really don't want to go back to the position I have for the long term as it doesn't work childcare wise but I can cope with it in the longrun if I know this is in the pipeline - I suppose I am being a tad sensitive because I've spent so much of my matty leave doing the planning application/market research/ meeting after meeting/ getting architects/solicitors/surveyors etc on board for nominal fees and having local tradesmen on standby for the work - its been a LOT of work and its all very exciting for me and the local community

dancing - is it not possible to financally reward a company director so that I could be a director and work there - the others wouldn't be hands on but would be involved in the decision making which is why I'd prefer to keep it as few directors as possible - the committee meetings are bad enough with 5 trustees trying to make a joint decisionhmm

is there a website that I can get some legal blurb from to go into this meeting with on Tues night? I want to try to clarify my position before committing more of my time to this - not in a stroppy/throwing toys out of pram way - but I'll need to start job hunting and want to spend the time I've got left before starting back to work with the girls iyswim?

dancingqueeen Fri 03-Jul-09 20:29:55

dizzydixies - if the cafe business is going to be an organisation wholly owned by the trust then the same principle is likely to apply. In non-charitable / non charity owned companies then you can be financially rewarded for being a director, but generally speaking charity directors can't be. Have a look at the charity commission website (www.charitycommission.gov.uk), they should have some guidance notes / publications on the subject, and you could try their helpline. Also, there are often local organisations which provide advice to charities etc in their area, you could look for one of these (your citizens advice bureau might be able to point you in the right direction)

dizzydixies Fri 03-Jul-09 20:31:58

dancing - its not going to be owned by the trust but run as a seperate entity with any profit made going back into the community via the trust which is going to take on a charitable status soon - does that make sense?

will have a look at that website though thank you smile

dancingqueeen Fri 03-Jul-09 20:38:38

yes, if that really is the case then you may be in a better position to be employed and a director, I'm not sure of the rules. howeve,rr the normal way to ensure the profit goes from the company/ cic into the charitable trust is for the charity to be be the sole member/ sole director of the company, which is why I thought that might be the structure?
hope it all gets sorted for you smile

dizzydixies Fri 03-Jul-09 20:43:54

personally I'd prefer them not to be as they've been trying to get a project off the ground for thebest part of 10yrs now. This is another project that they had, I've come on board in March and we've really got somewhere by my pushing/work/efforts

the majority of profit made would be going to the trust for the main project but it would be my wish that any profits made could be used for the community as a whole for example supporting the schools' parent council etc

I think I'll try to go to the citizen's advice bureau to get some independant advice

at least I haven't resigned from my job already hmm

dizzydixies Tue 07-Jul-09 17:22:43

am going to try to discuss it with them tonight, wish me luck

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