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Does anyone have employees?

(16 Posts)
walkinthewoods Tue 17-Jun-08 12:29:38

Is there anyone out there that can sympathise wiht me about our problems with employees? It could be a very long rant but just testing the water first.

dilbertina Tue 17-Jun-08 17:06:51

well, I'm a director of a small company and have various employee issues....what's bothering you?

WestMidsAccounts Tue 17-Jun-08 19:06:14

Oooh .. this sounds like fun! Are we ranting about your employees or the red tape surrounding them?

flowerybeanbag Tue 17-Jun-08 19:22:27

Happy to listen with a sympathetic ear but can't advise you very much I'm afraid, as I want you all as clients! winkgrin

dilbertina Wed 18-Jun-08 10:25:21

Come on then walkinthewoods! Bet mine are worse than yours! (Just some of the mind - most "current" ones are excellent - it's the ex ones that are the problem generally!)

walkinthewoods Fri 20-Jun-08 10:58:14

Oh God well here I go then. Yes ex-employees are the worst especially if you've had to sack them.
One employee was with us for just over a year (was trying to get rid before that but needs of the biz was too great) X was ok at first and then gradually started to settle into the job. various issues started to come up (basically couldn't stretch beyond comfort zone) She knew we were FLAT OUT and coulnd'nt deal with these issues at the time. We put it on back burner but it just got worse/loosing us money with poor management etc. I then found that she had been stealing here and there. She didn't deny it but said she deserved it because of XYZ. She was sacked (as per legal advice)but is now taking us to tribunal.
The red tape really gets my goat and some people do have 'union' mentality. We've had people threaten to leave if they don't get XYZ and all sorts. We are a small company and resurces are limited so we just can't be flexible but they don't give a shit. It just seems that they think we're millionares and they derserve money (of course we can afford it????!!!*_)
Its difficult to get people at speed as me and dp are so flat out so we have to put up with piss poor performance in the mean time. We've got one person we need to get out and that is imminent but not quick enough for my liking.
I say all this but I'm just concentrating on the dross. We do have some good employees and I think our recruitment is reasonably thorough. You just can't tell what someone will do once they feel 'safe'.

Dilberina-at last I've found anohter director, please tell me your horror stories.

West Mids, what's your story, I so want to have a really good RANT,

walkinthewoods Fri 20-Jun-08 11:03:20

Oh and I don;t get much time to surf so might go unanswered for a while.

WestMidsAccounts Mon 23-Jun-08 09:35:39

I do sympathise WITW: it always seems to be the worst employees who know most about legal rights, tribunals etc!
We have never had a problem but various of my clients have. Invariably, it happens when they sack someone in anger for justifiable reasons but get stung because they haven't followed procedure. It may feel good at the time but it's an expensive whim to indulge.

I know that it's easier said than done but you need to work smarter, not harder. And you know that you need to sort out that 'imminent' person. Bad habits can become entrenched and it lowers morale for the good employees if they can see the bad-uns getting away with rubbish. Do you do regular reviews?

It's a shame when you get a bad egg - it dents your trust in the good guys.sad

walkinthewoods Mon 23-Jun-08 09:51:21

West Mids
We followed legal advice all down the line with the one taking us to industrial tribunal. Did you know that you don't even have to have an reasonable grounds to take a company to tribunal? You just need to say its unfair. This woman said it was unfair because we didn't make it clear she was not supposed to take from us (or at least that's what I think she's saying). She saying that she deserved these expenses or something. We did try to rid before a year but we were just FLAT OUT.
The other one has been dispatched. We'll just pay her what she's due and hope that she doesn't kick off in any way. (Well she can't go to tribunal). We seem to have a legacy of people demanding shit thats not theirs and threatening us. I had one womens husband threatening to come and sort me out (when she had miscalcated what she was owed). Problem is we employ minimum wage and that often entails a very basic negotiating technique WHERE'S ME MONEY.
I don't know, maybe we come across as soft. I know we're close to burn out and maybe we look so knackered people think they can prey on us?

bossybritches Fri 11-Jul-08 13:53:07

OOOh lovely a bosses rant thread -where shall I start? grin

Re the tribunal thing. I went to a mock tribunal recently set up by our local Business Enterprise people in conjunction with a local legal firm. VERY illuminating

One thing that reassured me as an employer is that no-one can go to a tribunal unless they can show they have gone down the proper channels.ie grievance/meetings/complaints procedure. (unless there is blatant discrimination that is) So as long as you can prove you have been reasonable with an employee & made it clear when they are not up to scratch, offered re-training & feedback on performance & warnings etc before dismissal, it's not as easy as it seems to just flounce out & sue the ex-boss.

We have a very good contracts/small business lawyer & she's been ace over the years on advice & how to handle a few sticky situations we've had. Not cheap but compared to the cost of a settlement ...peanuts.

walkinthewoods Mon 14-Jul-08 11:12:50

Hi Bossy
We are members of the FSB so get legal cover. X has NOT followed proper procedure (she should have gone for an appeal meeting but never bothered) in the mean time this tribunal crap lands on my desk. my lawyer then says we have to try and offer her another meeting. she refused on the grounds that she thought it would be biased. THIS WOMAN HAS STOEN FROM US and has the gaul to take us to tribunal! It seems it is VERY easy to point the finger. My lawyer is talking about settling (we are underwritten) as the cost of settling will be lesser than it going all the way to court (even if we win which we probably will do). I am disgusted that this can happen.
We dismissed for gross misconduct so there was no procedure with her before hand re; warnings(only after). So reading your post and from what I can gather, she thinks we have been unreasonable in sacking her (as I say she thinks she deserved expenses, although this was NEVER discussed).
Maybe she is just playing the system and seeing what she can get.
I do know of another biz owner who sacked a dodgy employee. He went down the tribunal route and the owner refused to settle. It was dragged all the way to court. As soon as the employee saw the owner at court he immdiately withdrew. I do know that now you can claim costs from the ex-employee and my lawyer is using this fact in negotaition and we have a very strong case.

JoW1 Mon 04-Aug-08 14:17:20

Total sympathy with you. Dare I put up details? I was lucky the employee handed in notice, because morale was rock bottom in company and everyone was flat out while said person was working to rule, net surfing and playing computer games. Shame I was in hospital delivering a baby, really. We were putting procedures in place to be able to defend ourselves in case it would end up at tribunal. I understand the rules are there to protect the truly hard done by, but how is it fair to expect a small business with less than a handful of employeees to be able to cope with all the red tape?

walkinthewoods Thu 07-Aug-08 21:12:12

JOW1
It makes me sick!!!! Urgh You were is hosp giving birth and someone was taking the piss. I am so saddened that I have witnessed the human race in this light, really I am. It looks like at least you had some worthy employees! I would say we only have one that works really hard and is conscientious.
Today I found about 50 odd pages of printed out material that was obviously nothing to do with work, and it still kept coming. I was trying to get my work done (which actually HOLDS UP THE COMPANY) and couldn't print anything out. I was seething. I am so sick of these people. We are still working our arses off, not earning a wage, living off our savings (which started the fecking biz) and we are paying these lazy arses to demand shit ARGRGGGGGGGGG Rant over.

llareggub Thu 07-Aug-08 21:17:38

You don't like and respect your team very much, do you? Maybe you need to take a look at your company culture?

walkinthewoods Thu 07-Aug-08 21:53:54

Yes you're right and we have many times. Its just me and dh running things really, and we're both close to burnout. Maybe we have bitten off more than we can chew. We've made many mistakes (obviously unwittingly) and we are oh so tired. We are thinking of just running away. We have put our heart and soul into this biz along with alot of cash. It would be great to like and respect my team because that is what makes the business work, don;t you think? And if the biz works then everyone stays in a job. If it fails, no-one has a job, much better for the economy and all round surely? This has been pure hell and if I had my time again, wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. I say this because I didn't know this sector could be so aggressive.

What would you suggest iilareggub and what sector are you in? You mention looking a company culture, what are your pointers? Willing to look at every angle because I want my biz to suceed. If you're an expert and can guide me, then great i could do with some free advice. Do you have employees?

JoW1 Tue 12-Aug-08 21:37:41

Thanks for the kind words there - like I say, I think the place is a lot nicer now, and the guys actually seem to enjoy each other's company now that the problem has gone. Ilareggub, we went into the relationship with the best will in the world, trying to make a collegial atmosphere for people to work in, but some people just don't manage to work that way and take advantage. Then all the hard work and effort you've been putting in to build up a nice team is sabotaged and you wonder why you bothered in the first place. Some people just cannot cope because they're used to being told in an abrupt way what they have to do, and are used to whining, bitching and moaning and finding ways of not doing it. Then you end up repeating your request five times over and by the end you're so fed up it becomes a command and nobody feels happy about it. The usual thing would be to sack the underachieving, moaning little bitch who soaks up the precious time you need for your own work, but UK rules make this so complex that you have to build up a 10kg dossier of paper to demonstrate what was wrong about the behaviour, that you've given ample warnings both verbal and written, given them a chance to appeal and appeal again, suspended them on full pay to investigate, called them to a meeting, given them another chance to appeal, preferably consulted with a lawyer, before giving them the sack. In a small company, this is probably a matter of months of putting up with someone who has more time than you to sabotage your company, steal its secrets and sensitive data, contact your competition and drive your customers away.

Rant over...

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