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Advice required.. My business partner is pregnant just started up what are my rights?

Discussion in 'West Midlands' started by Mandarine, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Mandarine

    Mandarine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 12 Likes: 4
    She wants to take at least 6 months maternity leave which is not fair on me or the business ... I feel very peeved to say the least .
    Thanks
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2016 By: Mandarine Member since: Feb 2, 2016
    #1
  2. Bob

    Bob UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    Posts: 3,673 Likes: 929
    Is it a company or a partnership?
    If the latter, do you have a partnership agreement?
    If you do, what does it say?
    If not, why not?
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2016 By: Bob Member since: Jul 24, 2009
    #2
  3. Mandarine

    Mandarine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 12 Likes: 4
    We are in a partnership no agreement in place ... We started a cafe together so losing her for such a long time would mean I would have to work 6 days a week .. Before we got into the partnership she assure me that if she did get pregnant she would work ... I trusted her , not a very good move ...
     
    Posted: Feb 2, 2016 By: Mandarine Member since: Feb 2, 2016
    #3
  4. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    Posts: 4,910 Likes: 819
    Posted: Feb 2, 2016 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #4
  5. Mandarine

    Mandarine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 12 Likes: 4
    Yes she is taking a wage... I ideally think buying her out would be the best solution as I want to push the business forward and don't think it is fair if she has so much time off and get rewarded by my hArd work while she is at home ... Thanks for the advice
     
    Posted: Feb 3, 2016 By: Mandarine Member since: Feb 2, 2016
    #5
  6. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    Posts: 3,041 Likes: 708
    What does she think? Presumably you both got on well. You must have spoken enough for you to understand her at least a bit? She wants to take maternity leave, is she thinking that she will just draw no money from the business during this time, perhaps leaving you with the cost of a member of staff for this period, but leaving the business financially better? You take your ratings which are more than you pay the temporary person. If you two get on well, then maybe her drawings could be the difference. She still has her interest, and investment, you carry on. You say you will be doing all the work, but you won't, you need to replace her daily activities that's all. If you don't get on, that's different. In her position, she probably can't see a problem. She might even be able to do the odd sickness cover and maybe your day off if you explain the problem properly. It was silly not to do the agreement so these things could be seen in advance, but years ago I did the same. If you get on and the business is ok, then sit down and sort it. Just be grateful you don't have to do what you would for an employee!
     
    Posted: Feb 3, 2016 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #6
  7. RPower

    RPower UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 355 Likes: 68
    Take a step back and consider things. She's found herself pregnant, but things can become different when your body goes through all the changes that pregnancy brings. Personally, I think everyone's entitled to maternity and paternity leave at that, but considering her needs and that of her unborn child, maybe the both of you can come to a solution that suits you i.e. her working part time or flexible hours until she's eight to nine months gone.

    Ultimately, for a mother to spend the first few months of her child's life with the baby is a very important thing. Once time is lost, it can never be reclaimed.
     
    Posted: Feb 3, 2016 By: RPower Member since: Oct 15, 2012
    #7
  8. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,125 Likes: 192
    Such is life, and getting pregnant can have lots of unforeseen consequences!

    paulears is right; what does your partner think? She is her own employer by the sound of it. How does she propose that the business should operate while half the number of employees are on maternity leave? It would be unreasonable for her to think that the other half of her employees should take up the slack.
     
    Posted: Feb 3, 2016 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #8
  9. Mandarine

    Mandarine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 12 Likes: 4
    She seems to think we will employ someone to cover but it still means I will have to run business and make sure all is good we not even pushed the business to its full potential and don't think it is right for me to do and 9 months later she just get the benefit of it... I have 2 kids myself so I understand the whole thing but did say that she committed to have a business with me... I am not awaiting to find out how she proposed to sort this mess out..
     
    Posted: Feb 3, 2016 By: Mandarine Member since: Feb 2, 2016
    #9
  10. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    Posts: 4,910 Likes: 819
    I do not disagree with what you are saying, but if that was remotely on the cards then she should not have started a business or made ife changing plans with someone else (the OP).

    A business at first takes far more than it gives out. So to then dump all of that on someone else after making a commitment to them is selfish. Plans change, its a fact of life, but they should be bending over backwards to make it better on the partner left (excuse the pun) holding the baby.

    I would be more than peeved.

    When I first went self employed I was working 15-20 hour days trying to get business in, I was going to bed clenching my teeth with stress getting in to more debt living pay cheque to pay cheque. Over time it gets easier, but at the minute all of that stress and pressue is being left with the OP. Decisions have to be made, work has to be done and that is now being dumped on 1 person rather than being shared between the 2 of them as was originally agreed.

    I would try and come to some agreement on how you should be receiving the lions share of any income and if not then I would either close it down (sod buying them out) and re-open. to me, it is selfish at best, deceitful at worst.
     
    Posted: Feb 3, 2016 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #10
  11. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 5,011 Likes: 1,994
    There are just too many unanswered questions here, such as under what status is the partner claiming maternity leave, is she on P.A.Y.E. with NI etc., what sort of sums are involved, if a buy-out is contemplated?

    Also, why is this in the regional forums and not in employment? How is an HR expert supposed to find it here?
     
    Posted: Feb 3, 2016 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #11
  12. Mandarine

    Mandarine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 12 Likes: 4
    I have talked to my business partner again yesterday ... She said she will think of a plan but still seems to think I am being unfair to be upset with her wanting to have a long period on maternity leave... Thank you for your advice hopefully the situation will be resolve soon ..
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2016 By: Mandarine Member since: Feb 2, 2016
    #12
  13. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    Posts: 3,041 Likes: 708
    The first thing I learned when doing any business with a partner is that it is impossible for two people to work together if there is going to be friction about each other's worth, or working style. This is a stupid analogy, but in a window cleaning business - the person who climbs the ladder, and cleans the windows is doing the work, the person at the bottom footing the ladder does no work at all. If they are partners, they share the profits. That's life. Maybe to balance it they swap on each window. what if one then gets vertigo? You see where I'm going. While she is off and you have an employee, you will probably have to do more, but the business is still viable. Sure - your partner isn't doing it, and still drawing some money? When she comes back to work and you slip over and have to go into hospital for a month then have another month off, is this unfair because she'll have to cover for you.

    If this is worrying you now, then your business relationship is a poor one. Cracks are showing. Frankly, what do you expect her to do? She's pregnant, it's done. Your lack of understanding and empathy indicates that maybe it's not a match made in heaven, employment wise.

    You have to work harder for six months, but potentially make more money (if she costs more than the employee? If you don't like it, buy her out, take on the employee, and STILL have to work harder, for longer than six months?

    I understand your nose being out of joint, but it's also the time to get things done your way without interference. She may be worrying that without her the business will go down the drain?
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2016 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #13
  14. Mandarine

    Mandarine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 12 Likes: 4
    She is not worried about the business going down the drain as I am the driving force the one who had the idea ... Etc but thank you for your opinion ...
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2016 By: Mandarine Member since: Feb 2, 2016
    #14
  15. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 1,125 Likes: 192
    Agree with paulears again - you are being a little unreasonable being upset with her when you discuss the future. What is done is done, you have to get on with the hand you have been dealt. If this upsets you so much, then they are clearly not the right person for you to work with. What you need her to do is to say how she things your enterprise should go from here. If you don't like what she has to suggest - move on.
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2016 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
    #15
  16. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    Posts: 3,041 Likes: 708
    I suspect Nochexman and I are on the same train of thought here. In a way, this has brought up the problems of the past in your partnership, so now is the time to do the split, at the point when she effectively resigns. Do it amicably, and if she is actually useful, you could get her to do a few hours for you as she knows the inside details? I'm not quite sure what answer you actually wanted? Your question asked about rights, and of course, there are none to a self-employed person. People get pregnant all the time, and of course many times it's an 'accident'. Clearly, nobody could promise to not get pregnant, so it happened - I expect she's pretty amazed you didn't say how wonderful it is and work out a plan - she have had no inkling you would not be as happy as she is? Is she receptive to being bought out? Can you actually afford it? If the answer to both is yes, your path is clear. Best advice I can give is to try your hardest to remain friends, because it's the best route for the future.
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2016 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #16
  17. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 7,587 Likes: 1,580
    Why not get on and just manage the situation and get part timers to fill in when needed.

    There is no reason you should work twice as hard except by bad management and you are the management at this time

    If you had broken both your legs and were off for six months what would you have expected her to do? Life is never easy and all companies or partnerships come up with unexpected problems, but this one should have been foreseen or at least the possibility

    Anyway most take the time off after the baby is born so you have many months to sort things out and get replacements in place
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2016 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #17
  18. Mandarine

    Mandarine UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 12 Likes: 4
    Thank you again ... I was actually really happy for her when she told me the news and only started to question the whole partnership when I realise she wanted all that time off she did mention 9 months to start with when she actually told me before we started the business that if she ever fell pregnant she would work no matter what ... So I hope she lets me buy her out as I think her frame of mind has changed and I wanted a partner who wanted to push the business to its full potential but she has no interest in it apart from the pay check ... I would rather be in a partnership as I think with the right partner in the long run it would be better but I know I could always employ someone to help me manage the business..
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2016 By: Mandarine Member since: Feb 2, 2016
    #18
  19. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 7,587 Likes: 1,580
    What help do you need to manage a cafe? you can always delegate certain jobs

    Could you not have her do the ordering and book keeping and other paperwork when she is on leave

    She ownes half the company why should she sell up
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2016 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #19
  20. Jeff Nev

    Jeff Nev UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 177 Likes: 24
    I was thinking the same Chris, could you not just find work she could do that doesn't involve being on her feet all day or any heavy lifting? It's an incredibly difficult situation you are in and something I'm sure many business owners come across at some point in their career.

    If you really do not see any admin style work that she could do to help the business over the period she wishes to take off, I suggest you look into legal advice options. I have witnessed a similar situation previously which involved a new female employee falling pregnant shortly after starting a new contract. Eventually the situation got so out of hand and unprofessional, employment solicitors Brighton were asked to come on board the resolve the issue. Have a look around and the resources and information available: http://www.ms-solicitors.co.uk/employee/
     
    Posted: Feb 5, 2016 By: Jeff Nev Member since: Nov 14, 2013
    #20