Thinking of employing daughter in small online business

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by 14Steve14, Aug 14, 2020.

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  1. 14Steve14

    14Steve14 UKBF Ace

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    Title says it all really. I am a sole trader and run an online retail business from home. I use the study which has space for one desk and a computer, but we will figure out working space later. Lockdown and covid have changed the business and I am really busy and have finally conceded that I need help. My daughter has been out of work since leaving uni last year, and does help me at times, and now covid has made her job of finding work really hard.

    We have talked and think that me employing her may be a way of helping us both. Me for getting the help that I need, and her not having a huge gap in her CV or employment records. Apart from the obvious pitfalls that you should not really employ family as its bound to go wrong, and as we are all living under the same roof there may be no disconnection between home and work life, is there any other pitfalls I should be thinking of.

    I know I will have to register as an employer, and possibly get a job contract drawn up so we both know where we stand, what else should I be doing. Although I don't need it as I will be employing a family member I am looking into employers liability insurance, and have search for all sorts of advice online I just feel that there is something I am missing. Is this also the best way of employing her?

    Advice welcome and if this would be better placed in the employment forum please feel free to move it.
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: 14Steve14 Member since: May 18, 2010
  2. MyAccountantOnline

    MyAccountantOnline Full Member

    13,639 2,589 actually have quite a good checklist here
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: MyAccountantOnline Member since: Sep 24, 2008
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  3. Bob Morgan

    Bob Morgan UKBF Legend

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    "NEVER work with Animals, Children and Family!" (W C Fields) and sound advice!
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: Bob Morgan Member since: Apr 15, 2018
  4. MyAccountantOnline

    MyAccountantOnline Full Member

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    I would also get some good payroll software it makes dealing with payroll much easier. I've used Moneysoft for a long time, it's very good.
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: MyAccountantOnline Member since: Sep 24, 2008
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  5. 14Steve14

    14Steve14 UKBF Ace

    772 121
    Many thanks. That check list has brought Pensions to my attention. never thought of that. Something else to look into.

    Payroll is being looked into, or its on my list of to do's.
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: 14Steve14 Member since: May 18, 2010
  6. Rawlinson Pryde

    Rawlinson Pryde UKBF Regular

    156 39
    You could potentially go into partnership (Limited Partner) together, also save you on the Employers National Insurance, so it costs you less. Guess it depends if you see this as a short or could develop into long term plan.
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: Rawlinson Pryde Member since: May 9, 2020
  7. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend

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    Taking someboy inexperienced on as a partner is somthing I would think long and hard about, especially if it was just to solve an employment problem.
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
  8. Rawlinson Pryde

    Rawlinson Pryde UKBF Regular

    156 39
    Hence why you would think about making them a Limited Partner, so the new partner could not take part in the management of the business nor the ability to bind the firm. Obviously they would need to speak to a professional to see if it is the right thing to do for them, but it is an alternative option.
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: Rawlinson Pryde Member since: May 9, 2020
  9. SillyBill

    SillyBill UKBF Legend

    496 291
    If your business has just picked up due to COVID then I'd be cautious about putting someone on the books, even if family. She needs work experience and some CV filling, you need some help. So tell her to get registered as self-employed and you will provide her with as many hours per week as you can. I have a 70 year old who works for me on these terms, hours to suit him and me, I wouldn't bother employing him as I don't want another person on the books and the cost and he doesn't want to work for me as he is semi-retired and likes the freedom. I pay him a little more than I would if he was on the books as the flexibility and easy get-out also has a value to me. You can still provide her a reference that she has worked for your business, she gets some money, you get some help and you both get what you need without a load more paperwork and aggro.
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: SillyBill Member since: Dec 11, 2019
  10. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend

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    Though knock on effect of whether they truly are self employed. If they are then great.
    If they turn out not to be .... Can be expensive.

    And IR35.
    Posted: Aug 14, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  11. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend

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    What skills will she bring to your company or is she just a packer and stacker. If she has just finished UNi no doubt she has ambitions as sees her ideal future, which may be totally different to what you want staff for

    If she wants to work for you and build up the company long term then fine give her a specific job remit so she is responsible for her part in building the future

    On the other hand if its just temp for a few months, which may grow into years, would she be able to just leave to go for another prefered job giving you a couple of weeks notice and leaving you very short handed with nobody to take her place
    Posted: Aug 15, 2020 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  12. ExoPaul

    ExoPaul UKBF Regular

    91 35
    Nothing wrong with working with family if you already get along.
    Just make it clear it is your business and she works for you. And it should be fine.
    If she slacks off, is on her phone all the time, or your workload is not reduced then tell her she needs to look for another job.
    If she works hard, learns the business, has some good ideas to increase the business, she might become a valuable asset to the business and someone you can trust a lot more than a stranger in a similar role.
    Just know her skills and limitations, make sure you set aside a "no work talk" time in the evening to relax, and don't be afraid to tell her if she is not pulling her weight doing the roles she is assigned to do, and being paid for.

    But get it right and it could end up you need her a lot more than you realise. Especially if any of her Uni course is useful in developing the business, or creating her own to run alongside with you as partial investor and consultant.
    Posted: Aug 16, 2020 By: ExoPaul Member since: May 26, 2018
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  13. Porky

    Porky UKBF Ace

    244 109

    If she is on UC since leaving Uni then look into this government scheme where you can recruit her and the government contributes to the cost for the first six months.

    I would suggest you issue a contract of employment but set her up strictly on 3 months probation and say to her “look, you would be on 3 months probation to start with to see if we can get this to work out. If we can’t it will finish at the end of 12 weeks and you can treat as a short term placement for you so it won’t hurt your CV, no hard feelings, (she has a get of jail free this way if it’s needed) but you need to give it 100% if this is to go beyond the trial period”

    My fear for you is after a couple of weeks in she gets bored or distracted and “dad won’t mind” attitude creeps in and the job won’t be taken seriously. Girls with dads is not always a good combo. I know my own daughter would take full advantage of a situation like that which is why i wouldn’t recruit her in my own company, she would run rings round me, but I would back her if she wanted to start one of her own in the future.

    I know people that have recruited their children but in the majority of cases it’s not a great combo but hey it’s your daughter and she needs the break so you are unlikely to refuse :) Good luck
    Posted: Aug 16, 2020 By: Porky Member since: Dec 27, 2019
  14. 14Steve14

    14Steve14 UKBF Ace

    772 121
    Thanks for the advice and suggestions so far. A bit of history about my daughter. She has been helping me on and off since she left uni a year ago, and for years before that when she could. She has flitted from part time job to part time job as she wants to work, but locally there is nothing really full time and she has at least been earning something. She knows the business, as like I say, she has been helping previously and also making suggestions and changes. She even helps with things like soldering products and packing component kits so she is not totally inept and can be left to get on with things.

    We have had a chat this weekend and have set a few ground rules as both of us working from the same home can be a nightmare. There will be proper breaks and after work finishes we do not talk about it. She will have responsibility for different jobs and tasks, many of which will be routinely done on a daily basis. The list will grow as she gets more used to doing things. She will also be free to keep looking for other jobs and will be supported in what ever she does, and also accepts that if I feel its not working she will be free to go. Like a typical Dad I will support her what ever she does, but she needs to be doing something.

    I have a few more things to look into first but it looks like she may be on the books for how ever long she decides to stay. She wont be self employed as only working for me could be classed as employed anyway. Technically as she is family there is no need for employee insurance but speaking to my insurer its so cheap to add it may be worth doing. Just need to look into payroll and registering on the Gov website. Then need to come up with a contact of some sort.

    I didnt realise employing someone was so much work.
    Posted: Aug 17, 2020 By: 14Steve14 Member since: May 18, 2010
  15. UKSBD

    UKSBD Moderator
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    I did the same.

    My daughter was doing things for my business from about the age of 14, graphics, banners, images, etc.

    She went to college at 18 but was still doing odd things for me, so we put her on the books, with a contract saying she did 8 hours a week, flexible hours and paid her a monthly salary (only about £200.00).

    We didn't keep an accurate record of hours she worked, some weeks she might have done less than 8, other weeks more, but we were both happy with arrangement and it worked well.

    I already had payroll and NEST set up so probably a lot simpler for me.
    Posted: Aug 17, 2020 By: UKSBD Member since: Dec 30, 2005
  16. UKSBD

    UKSBD Moderator
    Verified Business ✔️

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    Posted: Aug 17, 2020 By: UKSBD Member since: Dec 30, 2005
  17. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend

    12,397 2,602
    Once set up employees are not a paperwork problem, just the first one

    Don't forget you will no doubt have to set up a pension scheme which she may decline or accept

    I always found being a member of the Federation of small business helped and had good information on most subjects likely to apply to small business
    Posted: Aug 17, 2020 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  18. 14Steve14

    14Steve14 UKBF Ace

    772 121
    Thanks for all the replies. Very helpful and lots to look into. To be honest starting to be an employer is a bit daunting, but if everything goes as planned I am sort of looking forward to working with her, if nothing else to relieve the load on me, and to allow me to get on with other more important stuff that needs doing. Its either that or I need an extra day in the week and make the day 30 hours long. We have been talking about roles and responsibility for her, plus working hours, but its taking some time to convince her that she can do some of the easy jobs first, then slowly take on more jobs as she gets used to doing them. Over the years she has suffered a lack of confidence due to one ex employer, which hopefully she will overcome.
    Posted: Aug 19, 2020 By: 14Steve14 Member since: May 18, 2010
  19. Andrew Graham

    Andrew Graham UKBF Newcomer

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    Posted: Sep 1, 2020 By: Andrew Graham Member since: Sep 1, 2020
  20. Andrew Graham

    Andrew Graham UKBF Newcomer

    6 3
    For reasons unknown (to me) there are too many people putting too many hurdles in front of prospective employers.
    Go with her, maybe she’ll want to expand and take on the business herself so that one day you are business partners and on another day you wake up and just hope that she still needs you.
    Also, break the out of hours rule when it benefits the business to do so. Texts between me and one of my business partners tend to happen between 6 and 7 am, works for us.
    Wish you well working together.
    Posted: Sep 1, 2020 By: Andrew Graham Member since: Sep 1, 2020
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