PIL with traditional views and my involvement with DH's company

(23 Posts)
KelleStarOfWonder Sat 08-Dec-12 17:04:27

doctrine TUPE does still apply, so FiL will still be there, to be fair he keeps the books in balance and will be a good thing for DH as he will question any spending and make DH think twice before splashing the cash. He does listen to me, but not being in the field means I don't get why it's important to purchase or not.

DH is letting it settle down again and we aren't going to make a big fuss out of it, just do it how we want it in April.

Alibaba yes DH will be holding the majority stake, as it's his business and he will be putting more effort into the business than I will be.

Eldritch that is it exactly. FiL believes women should be beneath men at all times. Apart from his mother and wife, they have been the only females he's actually had time for, anyone else he's just had a low opinion of.

He's a year younger than my grandad and they couldn't be more opposite as men, while my grandmother trained as a solicitor, he was the main caregiver to their 4 children, he did work when they got older and he is such a great chap.

teitetua I hoped that too as they seem quite reasonable types [after knowing them so long] I knew they had some archaic views but it's just going downhill with the change of ownership. Problem is they really think they are in the right and that us 'modern women' types will be repressed in due course and things will return to normal. I know they are worried about the future of the business, but they can't see what I will bring apart from 'just' being his wife.

TeiTetua Fri 07-Dec-12 23:01:41

No, I'm more optimistic than that. I want the parents to be old-fashioned but basically willing to be reasonable. They're going to say to each other, "Well, the world is a bit different now. We'll have to let them do it their way." "Yes, good luck to them. More sherry, dear?"

EldritchCleavage Fri 07-Dec-12 11:58:05

Underneath the conventional traditional views of wife being there to support husband probably lies something uglier though (whether or not PIL are truly conscious of it). And that is that women/wives are best kept powerless and dependent. No status, no share, no wage, and therefore no autonomy, so you couldn't leave your husband even if you wanted to.

I agree with the advice you've been given: let DH handle it, and tell them a salary and directorship for you is not negotiable. I would then not say too much more until April, when you and DH can just implement the changes. If PILs' attitudes are so ingrained, I fear there is no way to avoid falling-out about it though.

WilsonFrickett Thu 06-Dec-12 13:46:30

My God, they're only 25 years older than me. The mind actually boggles!

Your DH sounds amazing and I know together you will make such a success of the business. Personally, I don't think you're going to change them so I would wait till it's legally transferred to DH and then get your name put in as joint director. And look into employing an accountant.

CelineMcBean Thu 06-Dec-12 12:07:44

Are you actually buying the business or just the back book? You could easily get rid of FIL even if buying the whole business. He's obviously extremely incompetent. A good hr person could sort things out fairly quickly. Being 60+ doesn't make someone unable to do the job but if there are people who are under performing they should be managed to improve and managed out if they don't improve.

Does FIL understand the tax implications and if not should he be doing the accounts?

I am astonished someone of only 68 has such ignorant views even if I had to listen to my fil's recent "speaking as a man" speech pontificating on how men and women differ in attitudes to babies and parenting and use all my strength not to beat him to a pulp with my copy of The Second Sex

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 06-Dec-12 11:51:47

Once they hand it over, will your DH be majority shareholder?

LemonBreeland Thu 06-Dec-12 11:41:45

At first I thought maybe they didn't want you to be a director in case you split with your dh in the future.

But if they don't even want you to get a wage they must be so old fashioned I can't even fathom it.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 06-Dec-12 09:52:06

You know, I would look into making it a condition. Of the purchase that the 100% owner resigns on completion and perhaps takes a consultancy role for six months . His job title and responsibilities are going to change anyway so I think TUPE would not apply to him anyway (get professional advice though)

All employees in a company are ultimately responsible to the Board meaning FIL would be junior to you. Could he handle that?

bubbles1231 Thu 06-Dec-12 09:45:45

The secret is to be calm but firm. Rise above the noise in a serene manner wherever possible, and just get on with putting things in place for your directorship. Try to be the model of good behaviour and be very, very nice about it, so there is no comeback in the future. Keeep smiling even if it is a grimace...

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 06-Dec-12 09:33:07

Does TUPE apply if you are only purchasing the goodwill?

KelleStarOfWonder Thu 06-Dec-12 09:23:05

what a relief to talk to people and have them understand my frustration with them. We will be starting up under a new company name, purchasing the goodwill from the old company and employing FiL to do the books.

DH has said it's all or nothing, he's put xx years into the company and has done it there way, but now wants things to be more inline with their competitors [systems and admin processes] as things can not continue as they are. He can only do this with my help.

DH has had all the legal documents prepared and all the paperwork to set up the new company in both our names, he was never planning on doing it any other way.

FiL is already 68 but the new law on retirement means we can't force them out [most of our workforce are over 60] He does do a good job of keeping on top of the bills and things. Though I have accounts and payroll experience, I'd rather not be the one doing the end of year [just yet anyway]

I am constantly horrified by their actions and attitude. We can't wait to get things sorted. DH and I have drawn up so many written documents/policies [which you are meant to have] as PiL operated on a verbal system of mis-communication.

I bet they are really hoping my next baby is a boy, to be able to take over the business... not sure how they'd feel about my DD being a female engineer and running the business...

You've reassured me I'm not being emotional and that I actually care what happens.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 06-Dec-12 09:07:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

monsterchild Thu 06-Dec-12 02:26:30

Perhaps you could also tell them that companies with women on the board do better than companies that only have men.

And that as the business technology has changed with the times (surely they have computers and aren't still using slide rules) so must the business management change.

AdoraJingleBells Thu 06-Dec-12 02:18:07

If your DH isn't of the same attitude as his parents then just go ahead with becoming a Director, doing the work and being paid properly. If you think he'll be a problem then get a job that isn't conected to the family business. I don't think you'll change the PIL's attitude, they both sound fucking prehistoric, a bit like mine actually. Sorry, it's late and I can't think of anything more constructive.

CelineMcBean Thu 06-Dec-12 01:32:28

Their attitude is disgusting and has no place in this day and age. But you are not going to change such stupidity attitudes over night. In your shoes I would stay quiet until the business has been transferred... and then do what the hell you like safe in the knowledge it's tough titty if PIL don't like it.

Or you could try arguing the tax point; if you are paid a salary from the business too you can make the most of the nil rate band. But really, why bother? These anachronistic dinosaurs will be retired soon enough.

KRITIQ Thu 06-Dec-12 01:21:11

What TeiTetua said. They are your DH's parents, so he should be the one drawing the line here. If they want him to take over the business fully in due time, they must allow him to run it now in the way he sees fit, which includes you as a Director. It should be HIM setting this out and not you. It makes business sense to do it your way and he knows this is upsetting you, so it's his responsibility to stop that happening.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 05-Dec-12 19:45:32

Agree with chunky, it's insane for you (and for mil before you). Not to draw a salary, even if your DH's salary was reduced commensurately. If you'd been recognised as an employee earlier, you could have got SMP which the business could have reclaimed.

I don't think these people should be running a business as their commercial decisions are silly, leaving aside any legal/political issues.

How is his taking over fully actually going to happen? What is the ownership structure going to be?

badguider Wed 05-Dec-12 16:52:18

I know you won't want to fall out with your PIL but I think that you and DH need to take a really strong line and say that your DH will be running the business in a modern, business-like way and will not be participating in any practices that are illegal in terms of equalities legislation and exploitative regarding unpaid work. Make the case that this is the 21st Century and with your DH and yourself as Directors he (and you) are responsible legally for ensuring you follow good business practice including HR and finance.
If it were me I would scoff at any suggestion that you do otherwise as if they had asked you to fiddle the taxes... and just take a 'that's not the way things are done these days' attitude and brazen through.
As you say, after April it is not their business - but what will be the relationship with them 'doing the accounts'? will they be your DHs employees?

TeiTetua Wed 05-Dec-12 16:51:23

I think this is up to the one in the middle, your husband. And the original owners' son. He has to say "If you're handing the company over to me, you have to let me run it my way. And that means that Kelle is fully involved and trusted and compensated, in her own right. In fact you're handing it over to US. Can we still go ahead on that basis?"

But I really would hope that they would understand that trusting him also means trusting you, and not seeing that as an insult.

ChunkyPickle Wed 05-Dec-12 16:16:09

I don't know what headway you'll make about such ingrained attitudes, but from a financial point of view, you being paid makes sense - personally because you'll be earning money therefore using your tax allowance which is otherwise wasted, and for the company because as a rule I'm pretty sure that reducing profits is generally a good plan (I'm not an accountant, but it seems to me that lowering your corporation tax by making less profit must be good)

You should be a director, you should be paid, and anything else is bad financial sense and rooted in the 50s.

Bonsoir Wed 05-Dec-12 16:12:28

Maybe your PIL could be persuaded by legalities? Not paying your staff is not legal.

KelleStarOfWonder Wed 05-Dec-12 16:09:13

Oh my word, that is an epic post! I thank you for reading this far and really will welcome your advice.

KelleStarOfWonder Wed 05-Dec-12 16:08:44

I wanted to post this in feminism as I am fed up of this old fashioned attitude that I still see in small business. DH does work in an industry domineered by men but this is changing. It's all just coming to a head, I'm pregnant and emotional but it's not an excuse for how pissed off I feel.

My lovely DH runs a small family company, he was the only one out of three boys that showed any interest. His parents are currently the owners, he manages all aspects, they do the accounts. In April his parents have arranged for him to take over the business fully, though they will still do the accounting. I've been with DH 15 years and he is a [mostly] modern man and treats women as equals and has a positive view on my involvement with the 'new' business.

The idea is he wants the business to be set up with us both as Directors and me actually taking a wage from the business for my involvement [personnel, admin and implementing/modernising the computer system]. At the moment his dad takes a wage and his mum does not, though she does all the inputting of the accounts and all the admin support, it's not because the company cannot afford to pay her.

His parents are making a hullaballoo over my involvement, they want me still to provide my services but with no charge and to not be registered as a Director. I hit the roof over this bit 'Because I am a woman and it's not my place to ask for a wage, I should provide this because I am his wife and it's my duty.' I have plenty of experience to bring to the company, which my husband is excited about, he really wants to get the company out of the dark ages and into the modern world.

I am on a career break at the moment, I am looking after my 2 year old DD and 20 weeks pregnant. I don't plan to be on a break forever and it would be great, actually, to be working with DH as the hours are what I make of it and the pay a reflection of that.

MiL is terrible at admin, it's not her specialty, she makes lots of mistakes and tries to be fast, but just makes more mistakes. So DH does most of it himself rather than asking his mum. However he's been rather stretched over the last 6 months and I offered to help out. We've been working well as a team and I've been able to think for myself and develop his notes further and do research to help. He has really appreciated this and it's made him more enthusiastic to have me taking more of a role in the company.

FiL found out recently and said it's okay I'm helping out, could I type a letter for him. DH brought the letter home, I typed it up, it was full of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and some of the things he was talking about was out of date with current legislation. So I spoke with DH, he agreed, I corrected the letter. FiL went ballastic, as a woman I should do what I am told and not think for myself, he went off on one at DH, who was dreadfully embarrassed and stood up for me. However, if DH had changed that letter and not said I had,it would have been fine, FiL admitted that.

MiL has attempted to make things right, but it's by saying that I should just cow tow and DH should pay me from his wages if it's just about me still 'earning', which it isn't.

I'd really appreciate your advice on how we can go about getting it across to PiL that I AM and WILL be taking more of an active involvement and it doesn't matter if I am a woman or not, I will not be spoken to in that way and I will be paid and treated equally. I can think for myself and I am pretty intelligent and have experience in relevant areas [though not much in the engineering world]. I suppose in April they will have to get used to it, as it will, effectively, be in DH's name who can do with it what he wants, but I don't want things to be bitter, I've still got to work with them.

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