Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 22nd Sep 16, 9:23 PM
    • 18Posts
    • 7Thanks
    Kpros
    Employment Law- Conflict of Interest Policies
    • #1
    • 22nd Sep 16, 9:23 PM
    Employment Law- Conflict of Interest Policies 22nd Sep 16 at 9:23 PM
    Hi Guys,

    Firstly thanks for taking the time to read this and help me.

    I've been working for a company for 4 years now as a Regional Manager. From the very beginning I employed my brother who has worked under me for the duration of this time.

    Out of the blue the company have warned me today that they are introducing a 'Conflict of Interest Policy' and after a conversation with my line manager it sounds as if they are going to be changing the fact that I am his manager.

    First of all there has never been any issues that have questioned any conflict of interest and it is well known within the company that he does not get any preferential treatment. Although he is my brother we are not particularly close.

    There have been a lot of changes in the company and I'm not even certain that I (or many of my colleagues) will be around in the near future but its hard to see past this being a deliberate ploy to make my circumstances even tougher than they are in a bid to put me in a position of jeopardy.

    I won't go into boring details unless needed but there are lots of things going on within the company that has led everybody to believe that at some point in the near future the company are going to get rid of a high number of us one way or another.

    I'm just wondering if anybody knows the legalities behind this? Can they just do this to me or do I have the right to appeal this when it comes in? I have already told my manager that I won't be rolling over and accepting this if and when it comes in but I'd like to know if anybody has some advice.

    Thanks in advance and appreciate your time
Page 1
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 22nd Sep 16, 10:22 PM
    • 15,011 Posts
    • 10,762 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 16, 10:22 PM
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 16, 10:22 PM
    It's not clear from your post just what it is that you think they will do. Will they move you to a different job where you won't be managing your brother? Will they move your brother so that he is under a different manager? Will they give your managerial responsibilities to somebody else?

    Without knowing what the proposed change is it's difficult to say whether they can or can't do it (although it is quite likely that they will be able to do something anyway).
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 22nd Sep 16, 10:57 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 16, 10:57 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 16, 10:57 PM
    Forgive me, I will explain below.

    I believe the consequences will be that they will move him to another team and thus he will no longer be in my team and I will no longer be his manager. My job will not change due to this, other than he will not be in my team.

    As we are in a sales environment he is crucial to my results, figures and performance.

    We were head hunted by the company in question just over four years ago. At the time they brought myself along with a number of other Regional Manager's and we were given the task of recruiting good people; my brother was one of the people that came in with me. He has been one of my most successful consultants over the four years and with the recent changes to my team I need him now more than ever. The company are expecting me to gain the same result with a team which is currently 25%-50% smaller than all other teams in the company. Additionally, a number of the changes to my team have been driven/mandated by the M.D (who is also presently my line manager) which leads me to believe that there is something far more sinister going on.

    I don't want to be a victim of circumstance and just accept this and I have a feeling they can't just bring this in given the length of time I have been with the company, but I'm not sure.

    I hope this info helps however let me know if you need further clarification
    • asajj
    • By asajj 23rd Sep 16, 12:33 AM
    • 3,531 Posts
    • 7,876 Thanks
    asajj
    • #4
    • 23rd Sep 16, 12:33 AM
    • #4
    • 23rd Sep 16, 12:33 AM
    Would it be possible to point this out to them? If he is crucial to your numbers, they will be aware of it, won't they?

    Where I worked in the past, there were rules around having family members in different teams however I do understand the question you are actually asking and I'm sure someone will comment on the legality aspect soon.
    £2015 in 2015 / £2015

    No buying unnecessary stuff.
    Clearing out by selling on Ebay, donating to charity etc.
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 23rd Sep 16, 7:33 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    • #5
    • 23rd Sep 16, 7:33 AM
    • #5
    • 23rd Sep 16, 7:33 AM
    Hi yes that's exactly what I'm going to do. I will be fighting it to the death but I just want to find out where I stand from a legal standpoint. If I had only been with the company a short time (I guess even under 2 years) then I'd understand it but over four years later I think its very unfair.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 23rd Sep 16, 8:04 AM
    • 15,011 Posts
    • 10,762 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #6
    • 23rd Sep 16, 8:04 AM
    • #6
    • 23rd Sep 16, 8:04 AM
    I think you should pick your battles, the company will still get the sales that your brother makes but they will go to another manager's figures not yours. Their profits will be unaffected, presumably they will put somebody else into your team to replace your brother, and your job is to manage the new team member to do as well as he did. If your first thought is to kick up a fuss rather than knuckle down and do your job then I suspect the end result will indeed be that you're no longer working there.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 23rd Sep 16, 8:09 AM
    • 2,082 Posts
    • 3,308 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #7
    • 23rd Sep 16, 8:09 AM
    • #7
    • 23rd Sep 16, 8:09 AM
    Regardless of policies - and to answer the question, in employment law terms the employer can have whatever policy they want on this - the "circumstances" are simple. The employer is entitled to distribute their workforce as they wish and you have no say in this matter. You may make whatever comments you like to argue that they should do something else, but you cannot enforce them. The only way that you are entitled to employ your brother is if you own the company. If you don't, from a legal standpoint, you stand nowhere. You aren't entitled to dictate who your staff will or won't be - brother or not.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 23rd Sep 16, 12:10 PM
    • 966 Posts
    • 1,296 Thanks
    Malthusian
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 16, 12:10 PM
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 16, 12:10 PM
    Your brother could resign tomorrow to go work elsewhere. Or go off sick. Or get a promotion. There are a hundred reasons why your best salesperson might be taken off your team other than the introduction of a conflict of interest policy. Managing this is part of the job.

    If they have slashed your staff in half while expecting them to deliver the same sales figures, then surely asking for more staff or for your targets to be reduced in line with the reduction in your resources is the battle you need to fight.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 23rd Sep 16, 5:35 PM
    • 1,068 Posts
    • 1,286 Thanks
    shortcrust
    • #9
    • 23rd Sep 16, 5:35 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Sep 16, 5:35 PM
    Employees don't get to choose who they do and don't manage. I find it difficult to believe that you really think it might be illegal for them to move an employee to a different team.

    It sounds like they have a point about conflict of interest.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 23rd Sep 16, 5:59 PM
    • 2,082 Posts
    • 3,308 Thanks
    sangie595
    Employees don't get to choose who they do and don't manage. I find it difficult to believe that you really think it might be illegal for them to move an employee to a different team.

    It sounds like they have a point about conflict of interest.
    Originally posted by shortcrust
    To be honest, that latter point did cross my mind too. I wonder if the OP would be "fighting to the death" for any other member of staff. But equally, kicking up such a fuss about one's brother being relocated may put the employer in exactly that frame of mind too. Just because the OP doesn't think anyone sees any favouritism didn't mean that people don't think it. The move may be better for the brother too. If there is uncertainty about jobs in the future, this may be their chance to show that they can perform well in any team. In the OPs position, I think I might be looking at arguments to replace the lost resource, rather than fighting a losing battle about his brother.
    • Kpros
    • By Kpros 23rd Sep 16, 6:58 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Kpros
    Thanks for those that spent the time to reply, especially the constructive points.

    I will wait for the policy to come in and see what the company decide to do.

    Shortcrust, where have I stated that it is 'Illegal'?

    Sangie595 - it seems as though you've forged some pretty strong opinions; I respect your views nevertheless but the phrase 'fighting to the death' was exactly that...just a phrase. I'm not literally going to put a pair of boxing gloves on and get in to a fight over it. I just mean that I have managed him for four years, there hasn't been a single instance where a conflict of interest incident has occurred and it is well known that I expect more from my brother and if anything purposely give him less discretion, but yes, I would definitely 'fight to the death' for any colleague that I have managed for four years.

    Thanks again for all feedback and advice
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 23rd Sep 16, 8:52 PM
    • 2,082 Posts
    • 3,308 Thanks
    sangie595
    Thanks for those that spent the time to reply, especially the constructive points.

    I will wait for the policy to come in and see what the company decide to do.

    Shortcrust, where have I stated that it is 'Illegal'?

    Sangie595 - it seems as though you've forged some pretty strong opinions; I respect your views nevertheless but the phrase 'fighting to the death' was exactly that...just a phrase. I'm not literally going to put a pair of boxing gloves on and get in to a fight over it. I just mean that I have managed him for four years, there hasn't been a single instance where a conflict of interest incident has occurred and it is well known that I expect more from my brother and if anything purposely give him less discretion, but yes, I would definitely 'fight to the death' for any colleague that I have managed for four years.

    Thanks again for all feedback and advice
    Originally posted by Kpros
    I would suggest that you re-read what I said. Constructive advice and advice you like are not the same thing. The employer can do this. Full stop. They have this policy, they have told you what is going to happen. Game over. If you choose to fight that ground, you will lose AND you will leave it open to question as to what conflict of interest exists. How you see things going, and what others think of it, are also not the same thing. Because there is one thing that is abundantly clear. Employers do not spend effort designing and implementing policies that they do not think they need. So why do they think they need one? The very fact that they have introduced this policy, and that they have implemented, means that the have a reason to separate you and your brother. They never needed the policy to do that. They could have done it anyway. So whatever you don't think is a problem, I would suggest to you is either a problem or an opportunity for the employer. There is another scenario that lends itself. They've moved your brother to another team. You say that other teams have more staff. Yours is being reduced. It was away reduced. That does suggest that another possibility is that they wish to keep your brother, but not your team.
    • takman
    • By takman 23rd Sep 16, 9:17 PM
    • 1,310 Posts
    • 992 Thanks
    takman
    Thanks for those that spent the time to reply, especially the constructive points.

    I will wait for the policy to come in and see what the company decide to do.

    Shortcrust, where have I stated that it is 'Illegal'?

    Sangie595 - it seems as though you've forged some pretty strong opinions; I respect your views nevertheless but the phrase 'fighting to the death' was exactly that...just a phrase. I'm not literally going to put a pair of boxing gloves on and get in to a fight over it. I just mean that I have managed him for four years, there hasn't been a single instance where a conflict of interest incident has occurred and it is well known that I expect more from my brother and if anything purposely give him less discretion, but yes, I would definitely 'fight to the death' for any colleague that I have managed for four years.

    Thanks again for all feedback and advice
    Originally posted by Kpros
    Well there you go then your treating him differently because he is your brother, so that's a conflict of interest. Expecting more from him and giving him less discretion than other team members is unfair and could lead to disagreements.

    This is why it's always a good idea that larger workplaces have polices that prevent family members being directly below other family members in the organisation. This kind of policy will help prevent any family related problems and won't be aimed just at you and your brother.

    So I think it's unreasonable to challenge the policy or challenge them moving your brother to another team. But it would be perfectly reasonable for you to have a say in who is going to replace him and for you inform your manager that you will be less effective while a new member is getting used to the new team so won't get as high results as previously predicted.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 24th Sep 16, 7:59 AM
    • 25,639 Posts
    • 15,496 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Wonder if your brother asked to be moved?
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 24th Sep 16, 8:35 AM
    • 4,462 Posts
    • 6,421 Thanks
    Kynthia
    Wonder if your brother asked to be moved?
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    I was wondering that. He's one of the best in tge team but is given less discretion than others so perhaps he feels restricted by being managed by family and wants to move. Speculation I know.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 24th Sep 16, 10:53 AM
    • 13,823 Posts
    • 35,484 Thanks
    FBaby
    Wondering that too. The 'out of the blue' often have a 'spark before the flame' and I don't think you can assume that no-one had any issues with it.

    Introducing the policy is one thing, the fact that they want to use that policy immediately to introduce changes in the line management of your brother is a pretty strong indicator that either he wasn't happy himself, or someone else wasn't.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim's to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,575Posts Today

4,602Users online

Martin's Twitter