Building’s Forum members will offer advice on all sorts of dilemmas

This week, an employee is soliciting work for himself.

Q: Employees touting for work in my time

We run a small groundworks company. We have a small team. One lad is an excellent worker, will work his b***** off doing manual and machine work, but he seems to think he can override us and last week one of our clients told us that he priced up some fencing work for her in his own time - own materials, etc. How can we stop this kind of behaviour without losing him?


A: Sack him! No one is irreplaceable!

Steven H

A: Unless you have a clear policy in place that allows you to “sack” workers for soliciting jobs then you will succeed in nothing by taking Steven’s route. The first thing you need to do, of course, is talk to the offender. Nobody has to be nasty - it just needs to be made clear that it is against company policy. If there’s no policy in place then one has to be brought in. FAST!


A: It may be worth looking at this from his point of view. Perhaps he thinks he’s not appreciated. Has he had a performance review? Does he have defined responsibilities? If he’s as good as you think, is there any chance for promotion?


A: Offer him a 1% commission for any extra work he brings in, and watch the money roll in.

John Kay

A: I concur with what most of the other posters have said. I recently lost a good carpenter for this reason - his argument being that he could do better on his own. He is, of course, quite right, which is why I’m running my own business.

hoof hearted

Q: Ha, he’s just told my husband he can’t afford to live on his current salary of £8ph at 21 years old (living at home). Been offered £9.50. Plus the cheeky git wants the van free because he knows a few boys who get theirs free - NO WAY!

I like the incentive idea but I’m not sure we can afford it, and we won’t be able to offer large lump sums.