Dear Aunty B,
I have an employee that has a disastrous home life. She has a sick mother whom she has to take to medical appointments, a child with ADD who is always in trouble with school, and she seems to have poor health herself.
She is often interrupted with phone calls and needs to take a lot of time off to attend to her personal issues.
This morning she has told me that she wants to go part time or resign. My concern is that even if she goes part time she will still need to take emergency phone calls and race off and we will be in a worse position.
However I don’t want to lose her as she is very good at her job. I also don’t think it is good for her financially to stop working.
But I have tried to give her as much flexibility as I can. We are a small company and when one person is away we all have to pick up her work.
You should feel proud that you have gone out of your way to help. But now you really have two choices. Let her resign or offer her leave without pay. I would let her resign. While you can sympathise with her problems you still have to run a business.
If you offer her leave without pay, it may give her time to get assistance for her mother and work out how to help her child with ADD.
However you might not be in a position to be one down while she sorts herself out.
Leanne, I know you feel responsibility towards this employee. But you have many other responsibilities too; towards other employees, shareholders, suppliers, creditors, and your family. I am afraid it is time to say goodbye.
Your Aunty B.