MyFondia VirtualLawyer
December 17, 2017

Day 17 - Mrs. Clause: what's her role in the business? And why should we care?

We promised to get back to the question of Santa's employer. Santa is clearly an operational figure, COO perhaps. He cannot be the CEO as he has an employment agreement as discussed earlier. Who runs the whole ship?

Yes, this brings us to Mrs. Clause. What's her role in all of this? Is she the CEO of the whole operations? The Chairman of the Board? Senior Advisor? Upper Management employee? And more importantly, why do we care? This is an important categorization all businesses must do as the entrepreneur starts growing the business and stops doing everything by him/herself. The role goes naturally hand in hand with the obligations and rights.

Is Mrs. the chairman of the board? The board is responsible to see that the company’s administration and organization is set and the finances are handled properly. And the chairman leads the way. But usually the board stays out of the operations. So, maybe not Mrs. Clause. She is working with more practical matters that’s for sure.

Drawing the line between an employment and the position of the CEO/Managing Director is to be done carefully. All employees, even the upper management falls under the scope of the Employment Contracts Act, and the CEO does not. Usually. The CEO acts under the Limited Liability Companies Act and is not – well - a person, but an institution in a way. The employees on the other hand are protected in many ways as the weaker part in relation to the employer. The level of required commitment, liability and duties as well as in most cases the salary + benefits vary between the types of relationship. So, again – Is Mrs. Clause an employee or could she be the CEO of the “Santa business”? And again – why should we care?

It happens that a transition to CEO from an employee is done without signing of a new agreement. Like in all relationships it happens that things change and people forget what was agreed in the beginning or on the way. It might come to the situation where one of the parties says the famous words “We need to talk” (Knock on wood that this will not happen with the Clauses). This categorization question is namely often debated if the paths are to be separated. Sometimes there are reasons to believe that a position has been more of an employee’s than actual CEO, and if the only paper to check from is the old employment agreement, the termination might not be as simple as the company would have thought.

But even when things are looking good and birds are singing, the responsibilities and liability differs and different type of questions in relation to these do pop up. Therefore, it is recommended to have a clear agreed view of this, in writing. This is why we care. We want to make sure that the Holidays in deed are happy.

Naturally, there is a written and signed! agreement with Mrs. Clause as well. We don’t need to guess or wait for a dispute as it is all written down.

The elves need to be hired, purchases confirmed, and the newest technology in logistics planned year around. Yep, Mrs. Clause has the overall responsibility for making sure that everything runs smoothly, even when the Mr. is travelling around the globe. She is the CEO of the Project Santa. She is also Santa Clause’s boss and in that sense the employer. (Sorry, cannot disclose more.) The managing director agreement is in the back pockets of the parties, if something needs to be checked. At this time of the year, she might take a peek and check the timing of the vacation. But just a peek, as everything is as should.

So, Happy Holidays everyone! And let the Clauses bathe in the sun should you catch a glimpse of them at your winter holiday destination in the beginning of what’s going to be known as the awesome year of 2018!