To Think This Must Be The Worst Au Pair Job In The World?

(176 Posts)
HoneyStepMummy Tue 18-Jun-13 21:39:16
I mean who wouldn't want to share a couch with someone else's kids, iron, cook, clean, and babysit for 12 hrs a day for $120 a week??? This must be a joke, surely???

StuffezLaYoni Tue 18-Jun-13 21:41:10

I'm pretty sure this thread won't last, but they sound like massive, massive tossers.

You will of course be entitled to eat all that we eat That's nice of them grin

No stranger interaction either. So can they not make eye contact with other humans?

CruCru Tue 18-Jun-13 21:42:43

Do you think anyone with two year's experience will actually respond to that? Good nannies are really hard to find.

GoingUpInTheWorld Tue 18-Jun-13 21:43:48

I think they are taking the piss.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 18-Jun-13 21:44:02

Jesus, just seen the hours - 8 til 8 every week day?? I'm very tempted to email these people!

CruCru Tue 18-Jun-13 21:44:02

I think they need to google the job title for au pairs. Their expectations are massively out of line.

HoneyStepMummy Tue 18-Jun-13 21:44:25

And you must adhere to strict daily guidelines. All of this while they' between places.

marriedinwhiteagain Tue 18-Jun-13 21:47:27

RoFl. It's a super nanny job with super crap benefits. Had four au-pairs - still in touch with three. 2007 70 pw, en-suite, lovely room, 7 and 11 - 4 hrs work per day, frankly Putney's nicer than st john's wood (imo).

Shutupanddrive Tue 18-Jun-13 21:48:37

£120/week?? WTAF??

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Tue 18-Jun-13 21:48:53

I would rather eat a maggotty penis than work for them.

SammySockMonster Tue 18-Jun-13 21:49:35

i'm an au pair.

60 hour weeks?! sharing a bedroom with the kids?! two toddlers and a baby?! all of the cooking?! "BOISTEROUS"??!!!

i think this sounds more like a jail sentence than a job. these parents are out of their minds confused

Rassy Tue 18-Jun-13 21:51:40

I bet when they get no replies they will be genuinely puzzled as to why not! I so had to stop myself sending them a rude email...!

Shutupanddrive Tue 18-Jun-13 21:52:32

I was tempted to reply too

FannyFifer Tue 18-Jun-13 21:53:26

What the actual fuck.
Working 60 hours a week, sleeping on a couch, for 120 quid. shock

Like the no interacting with strangers bit, pure madness!

tethersend Tue 18-Jun-13 21:53:36

No interaction with strangers, apart from fixing them with pleading eyes and silently passing them notes asking for help.

FeckOffCup Tue 18-Jun-13 21:54:11

Hahaha if they are actually serious then good luck finding a mug candidate for that job.

No stranger interaction, ever? Why not do a Michael Jackson and send the poor kids out with blankets over their heads. They sound batshit crazy.

FancyPuffin Tue 18-Jun-13 21:54:47

Holy shit shock

I really want email them and remind them that they are arseholes...

FancyPuffin Tue 18-Jun-13 21:56:01

It's so bad in fact that I'm wondering if its real or some sort of weird spoof hmm

Ragusa Tue 18-Jun-13 21:56:37

Oh I am v tempted to reply too. How utterly unbelievable shock

Callico Tue 18-Jun-13 21:56:38

Hahahahahahaha to BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy's comment!!

goodasgold Tue 18-Jun-13 21:57:51

So that's an easy £2 per hour plus a sofa to sleep on.

Sammy I think prison probably has more to offer.

spotscotch Tue 18-Jun-13 21:59:28

boisterous and playful toddler boys who require attention and patience in equal measure


What wankers.

TeamSouthfields Tue 18-Jun-13 22:00:18

I replied!!!!

Please all reply, it may make these horrible people realise they are not employing a person, a real person!!! not a slave for £2 an hour!!!!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 18-Jun-13 22:00:34

Fucking hell.

thefuturesnotourstosee Tue 18-Jun-13 22:01:58

60 hours a week!

Crowded and sleeping on sofa or sharing with children!

Entitled to eat what they eat!


DomesticCEO Tue 18-Jun-13 22:03:40

What did you say Team??? grin

QueenStromba Tue 18-Jun-13 22:03:57

Bloody hell. I can see how they might get someone really desperate with no job and nowhere to live but anyone who'd be interested would not have the requisite two years experience or stay there more than a month or two. Some people are completely deluded.

ladymariner Tue 18-Jun-13 22:05:28

This cannot be for real......can it???? Sleeping in the lounge or with the 'boisterous' kids.....hahahahahaha......

dandydorset Tue 18-Jun-13 22:05:38


humdumaggapang Tue 18-Jun-13 22:06:34

2 quid an hour! Unfortunately this is not the first wanky au pair ad I have come across or family I've heard tales about . Makes me very cross it is not more regulated.

Picturepuncture Tue 18-Jun-13 22:08:14

I've replied and asked them if its a spoof. £2 an hour to sleep on a sofa, 'eat what they eat' and work a 60 hour week. Madness- would be hilarious if some poor sod wasn't going to end up being desperate enough to do it...

I replied also.

Cant stand piss takers

lessonsintightropes Tue 18-Jun-13 22:09:36

Just out of interest isn't this either a) illegal in terms of working time directive plus minimum wage regs and/or b) against standard au pair working hours, which I thought were max 25 hrs per week?

Sevenmilebeach Tue 18-Jun-13 22:09:54

I replied - eek!

Bragadocia Tue 18-Jun-13 22:09:56

I did too.

Spero Tue 18-Jun-13 22:10:45

Sadly, I can believe it. People who I considered nice and reasonable make ludicrous statements about what I am 'entitled' to from my au pair. I don't want the person looking after my daughter being tired, pissed off and resentful so I don't listen to them.

There are some massive entitled wankers out there.

apostropheuse Tue 18-Jun-13 22:15:43

They must be fecking insane.

It's like something out of the Victorian era. Seriously it is. They're looking for a servant - plain and simple. They've been watching too many period dramas.

£2 per hour, sixty hours working week, housework, cooking, looking after children and so on. Oh and of course you will need to be experienced at being a downtrodden fecking skivvy to possibly be allowed to sleep on their fecking couch.

I cannot believe anyone is so thick that they would think this is in any way acceptable.


Remotecontrolduck Tue 18-Jun-13 22:16:55

I've replied. Truely unbelievable.

I think some people need reminding that slave labour is in fact illegal. That is slave labour.

Don't have kids unless you are willing to look after them, or pay someone a decent sum for the priviledge. Good grief.

AcrylicAfternoons Tue 18-Jun-13 22:18:53

I thought au pairs weren't supposed to look after babies?

PrettyKitty1986 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:19:27

If you factor in free (albeit shite) accommodation in London and free's probably more like the equivalent of £5/£6 an hour.

Still rubbish though.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 18-Jun-13 22:20:52

I reported. Fucking disgusting excuse for human beings. angry

Also SJW is NOT 10 minutes from Oxford St by bus.

I am ROARING at the penis maggots!

That's £2 per hour. They should be fucking sued and arrested and shot

What a pair of prick saddles.

hiddenhome Tue 18-Jun-13 22:23:07

Dear God, that is slavery shock

I hope they end up with a right numpty who totally gives them the run around.

TerribleTantrums Tue 18-Jun-13 22:23:19

That is outrageous, I really hope they don't get anyone.

I'm recruiting for an au pair, and am offering €150 a week, with own room and loads of time off for English classes (they usually work between 2pm and 6pm-ish). I'm a SAHM so the au pair won't even have sole charge of the DC unless the two DC need to be in different places at the same time. Basically what I will be getting is an older sibling who does the odd bit of emptying the dishwasher and the DC's laundry.

That, surely, is what an au pair is supposed to be not a nanny re-titled so you can treat her like dirt and hardly pay her. shock

NicknameIncomplete Tue 18-Jun-13 22:23:56

To those who replied to the ad have any of you had a response?

apostropheuse Tue 18-Jun-13 22:24:44

If you factor in free (albeit shite) accommodation in London and free's probably more like the equivalent of £5/£6 an hour.

I'm sure the person won't eat £120 worth of food per week. I also wouldn't bloody factor in sleeping on someone's couch as being suitable remuneration.

I just replied too. <folds arms>

TheCrackFox Tue 18-Jun-13 22:27:38

At least in Victorian times servants got their own bedroom and the cook did all the food.

I really hope it is some kind of weird, spoof advert.

arethereanyleftatall Tue 18-Jun-13 22:29:50

This is actually really sad. I'm assuming they are offering only that because they think some poor sod will accept it. Are there not laws against this slave labour?

aftermay Tue 18-Jun-13 22:30:11

Sounds fabulous. They don't even expect the au pair to make cups of tea for the grandparents while living in-between places. When can I start?

hiddenhome Tue 18-Jun-13 22:30:40

I have replied.

I hope I get it grin

goodasgold Tue 18-Jun-13 22:31:33

PrettyKitty I don't think that a sofa is worth £180+ per week. Even in St John's Wood. If you are expected to sleep on the sofa and have weekends off, where do you sleep at weekends? Sunday morning lie in until the roast dinner is ready? When you eat what the family eats do you get their weekend meals when you have weekends off? Or do you have to cook your own meals alongside them, or do you have to eat all your meals in restaurants?

How can the proposed arrangement enhance anybody's life?

Eek I replied too!

Emailed them and reported the ad. Bloody shocking anyone can even consider posting it to begin with.

apostropheuse Tue 18-Jun-13 22:33:02

Actually you're right thecrackfox. It's worse than Victorian times. They would have had a nanny, a cook, laundry person, maids etc. whereas this post is for one person to do all of the above. The Victorians were relatively enlightened compared to these prospective employers.

It does beggar belief.

twilight3 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:34:11

I thought that by law you can't expect an au-pair to work more than 25 hours a week as they're usually students. I might be wrong...

McNewPants2013 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:35:05

It will be a little cramped for a while and you may need to share space with the kids/sleep in the lounge as we are between places and living with parents

i hope they got thier parents permission, no doubt this lucky au pair will be doing the grandparent cooking and cleaning to

hiddenhome Tue 18-Jun-13 22:36:43

I really hope it's a spoof and there aren't people out there who would seriously employ someone to work under those circumstances sad Can you imagine going to another country and being faced with such a terrible arrangement?

I wonder what they would do if the au pair collapsed with exhaustion hmm

apostropheuse Tue 18-Jun-13 22:36:45

It would appear that they are breaking the law on several counts:

BridgetBidet Tue 18-Jun-13 22:38:06

I suspect that what they're actually looking for is an illegal immigrant who will accept these conditions. But of course you can't openly say this on Gumtree.

I had a friend who worked as a nanny in Hampstead and it was quite common, particularly amongst families from overseas.

LilacPeony Tue 18-Jun-13 22:39:24

What did you reply Team?

God can you imagine if you tried to tell off the "boisterous and playful toddler boys who demand attention and patience in equal measure." They'd come down on you like a ton of bricks!

McNewPants2013 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:41:00

i reported the ad.

loveliesbleeding1 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:45:10

Wow they must be lovely peeps to work for we should all def apply for this one

shock holy crap! what piss takers

that cant be real surely confused

BeaWheesht Tue 18-Jun-13 22:51:54

Wow how bloody depressing.

Do they have toddler boys and a baby on the way or one toddler boy and a baby because they said they're due a second son soon?

BeaWheesht Tue 18-Jun-13 22:52:51

What's more depressing is it isn't that far away from my actual life and I get paid nothing!

wannabestressfree Tue 18-Jun-13 22:55:13

Shamelessly marking place in case they reply!

EverybodysStressyEyed Tue 18-Jun-13 22:59:11

Having seen a lot of cvs recently it was really depressing to see some of the jobs these women had in the Middle East before they came to the uk. This job could actually seem really attractive in comparison for someone who wants a bit of uk experience.

It really is disgusting that these people think this is reasonable but I am sadly not surprised. I can't understand why you would treat the person who is going to care for your children with such contempt.

And It does take 10 mins to Oxford st by bus from sjw!

Corygal Tue 18-Jun-13 22:59:32

Disgusting. I emailed them saying this sort of working practice is illegal in the UK.

Corygal Tue 18-Jun-13 23:01:09

I agree, I think they're after an illegal they can rip the shit out of. But they're traceable through gumtree.....

formica5 Tue 18-Jun-13 23:08:25

2 pounds an hour! That can't be right. They are expecting five 12 hour days.

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 23:08:48

Imagine finding your own children of such little worth that you would leave them with an indentured servant or illegal immigrant.

PoppettyPing Tue 18-Jun-13 23:10:15

They've edited the ad!

They have edited it!

Food is now 'taken care of'

The stranger thing and the word boisterous


That's disgusting. Especially as they've now written "This is for an au pair not a nanny" angry

Mumsyblouse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:12:54

I have an acquaintance who has just got out of this type of arrangement, she's from a poor country and was just desperate to be here (though was legal) and the family she worked for had her working 12 hours a day. Luckily after meeting other people we told her this was outrageous and she is moving to another family for more money and less hours. I really think this ad is disgusting- it's also written in such an imperious way, 'you must' 'you should' can you imagine what these people would be like to work with (given they are also completely ignorant of employment law).

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 23:12:59

I replied.

Remotecontrolduck Tue 18-Jun-13 23:13:41

Oh wow, it looks so much more attractive now!

For fucks sake, what is wrong with some people?

No boisterous is still there but they have changed and said it will be cramped

Guess they got the emails then grin

megsmouse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:14:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

showtunesgirl Tue 18-Jun-13 23:15:09

What they are saying is still illegal isn't it though as they are expecting someone to handle a newborn?

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 18-Jun-13 23:15:14

Why do people like that even have children?

MalcolmTuckersMum Tue 18-Jun-13 23:15:19

Did anyone get an answer from them?

Mumsyblouse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:15:36

I see they have changed the ad now, so that the person won't have to cook for the whole family, sleep on a couch and only has to work up to 40 hours a week - isn't that still too many for an au pair (is there an enhanced au pair)? Basically, they revealed themselves in their first ad and are now covering up.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 18-Jun-13 23:15:54

And taken the "pay" off!

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 23:17:12

Edited to lure people, although how many with 2 years experience are going to go for that?

HoneyStepMummy Tue 18-Jun-13 23:17:16

I thought this has to be a spoof or an ad for a Phillipina or other poor desperate illegal immigrant.
There is nothing legal about what they are suggesting. Live-in au pairs and nannies have to have their own room. They can also only work 35 hours a week and do light housework and a little child care. They cannot have sole charge of a child under 1 year old ( or is that two?)
If they're sharing a room with the kids (newborn & boisterous toddler) I presume they'll be getting up with the kids on the night?
But hey ho, that's the price you have to pay for getting to stay in Sinjun's Wood which is 10 (plus 30) minutes from Oxford Street!

I wish that this was a criminal offence too. Au pairs are not for under 3's FFS. nor are they allowed to work more than 25 hours a week. The government needs to set bloody limits on people being able to take advantage of young foreign girls angry

Remotecontrolduck Tue 18-Jun-13 23:18:07

I didn't put my actual email address on, I'd be too scared they'd hunt me down and kill me.

They seem the mental type tbh.

Mumsyblouse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:18:10

It's still illegal, the hours are too long and there's no private room. Expecting someone to sleep in with the children, they wouldn't do it, why expect someone else to do it? Unbelievable and no-one is fooled by their sudden remembering that actually mum will be around and all they will have to do is some light dusting.

Sorry, 25 for an au pair, 35 for 'au pair plus'

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 23:18:36

'Why do people like that even have children?'

Because they feel their genes are so superior they must reproduce.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 18-Jun-13 23:21:14

Obviously, I think the job is absolute shite as well, but I have to say I'm surprised that so many people are so genuinely aghast at the thought of people working long hours in crap conditions for next to nothing.

We in the UK are so very lucky to be in a position where we can be aghast at that. This is normality for many many of the working age humans on this planet.

"We in the UK are so very lucky to be in a position where we can be aghast at that."

That's why it's so horrifying to me. People are taking advantage of the fact that there are people desperate to leave their own countries and earn something and they are offering pittance yet somebody will be so desperate that they take it and the family living here will be gaining so much yet not paying what is deserved (in this country) for the work.

HoneyStepMummy Tue 18-Jun-13 23:26:19

An au pair is not a nanny or a housekeeper. An au pair is a young foreign person who wants to learn English in a safe family environment while helping said family with babysitting and light housework.
If these people cannot afford a place to live but insist on having a slave help then they need to have the kids share with them and the au pair gets the other bedroom.

Picturepuncture Tue 18-Jun-13 23:27:33

Yes I agree- it is so shocking because it is so exploitative. Here, where we have so much to exploit our position like this is so much worse than low paid jobs in less developed nations.

And particulaly shocking within the context of 'family life'.

Bragadocia Tue 18-Jun-13 23:30:56

I just googled the mobile number, and an ad of theirs on Gumtree in February required an au pair 'urgently' (assuming that someone had had enough and left...) So the replacement has done a few months, has now had enough, and has left too. These kids will have a constant stream of 'au pairs', as Samina won't provide conditions or pay to make someone stick around. Pisses me off for all concerned (except the parents, obviously).

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 23:31:19

Yes, the mum sat at home for a year, too fecking lazy to look after her children.

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 23:32:43

Again, imagine thinking so little of your kids.

Spero Tue 18-Jun-13 23:33:53

Yup, I know someone whose au pairs rarely last more than 3 months. She may get them cheap but I assume the cost to her child's emotional stability is quite high.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 18-Jun-13 23:35:45

The idiots have left a phone number whistles innocently. Actually the reason I've mentioned it is because social services may be interested in people being taken advantage of in this way.

squeakytoy Tue 18-Jun-13 23:35:52

has the original ad been changed, because it doesnt seem to be anything like the comments that have been posted here from the first link..

apostropheuse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:36:04

The ad has been heavily edited. I wonder how many e-mails they received. grin

Hell hath no fury like a Mumsnetter who's been scandalised!

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 18-Jun-13 23:36:54

The ad has gone!

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 23:38:12

Oh, it's been very edited, squeaky, from working 8am-8pm, doing all the cooking and cleaning but being entitled to eat the meals you prepared with the family, to either sleeping with the kids or kipping on the sofa in the sitting room (which they called a lounge).

RiotsNotDiets Tue 18-Jun-13 23:38:15

You nest of vipers have scared them off gumtree altogether! they've deleted it!

HoneyStepMummy Tue 18-Jun-13 23:39:32

I'm sure they'll reword it and post again tomorrow. Oh well, some poor innocent au pair is safe, at least for now!

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 23:39:40

They're disgusting.

RiotsNotDiets Tue 18-Jun-13 23:41:06

I bet they're really bemused trying to figure out why they got a sudden flurry of angry emails grin

HoHoHoNoYouDont Tue 18-Jun-13 23:41:56

Ah, the power of Mumsnet grin

apostropheuse Tue 18-Jun-13 23:43:43

I wonder if they will take a long hard look at themselves and work out just what made people so angry.

Probably not.

InViennaWeWerePoetry Tue 18-Jun-13 23:45:11

My FDD is privately fostered. Among other things, she was being left with a string of disinterested au pairs for long periods of time, under employment terms actually illegal in this country. I really, really hope these parents know what they are getting themselves into.

On a different note, nothing tops this ad. How many primary school teachers are going to want to be a nanny to primary aged children during the summer holidays, they already have to spend all year with them!

expatinscotland Tue 18-Jun-13 23:45:57

I doubt it. Some people feel so superior it is their right to exploit others at every turn, to the point where they don't even see it and don't even notice, just expect it, and then wonder why the au pairs leave all the time.

nemno Tue 18-Jun-13 23:54:05

I know of a couple of Filipinas who have been brought here and get treated much in the way the original ad wants. Immigration issued them visas based on their employer agreeing all the legal working conditions including hours and pay. Nobody follows up to see that these conditions are adhered to. The women don't complain, this is how they were treated in another country and they don't want to be sent away. I know one of them has tried to change employer but as a non driver got nowhere, the job in this ad might have been attractive if she'd seen it. The other just wants to keep her head down until she has been here long enough to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain status.

Mimishimi Wed 19-Jun-13 00:30:23

There have been a few cases here in Australia where some Indian families have brought in young girls/men on relative's visas and then had them working in similar conditions for far below the minimum wage (but sometimes still a good wage by Indian standards, that is, if they get paid at all). They're essentially trapped in their employers home (who sometimes may be related to them but usually distantly). Sometimes it's really been a case of slipping a neighbour a note that they are being forced to work against their will and being locked up in the daytime etc. Now that they've made the conditions of getting relatives in quite a bit tougher, you hear far less of that sort of thing now. Now it's far more common to bring in elderly grandparents and they do the bulk of the childcare - however, it seems to be an arrangement in which all are much happier as it's expected that there will be mutual care and there usually is.

sashh Wed 19-Jun-13 01:40:21

The ad has gone

thefuturesnotourstosee Wed 19-Jun-13 08:53:18

I know a family with 3 children. They don't have au pairs any more. They would sometimes leave their children in full charge of an au pair from 7am - 8pm. Two of the children were at school but the third was only 3 at the time though she was in part time nursery 3 days a week.

The difference? They had TWO au pairs who shared the work between them and during term time at least they we free except for an hour or two of housework from 8-5 4 days a week. They had one day a week each of looking after the little one. Also anything they did over 33 hours a week was paid at NMW - i.e. baby sitting, covering for other au pair if they were sick. They were also expected to help the children learn Spanish (which since they were both Spanish probably wasn't a major problem)

They were paid £110 a week plus bus pass, all meals and snacks and allowed to phone home as often as they liked.

Not perfect but I know which job I'd rather have

thefuturesnotourstosee Wed 19-Jun-13 08:53:33

Oh and that was 6 years ago

FancyPuffin Wed 19-Jun-13 09:01:04

I would like to think the ad has been removed because they are deeply ashamed of their slave like demands.

I doubt it though.

Mugofteaforme Wed 19-Jun-13 09:08:52

Lets keep an eye out for it returning and then

"release the dogs of war" smile

Mimishimi Wed 19-Jun-13 09:14:35

I just did a check on the Australian version of Gumtree and there are similar 'wanted' ads. One family with four children under six years (youngest is under two) and three older teenagers (blended family it seems) want a live in au-pair for ten hour days four days a week plus additional hours which can be 'negotiated'. Lots of euphemisms like "willingness to be not an employee but a valued member of our family", an "older sister" and "reasonable allowance" indicate they are not willing to pay very much at all. Then again, they were still offering own room etc so perhaps not quite as bad as OP's. Still it would be awful for an aupair to have to work forty plus hour weeks for so little and be stuck in a rural area.

I don't see what's wrong with the school teacher/nanny post. People sometimes need money, and a young childfree primary teacher might find that a good way to help raise the deposit on a flat as long as it was paying OK. The travelling bit might be a bonus with a reasonable family.

We use a TA to nanny our primary age DC for some of the summer holidays - it works well.

Kiriwawa Wed 19-Jun-13 09:31:52

This thread reminds me of one where someone had a nanny who had to sleep on the sofa in Dubai, a load of people piled in and said that it wasn't reasonable not to give her a room of her own. The OP and a number of other expats said it really wasn't that bad, life was different there and they knew some people who made their nanny sleep on the balcony, so it was all relative angry

youaintallthat Wed 19-Jun-13 09:38:29

It's gone now....I never got to see it!! How bad was it?

LilacPeony Wed 19-Jun-13 10:07:26

You can still see it if you click on "Read full description"

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 19-Jun-13 11:09:38

You can see the one that seemed more reasonable. The original has gone.

Spero Wed 19-Jun-13 11:31:30

I agree with expat.

This sense of entitlement and superiority is so ingrained in some people, they really can't see it. Like fish having no word for water.

In fact they probably thought how super and lovely they were, letting the au pair eat what they eat.

There is this really peculiar view amongst the rich and presumably well educated that child care should be outsourced to the cheapest possible bid and those who care for their children should be treated with little respect.

i really don't get it - their children are presumably precious and loved? There have been so many awful tragic tales of young au pairs and babies.

I still remember seeing an advert in Clapham a few years ago - wanted, school leaver to look after two children. The wage quoted was crap. This was in a newsagents window in a street where no house was going for less than £500,000.

Kiriwawa Wed 19-Jun-13 11:44:36

There is another one offering £120 for a 40 hour week which includes 2 evenings, 7am starts and early evenings during the week, plus saturday mornings

TeamSouthfields Wed 19-Jun-13 14:20:27

Cant find the ad now?

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 19-Jun-13 17:04:09

I mentioned this on the phone to a colleague today - immediately she asked if I was a mumsnetter! She's seen the thread. We agreed to 'never speak of this again'.wink

RiotsNotDiets Wed 19-Jun-13 18:01:14

she'll know who you are now Wembley You'll have to NC if you want to bitch about work! grin

SugarMouse1 Wed 19-Jun-13 18:47:46

Presumably they are hoping for a desperate illegal immigrant/ migrant worker with little English.

Sadly this is all too common- apprentices are often exploited- some only get £40 a week for 40hours- and not necessarily trained either- after all, some jobs are not skilled and you frankly don't need qualifications in shelf stacking/ cleaning/ reception type work.

Wickedgirl Wed 19-Jun-13 20:48:16

The link was also on nannyjob. A lot of nannies emailed too

Ragusa Wed 19-Jun-13 21:38:30

So glad direct action has had an impact grin

Mimishimi Wed 19-Jun-13 21:53:39

Spero, it's not their children are not loved. The parents think they are so adorable and so little work (despite never having done any of the childcare themselves), that whoever is fotunate enough to look after them should count their blessings and be in it 'for the love of it' rather than pecuniary gain. It would be interesting to see what would happen if it were suggested to them by their employers that they should not expect good compensation because they should be doing what they do (be it medicine, law, management etc) just for the pure joy of it.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 19-Jun-13 22:26:18

Lol riots that's probably the last thing I'd bitch about. I luffs my workmates just in case.

Wuldric Wed 19-Jun-13 22:35:21

I have not seen the advert, as it had been removed by the time I clicked in to it. But I genuinely think that this should be reported to the police. It is not acceptable and it is not legal. Would you do that OP, would you kindly report it to the police? These people are dangerous.

I have had 3 au-pairs, They worked no more than 20 hours a week, I paid them £125 a week and also paid for English lessons. No housework. No babies.

Wuldric Wed 19-Jun-13 22:38:16

I did wonder whether Gumtree are liable also - given that they have posted what amounts to an illegal advert. This is what they say:

We’re committed to keeping Gumtree a safe place, and will always assist in a criminal investigation. In accordance with our privacy policy and data protection legislation, we’ll provide evidence to law enforcement and give evidence in court where necessary.

If you’re a member of the police, Trading Standards or any other law enforcement agency, contact us here with your request:

Fax: +44 (0) 208 711 5441

Wuldric Wed 19-Jun-13 22:42:07

Which is a whole heap of nothing. So basically, I could join Gumtree and post the following:

'Slave wanted. Slave will sleep on floor, do all housework, look after the children at all times. Hours approximately 90 per week. We will pay the slave £100 pounds a week and of course the accommodation is included. But not food. The slave has to purchase their own food. But they are only allowed out of the house between 10am and 11am on Sundays. Foreign slaves are okay, but native English-speaking slaves are preferred'

And clearly, that would be just fine ...

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 20-Jun-13 07:26:54

wuldric Exactly. Change the word slave for nanny/ au pair and there you have it!

HoneyStepMummy Thu 20-Jun-13 14:37:12

I found the original ad!!! I didn't realize I had left my browser open on my computer at work. I was out yesterday, got back to work this morning, and voila! There it was on my screen. I copied and pasted it, so for those of you who missed it here goes:

1. Experience with boisterous and playful toddler boys who demand attention and patience in equal measure. We expect a minimum of two years experience in the UK with solid references.

2. We will have a second baby boy soon and you will be expected to take in your stride the management of two kids (although our 2 year old will attend school from September for 5 half days).

3. You will need to cook, clean, read to and bathe as necessary the children under strict daily guidelines as set out.

4. You will also be expected to cook for the family, wash and iron clothes and assist with light household chores as necessary. You will of course be entitled to eat all that we eat.

5. You should enjoy going outside to the park and using your imagination to entertain children.

6. You must be very security conscious at all times, especially when outside, not allowing any interaction with strangers and always focusing 100 per cent on the kids.

7. We live in St Johns Wood very close to Regents Park. We would like you to live-in and the great appeal of this for you will be proximity to central London (you can be in Oxford Street in 10 minutes by bus). It will be a little cramped for a while and you may need to share space with the kids/sleep in the lounge as we are between places and living with parents, but the area is excellent so hopefully this shouldn't be a problem for you.

8. You will have the weekends off and will work during the week from 8 am to 8 pm.

9. We will pay you £120 per week.

BTW I was both an au pair and then a nanny almost 20 years ago. I think both can work out really well, but this ad is beyond belief!! I love the way the poster suggests that their prime location is some type of compensation for lack of accomodation and decent pay.

expatinscotland Thu 20-Jun-13 14:56:31

And cocking and cleaning for at least 7 people every day on top of childcare.

expatinscotland Thu 20-Jun-13 14:57:02

Cooking, that is.

ZZZenagain Thu 20-Jun-13 15:02:23


I couldn't have coped with all that. A two year old keeps you on your toes all the time, how can you cook for the family, clean, iron at the same time, do other light household chores and be on call for 12 hours a day?

And then no room of your own to sleep in. You'd be better off getting a live-in cleaning or cooking job.

Seriously who would do that for those conditions if they already had 2 years of UK working experience other than an illegal immigrant?

HoneyStepMummy Thu 20-Jun-13 15:09:35

Well maybe it includes cocking as well as cooking, LOL! I'm sure that after they revised and removed their post they either contacted some desperate au pairs looking for a job, or they will be posting a revised ad sometime soon.
So in a nutshell they want a fulltime experienced nanny with 2 years experience and references. This lucky candidate will look after a newborn all day, and a 2 year old at least half of the day. They wil also do 7 people's laundry, ironing, and cooking. Somehow they're also expected to take kids to the park, bathe them and basically watch them til bedtime. Then what? The poor au pair doesn't have proper accomodations.
I saw another listing that said basically you will be doing "everthing a housewife does exept hanky-panky" boak! And that you will receive $80 a week, but "my mother did this job for my father for 24 years with no pay". What's wrong with these idiots?

ZZZenagain Thu 20-Jun-13 15:14:22

I suppose if you don't want to be a housewife and carer of preschoolers but you don't have the money to pay for someone to help out properly, you hope some poor sod with little choice will do it all for you for next to nothing.

Apart from anything else I can't get over the fact they think it is ok for her not to even have a room to sleep in.

Fillyjonk75 Thu 20-Jun-13 18:01:48

God, they've got the inlaws there as well.

Wuldric Thu 20-Jun-13 18:06:55

Just in case that bonkers family have caught sight of this thread, here are the rules and laws governing aupairs. Note that they are not expected to work more than 30 hours a week, and should have time to study.

Honestly that advert has made my blood boil. Nasty stuff. It makes me worried that I could be inadvertently bumping into people like that. In St John's Wood ...

Wuldric Thu 20-Jun-13 18:09:27

Note also that aupairs should "have their own private room in the house, provided free of charge"

Sleepyhoglet Thu 20-Jun-13 18:57:00

I found another shitty advert. Exasperating. Check out the follow up thread.

CruCru Thu 20-Jun-13 20:35:04

They have a 5 bedroom house and want to pay £25 a month. It says the ad isn't available any more - do you think the £25 was just a typo?

PainSnail Thu 20-Jun-13 22:05:15

gumtree is positively teeming with them. I cannot fathom how people expect these fantastic supernannies who'll work every hour god sends for 4 bloody quid. This one's pretty great.

LondonBus Thu 20-Jun-13 22:10:48

PainSnail...they will find someone to fill that post.....whether they stay 2 years or not is another question.

EverybodysStressyEyed Thu 20-Jun-13 22:16:40

But £4 an hour with accommodation and food included isn't that bad in those areas. That role isn't as shocking as the original in the op. a live out role will pay 8-10 net.

Ultimately if you don't pay a great wage you are going to have high turnover of staff and you pay for it in the end. Completely shortsighted.

Also, none of these people mention tax. I would love the tax authorities to do a crackdown on this but I know their resources are tight at the moment.

thefuturesnotourstosee Thu 20-Jun-13 22:30:59

Thinking back, my mum had tenants when we were children - usually students. They paid no rent but they looked after us from about 3.45-6pm on weekdays during term time. Usually she let it to couples so they could split the child care between them. It was a self contained flat and I think the arrangement worked on both sides. Just over 11 hours child care in exchange for a rent free flat. It would probably be frowned on now though and she'd be getting a slating on here grin

showtunesgirl Thu 20-Jun-13 22:32:19

Depending on how much "pocket money" they get, au pairs don't have to pay income tax or national insurance as they are neither a worker or an employee.

PointlessPost Thu 20-Jun-13 23:03:35

I think the government should tighten up the laws governing au pairs and other live in employees. It is awful that people can be exploited to such an extent.

EverybodysStressyEyed Thu 20-Jun-13 23:09:50

But these people aren't looking for au pairs. Thu just say they are.

ZZZenagain Fri 21-Jun-13 08:09:02

perhaps the meaning of au pair has changed to something like cheap live-in servant. See quite a few students from eastern Europe are looking for these type of positions as holiday jobs where they can improve their English which they already speak to a good level.

I am surprised at ads wanting au pairs with 3-4 years experience. It is the kind of job you'd do once for the travel experience, possibly twice but then you want to move on with your life. I have seen ads wanting Australians, NZers, South Africans with 3-4 years full-time experience, driving licence etc to help with homework and so on. What is in it for these young women, living in thre UK asan aupair for 4+ years? I don't see it.

Corygal Fri 21-Jun-13 08:30:14

New OED definition of au pair = n.,etym. Fr., desperate illegal about to get more desperate.

These ads are truly repellent.

Mimishimi Fri 21-Jun-13 09:09:24

Wow Painsnail ... They practically want a qualified nanny, governess, housekeeper and cook rolled into one. For what amounts to peanuts. All the non-childcare related items would require them to work most of the rest of the day, possibly well into the evenings . Yes, I realise many mothers do exactly all of these things but not for someone else's children! I wonder if they realised that their ad showed where they live on the map. Perhaps someone on here knows them and can give them a sound telling off or, better yet, tell everyone they mutually know.shock

thismumismad Fri 21-Jun-13 09:21:25

I've just found one that offers accommodation for housekeeper, cooking, ironing and child care for a large family but no pay!!!

IAgreeCompletely Fri 21-Jun-13 09:25:58

Au Pairs are only exempt from being paid minimum wage if they are obviously Au Pairs.

Already linked but here it is again - UK Gov Definition of an Au Pair

UK Gov info on who gets a minimum wage

I like to think some of these poor exploited people will take their employers to court and at least get their minimum wage repaid.

Employers can only offset charges for accomodation of 4.82 a day or 33.74 a week however, this is for employees who recieve minimum pay

Does anyone know any case law?

ZZZenagain Fri 21-Jun-13 10:12:28

I saw that one mimi and I wondered where they would find someone aged at least 25, willing to commit for 2 years, with a driving license, English mother tongue and a good education, able and willing to help with homework and supervise violin/piano practice.

Are there really 27 year olds who are prepared to live like this? I suppose there must be. Really when I was a young woman setting out, au pairs were young people straight out of school. I don't think many people would have been aupairs over the age of say 22 tbh

megsmouse Fri 21-Jun-13 10:31:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

humdumaggapang Fri 21-Jun-13 10:51:07

I agree with Pointless , something should be done about this massive loophole. Are there any MNers who happen to be, or know, an investigative journalist with good connections who'd like to do an expose of the world of au pairs..

Omen thing is for sure, these 'employers' with six figure salaries wouldn't get out of bed for what they are asking.

ZZZenagain Fri 21-Jun-13 10:54:30

it is a different world obviously to when I was young. An au pair was a young girl or boy who was supposed to live with you as a member of the family and travel or learn English in exchange for light household duties and looking after the children. It was not supposed to be anything onerous but I suppose it sometimes was. I remember a friend of mine going to France as an au pair. She told me the mother of the house had shown her where the hoover was and she had wondered what on earth for!

I can see the logic in working as an au pair if you need to improve your English even as a mature applicant but if English is your mother tongue it still seems strange to me to be doing this kind of work at 25+ Maybe once, to move abroad and find your feet in a new place but then you'd want to move on and look for some kind of career job. It would make more sense then to train as a nanny and have a career. Just seems to me at 25+ you could reasonably expect to have a family of your own to look after, a home of your own to clean. I suppose times are a lot tougher all round now.

Eye openers for me these threads.

Isatdownandwept Fri 21-Jun-13 10:58:27

The biggest problems are that

(A) the uk government is ignoring completely the definition of au pairs as set out in the European court of justice some time ago, which defines au pairs as workers. Why? god alone knows. In fact i am fairly surethat the gov definition that has been linked to was drawn up after the turkish au pair case, so they drafted it knowing that what they were writing was illegal in european law. Because the uk government doesn't define an au pair as either a worker or an employee then they effectively operate outside of the protection of all uk employment law and have effectively no protection whatsoever from exploitation
(B) even if they followed ECJ ruling there are a number of exclusions within uk employment law relating to people living inside a home as a carer, or as part of the family, which render some standard rules - eg NAtional minimum wage, Working time directive - as not applicable anyway.

A whole host of au pair sites will post the 'rules' but most of them are completely wrong in what they say. It is also a complete red herring, by the way, to say that au pairs must not have sole charge of babies, etc, etc. that's not true.

If you followed the ECJ position your au pair would have rights to notice period and paid holidays and some protection from dismissal but still no rights regarding number of hours, nature of work to be performed or pay.

FWIW in the US it is quite normal to have au pairs do full time sole care throughout school holidays of similar levels of 'pocket money'. Am glad most UK employers are a bit nicer than that. Although I do personally know of two cases where the au pair (both girls under 21) has had a row or disagreement and has been thrown out onto the streets there and then shock. How some people live with themselves I don't know.

Farewelltoarms Fri 21-Jun-13 11:15:17

That housekeeper/nanny role is not a million miles away from a role we offered five years ago. Ours was much more nannying and she wanted to bump up hours with cleaning but it added up to the same hours as the ad, live-in and no weekend babysitting. Also central London but no expectations of homework supervision or music practice (yes practice not 'practise' - if you're going to demand good English you should proof read your own ad).
The big difference? We paid £350 net a week, did all the pay roll, national insurance and tax on top of that.

ZZZenagain Fri 21-Jun-13 11:59:03

was it on this thread that someone suggested researching au pair conditions nowadays would make an interesting article? I think so too, they seem to vary widely between decent posts and those with very long hours/llow wages and a lot of work. I posted a thread to ask people if they had been au pairs and what it was like but only got one response on there (good response though). Her experience was very different to the way these gumtree ads sound.

Mimishimi Sat 22-Jun-13 00:17:59

My cousin was an au-pair for a year between school and uni about twenty years ago. The family she worked for were travelling around continental Europe and great family friends of her parents. There was no way she was expected to take on these kinds of duties - just keep an eye on the kids when the parents went out. She was given lots of time for herself and had a fantastic time (getting chased by or chasing boys grin).

"It is also a complete red herring, by the way, to say that au pairs must not have sole charge of babies, etc, etc. that's not true."

Technically no, but they should not have charge of them. Developmentally it could really screw over the child, they are usually young and foreign and have no first aid training, no or little experience with little ones and the chances of something going wrong are higher. Why anybody wants to leave a toddler in the care of a young woman with no experience or knowledge on child development I don't know, but they do sad

Mumsyblouse Sat 22-Jun-13 11:47:05

There are loads of ads on Gumtree where the parents are openly asking for way more hours than would be covered by the au pair guidlines (are these legally enforceable?) 50/60 hours a week, sole-care in the school holidays. I feel really quite disturbed by this practice, I had no idea that there were so many families out there quite willing to exploit young often quite poor young people (nearly always women). I was thinking of getting an au pair, although not sure about someone living in my house, to help out, take the children to school, pick up etc. I am now thinking very carefully about what that would entail, what hours etc.

Mimishimi Sat 22-Jun-13 22:37:57

Mumsy, I think to qualify as an au-pair (with the corresponding pay) they have to live in your home. Otherwise you are just hiring a 'mother's helper' and would need to pay minimum wages. Like a PP saod, these people don't really want an au-pair, they just say they do. Does anyone remember the Matty Eappen case in Boston where they were paying a nineteen year old British girl similar type of wages and making her work for more than 40 hours a week? That's the kind of risk it seems these people are willing to take with their own children.It's very sad.

ApocalypseThen Sun 23-Jun-13 00:21:41

I think it's great that the second family are looking for someone who can write English competently to help their daughter.

They're not so hot at it themselves.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now