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Are au pairs allowed to claim job-seekers allowance whilst with host family?

(73 Posts)
Mummy1106 Sun 09-Dec-12 15:28:10

Our au pair droped a bombshell on us when she informed us that she is going to claim job-seekers allowance.

Our ap has a lot of spare time and she decided to look for a little part time work.

AP went to the jobcentre, explained that she wants to work part time and they told her that she is eligible for Job-seekers allowance.

Ap came back and told me about her 'great' news, she is very exited and I am very worried as we have never had anyone claiming any benefits from this address.
I explained that people at the jobcentre made a mistake and she got very defensive.
I've been trying to read about this but cant find any information.
She has a very good job with us, she works between 17-20 hr a week and gets £75, she gets her room with tv and wireless + all food. She doesnt have to do cleaning as we have a cleaner.
Is she taking the p...

The whole situation is making me very nervous as I don't want to loose her however I don't want anything illegal attacehd to our address.

I feel that she should not claim job-seekers allowance as she already has a job with us.

Has anyone else had this problem? Please help

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 12-Dec-12 15:49:54

this seems so weird that a foreigner can come over and claim (if job centre got it right) even though she is technically working and earning £5k ish a year

SamSmalaidh Wed 12-Dec-12 15:57:03

I don't think they can Blondes, firstly because if they already have an income of £70 a week they won't qualify for any JSA, and secondly because they need to have worked (and presumably paid NI contributions) in the UK before becoming unemployed and claiming benefits.

BAPAA Thu 13-Dec-12 13:48:55

We do agree that an Au Pair should not be claiming any benefits of any kind off the state and are disappointed in hearing that some Au Pairs are trying to do this. We are now following up on this with relevant state departments.

Espanish Sat 12-Jan-13 15:10:17

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botandhothered Sat 12-Jan-13 15:50:36

Espanish. If you don't tell the job centre that you are getting 70 pounds a week you are committing fraud. You could go to prison. You HAVE to be honest when filling the form in. You DO have an income, there is a section on the form for this.

LIZS Sat 12-Jan-13 15:55:39

If you work 30 hours a week you can't claim JSA because you are not really available to work elsewhere! Are you also taking a EFL course ? Many Expats in Spain still receive pension etc direct from UK so suggest you stop the sweeping statements

botandhothered Sat 12-Jan-13 15:57:46

In addition to this you have to sign a declaration that you are actively looking for AND available for work. How can you declare that when you are working 30 hours? Au pair jobs are not the same as working in black. It is recognised in the UK, and is tax exempt because the pocket money is low. It is an opportunity for young europeans to live and work in the UK and learn the language.
How would you feel if I was working and claiming the Paro when Spain is in crisis?

EmmaNess Sat 12-Jan-13 16:02:29

I'm more offended by Espanish's racism than the potential benefit scrounging tbh.

angry

duchesse Sat 12-Jan-13 19:00:22

Espanish, if you are working 30 hours per week then you are not able to find another job, surely? If you lie to the Job centre people and are caught lying, it could cost you a lot more money than you will receive and you risk a criminal conviction. Having a criminal conviction of any type can bar you from many jobs. Is it worth it? I think not, maybe you will come to a different conclusion.

Espanish Tue 15-Jan-13 12:45:32

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

botandhothered Tue 15-Jan-13 16:23:46

Who pays for your healthcare, Espanish? It is free for you in the UK, and you don't pay tax or insurance.
Yes there are British people who exploit the system and live on benefits most of their lives. It is a bad attitude to have. You need to get out and get youself a proper job if you want more money.NOT fraudulently claim money you are NOT entitled to.

Allaquandry Tue 15-Jan-13 16:25:36

I missed your first post but am most amused by your second. Your ignorance really is astounding, but that is to be pitied rather than attacked, I think.

I have a lovely Spanish au pair who really is very embarrassed by your post and has asked me to assure everyone that Spanish people really aren't as stupid as your post implies. Of course, he's an educated chap with an MSc himself and is working as an au pair for all the right reasons - to learn English, understand a culture, and so on. Not simply because he can't find work in a country crippled by corruption and black market economies.

Anyway, some of your points. You are not paying tax because au pairs are below the tax threshold. No other reason.

Anyone who fills in a form stating that they are available for work when they are not is committing fraud and can be sent to jail. And yes, you do have to pay the money back when you get caught. Being available to work in the evenings is lovely but job seekers allowance is oly available to people who are able to work between normal working hours, Mondays to Fridays

Universal health care is a right of EU members. It's why if you fall ill in the UK our hospitals will treat you for free. It's not just the privilege of old English people in Spain, you know. Of course, if you wanted to remove that right you could of course have Spain withdraw from the EU.

Oh silly me. They can't, can they? On account if the fact that withdrawing would bankrupt the Spanish state

You might also want to ask yourself what would happen to your property market if all the English people you cannot stand came back home. Take care when you think it through though, it requires a certain level of intellect to process. I am happy to explain it all to you slowly, point by point, if you need me to.

As to our own racism towards 'Indians' I will leave it to my Indian friends on MN to respond to that one. I can assure you however that the British save pretty much all of their vitriol and narrow-mindedness for people we term 'benefit scroungers' to help explain, this term applies to people who deliberately try to defraud the system and claim money to which they are not entitled. We have no problem in supporting people who need to be supported, but boy, do we hate those grasping cunts (a quaint euphamism reserved only for very special people) who are out to take money from the system without justification. Every British person will confirm that it is only these grasping cunts unentitled fraudsters who are considered true scum in this country.

Um. Which brings me right back full circle.

botandhothered Tue 15-Jan-13 16:34:15

As for your other comments regarding the British and racism. I am offended, and suggest you get out and about and experience the very mixed and diverse culture the country has to offer.
I can only assume you make these comments out of pure ignorance.

botandhothered Tue 15-Jan-13 16:38:52

Allaquandry, most eloquently put!
My Spanish boyfriend also quite outraged by Espanish!!

fraktion Tue 15-Jan-13 16:44:28

I have read that aupairs are not considered workers, so legally, I am not working.

Yeah....you read wrong. There is a fairly significant amount of case law to back this up. And if you're just reading what BAPAA wrote they're wrong too. So, technically, are the civil servants who produced the webpage. You are working, you are receiving a wage on which you don't pay tax be side it's under the threshold. You're not paying into the system but you'd still use the healthcare, you use the roads, you use any number of services subsidised by other people's tax, possibly including your language class.

Your views on Indians are bizarre and very racist. Who cares what ethnicity the neighbours are when you sell your house? You barely see your neighbours.

Viviennemary Tue 15-Jan-13 16:48:52

She is not eligible for job seekers allowance. And I wouldn't be happy if someone was claiming fraudulently using my address. I think the most likely thing is she hasn't explained her situation properly to the people at the job centre. That is she is working for you and receiving money for hours worked.

duchesse Tue 15-Jan-13 17:49:19

I'm personally not convinced that Espanish is quite as espanish as he/she seems.

MoJo5 Tue 15-Jan-13 22:53:48

My au pair earns 80 pound a week from me and does about 25 hrs work. She has claimed JSA. It annoys me. However in some ways our country make it easy. To have English lessons in an adult education centre it is much cheaper or even free with benefits. This is the reason why my Au pair wanted to claim JSA. IT is easy to get a national insurance number. I'm not happy now with the arrangement because she is not pulling her weight with me cleaning etc, she has free board and food and on top is claiming benefits. She is good with my kids however. I made a 6 month contract as it was my first time having an au pair girl. I have been too nice giving her all weekends free and limited cleaning. She does what is on the contract but no extra and I think things like emptying the dishwasher and wiping down kitchen tops or emptying bins are common courtesy esp as for the first 3 months with me she has both kids at school and no English classes so did nothing more than spend all her time at charity shops! What is annoying is that I have had my child benefit removed as my husband earns over the limit and she is claiming JSA and has never worked in her life in her country or the UK and she is 29. This is her first "job". I guess I will be more clued up for the next au pair!!! And I have told her to help me more in the kitchen etc and she makes excuses to not do it or do it later so quite frankly I think I will see her go in March.

tiggersreturn Tue 15-Jan-13 23:10:57

Mojo - why not just tell her you're going to send a letter to the DWP with her NI no informing them that she has been employed throughout this period and has not been available to work if she doesn't
a) stop the payments immediately and
b) buck up!!

The ball is firmly in your court on this one.

fraktion Wed 16-Jan-13 12:48:34

MoJo5 I'd have sacked her by now for being useless. That might be a short, sharp lesson in what JSA is actually for.

MoJo5 Mon 11-Feb-13 21:37:51

Well she has given two weeks notice. Her benefits stopped when she went to Spain over Christmas. I'm not sure if she has got them again. Quite frankly I'm happy to see her go. I will make sure that the next au pair does not go down that route! I feel let down. In the end she was very good with my kids even though she did not think her job to clean! (it was in contract but not detailed enough). I've learnt my lessons!

Scarletlips Mon 11-Feb-13 22:42:36

An au pair is in the UK on a cultural exchange and is not considered to be an employee. She receives pocket money and board in exchange for helping to take of the kids and a small amount of housework. If she gets a salaried job then she really is not an au pair anymore

MrAnchovy Mon 11-Feb-13 23:20:52

"An au pair is in the UK on a cultural exchange and is not considered to be an employee."

Maybe not by you, but HMRC consider them to be an employee for tax purposes, DfE consider the money they receive to be income for benefit purposes and the courts have consistently decided they are employees for general purposes.

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