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Can you have a British au pair?

(9 Posts)
katieks Thu 12-Jun-14 21:36:29

I ask because the HMRC website doesn't specifically state that they can't be from the UK, the gov.uk website states:
An au pair isn’t classed as a worker or an employee if most of the following apply:

they’re a foreign national living with a family in the UK
they’re an EU citizen or have entered the UK on a Youth Mobility Visa or student visa
they’re here on a cultural exchange programme
they’ve got a signed letter of invitation from the host family that includes details of their stay, eg accommodation, living conditions, approximate working hours, free time, pocket money
they learn about British culture from the host family and share their own culture with them
they have their own private room in the house, provided free of charge
they eat their main meals with the host family, free of charge
they help with light housework and childcare for around 30 hours a week, including a couple of evenings babysitting
they get reasonable pocket money
they can attend English language classes at a local college in their spare time
they’re allowed time to study and can practise their English with the host family
they sometimes go on holiday with the host family and help look after the children
they can travel home to see their family during the year

pluCaChange Thu 12-Jun-14 23:08:35

Why would you want a homesick teenager who's closer to home so possibly less committed to staying?

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 12-Jun-14 23:14:40

You can have a British au pair. They will almost certainly be an employee though.

There is a big grey area around au pairs being employees at the moment. I can't explain it all, but there will be someone along who can.

schlafenfreude Fri 13-Jun-14 23:09:27

In a nutshell the ECJ say au pairs are employees. This decision has been upheld in the High Court and at tribunals. The Govt and the AP agency association are insisting that they are not (with zero legal basis). This is all based on the old au pair visa, which has long been abolished, and slightly nebulous international agreements that the UK hasn't signed.

That's the position on foreign nationals. So the advice is generally to set up as you would an employer with a contract, respect their employment rights (aka treat them fairly) and proceed as you would for a cultural exchange type arrangement. Everyone's a winner and both of you are protected.

Tax law is entirely separate. Anyone in the UK earning over the thresholds is liable for tax and NI, that includes au pairs even if they weren't employees (large hole in the logic that they need to be taxed under PAYr which applies to - you guessed it - employees but we'll ignore that).

Your sticking point with a British AP type arrangement is that the cultural and linguistic components just aren't there. So you can have a very part time live in nanny who is paid au pair rates but they will definitely be counted as an employee.

bbkl Sat 14-Jun-14 20:17:41

We had one - I think she would fit into the 'very part time live in nanny' described above. Or big sister type role. We're in London so I think it was attractive to a teenager from a rural area wanting to get a taste of city life, but with the security of a 'family home'. She earned below the threshold for tax/ni (few hours found wraparound) but we had contract with working hours, paid holiday etc.

katieks Wed 18-Jun-14 20:18:18

But a part-time nanny working 30 hours is going to earn way more than an aupair as an employee has to be paid minimum wage right?

mrswishywashy Thu 19-Jun-14 00:59:24

It's a grey area and one that I wish the government would clear up quickly as I think children are at risk.

I think everyone should working in a home should be paid the accommodation rate that is set by the government minus the NMW for their age. Why this is not the case now I don't know?

If the uk had an au pair programme like the USA it would be different but the whole live in house hold staff is so unregulated that employers are abusing staff rights every day.

longjane Thu 19-Jun-14 06:27:27

Live in is your clue here . From what understand this get out cause for NMW .
As you paying their food and lodging .

mrswishywashy Thu 19-Jun-14 07:30:39

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-accommodation - good link about minimum wage and live ins. There are rules but minimum wage is offset by accommadation offered. Wish the government would have a crack down on this and that au pairs as they are used now are not allowed. Very few treat au pairs as they should only have to read many of the threads on here about au pairs to see that. It would be a shame for the families that treat au pairs well but I don't see any other way to regulate the au pair issue.

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