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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

nkf Sun 09-Dec-12 15:30:03

I wouldn't have thought so. But au pairs aren't seen as receiving salaries. They get pocket money etc. Unless she is actually a nanny and you are not paying tax. What is your actual arrangement with her?

If her hours are over 16 per week with you she cannot claim JSA.

If her hours were less she could claim, BUT her JSA would only top up her wage to £71 per week ie she earns £20 and gets £51 JSA.

If she wants a part time job thats her concern, not the JCs because she is already employed.

SamSmalaidh Sun 09-Dec-12 15:34:51

She works more than 16 hours a week and is paid more than JSA would be anyway, so she won't be eligible for it. The JC advisor made a mistake or doesn't understand her situation properly.

nkf Sun 09-Dec-12 15:35:29

I wonder if she hasn't told them that she is paid by you.

Though nkf makes a good point. It does depend on her actual employment status.

SamSmalaidh Sun 09-Dec-12 15:38:10

I believe au pairs status is a category of worker rather than employee. They are exempt from minimum wage as they live as part of the family, and pay of under £100ish a week isn't taxed - though if she finds a second job that will be taxed.

Mummy1106 Sun 09-Dec-12 15:48:57

Thank you. She works on average 18 hr week and gets £75, I dont have a contract with her, but give her cash every Friday at 6pm.

I guess I will have to ask her not to apply for JCA
I'll just have to be firm and explain that she is employed here and that we dont want any benefits arriving here.

SamSmalaidh Sun 09-Dec-12 15:59:56

It's up to her if she wants to apply for it, just explain to her that she must be honest about her current employment on the form, otherwise it is fraud. She won't be awarded JSA.

NatashaBee Sun 09-Dec-12 16:03:21

What do you think will happen if she claims benefits using your address? I'd just let her apply, as long as she is honest on the forms. Based on what you've said about her hours, they will say no.

nkf Sun 09-Dec-12 16:11:20

To be honest, I don't understand why she would apply for benefits. Why doesn't she get some babysitting work?

LIZS Sun 09-Dec-12 16:18:36

and is she actually available for work for 16+ hours, does she not take an esol course?

Im not sure why you are so fixated on benefits at your address? hmm

Its not a shameful thing you know.

expatinscotland Sun 09-Dec-12 17:31:52

I don't think she explained her situation clearly to the adviser.

mercibucket Sun 09-Dec-12 17:36:59

Op is probably more worried about fraudulent benefit claim at her address than benefit claims in general

mercibucket Sun 09-Dec-12 17:37:02

Op is probably more worried about fraudulent benefit claim at her address than benefit claims in general

happyinherts Sun 09-Dec-12 17:40:29

Pay of under £100 may well not be taxed but if you're paying cash is there any record of this.

Has she gone to the Job Centre just declaring your address as hers without mentioning her au pair job as there's no record of this and this is why you're worried?

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 09-Dec-12 17:49:35

I'm guessing it's the potential for fradulent claims too and I would be going absolutely spare as well at this.

The first thing I would do in this situation is tell her that as sam said her role with you does count as a job and give her some form of contract. Did you have one of those invitation letters? Or an email/emails where you laid everything out? These can be used as a basis for what you put in the contract - have a look online for off the shelf nanny contracts that are out there. I don't use something that is as detailed as those contracts normally given that I worry that a non English speaking au pair wouldn't understand much of the language and just stop reading after a bit/get the wrong end of the stick. But I think given the situation here it might be the easiest thing to do to cover yourself.

I am wondering about how it is she had the wherewithal to get herself down to the job centre and cotton on to these benefits. Is she a native English speaker? I can' t imagine one of our au pairs doing this but it reminds me of the woman whose au pair (non native English speaker) found citizens advice and was threatening to sue for unfair dismissal on spurious grounds.

I seriously wonder about this girl's outlook and attitude as well.

SamSmalaidh Sun 09-Dec-12 17:54:13

Oh yes, didn't notice that you hadn't given her a written contract! You need to get something down in writing asap - hours, duties, pay, sick pay, holidays, notice period should be sufficient.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 09-Dec-12 17:54:39

The thing is OP I am guessing you would know about it, if she did it anyway, as something would come through to your address. Does she have a bank account? She would need a UK bank account too I'm guessing for anything to be paid in. I think that she would struggle to get this w/o your knowledge as she needs proof of address.

A contract would give her this though...but you do need to have a contract for all sort of reasons to protect yourself.

I would spell it out for her and say that as she is being paid in her role with you not declaring that and claiming benefits would be illegal and grounds for immediate dismissal.

MissNJE Sun 09-Dec-12 17:56:27

How can she claim JSA as an aupair? Does she have a NI number? I always thought you need one for JSA.

LIZS Sun 09-Dec-12 18:02:00

If she has a nationality from within EU and resident she would have basic entitlements to benefits, NHS and NI no. It is how she is establishing this that is in question.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 09-Dec-12 18:03:33

Isn't it relatively easy to get a temporary one though?

I don't know - back in the day it was for me but maybe it's harder now. (I arrived off the boat in the early 90s....)

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 09-Dec-12 19:08:27

Regardless of the benefits things you really, really need to get a contract sorted.

fraktion Sun 09-Dec-12 20:07:40

She won't be able to get it.

1. The employee/worker distinction is moot if you only have 1 employee. She is employed.

1a. Because she's employed you need to get her a contract ASAP.

2. She earns more than the JSA is, which assuming she's under 25 is actually about £55.

The people at the job centre have got completely the wrong end of the stick.

It does, however, flag up an issue that if she finds another job she needs to be very clear that on the forms they'll give her she must tick the Vic which says the new job isn't her only form of employment.

Lougle Sun 09-Dec-12 20:15:51

This is all wrong.

Firstly, she can't claim JSA to get 'a little part-time work'. To satisfy the conditions for JSA she has to be available for 40 hours per week.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Sun 09-Dec-12 21:53:56

Yes put £xyz p/ w GROSS in the contract you write for her.

Lots of people don't think of au pairs as employees and will argue this point til the cows come home. She probably said she was getting some 'pocket money' and living as part of the family, yada. So that may be why she was given this advice.

It doesn't help that on government websites the guidance isn't clear on au pairs either. If the person checked on the directgov website she may have well innocently reached this conclusion.

expatinscotland Sun 09-Dec-12 22:13:05

I'm wondering a) how she has so much spare time, I thought they were supposed to be taking classes b) what kind of person thinks the first port of call in looking for 'a little part-time work', when she's single (not living in a domestic partnership) with no kids, is the dole when she has a place to live and an allowance. What a pisstaker and I'd be seriously concerned about having my address attached to such a claim. It's because of pisstakers like this that JSA claimants with no such part-time job already and a place to live and allowance have become the scourge of this government angry.

expatinscotland Sun 09-Dec-12 22:14:32

And if she balks at the contract, I'd kick her out of my house to go and claim JSA and see how 'excited' she is about finding a room share when she's on LHA and having to actually live on that £55-£70/week. angry

SamSmalaidh Sun 09-Dec-12 22:31:13

If she's not from the UK, then she probably just assumed the Job Centre is where you go to find a job - I doubt she went there looking for benefits.

Mummy1106 Mon 10-Dec-12 07:14:11

Thank you for all the answers. It is reassuring.
She's been in this country for over a year and only started with us 2 months ago. She already has a bank account and national insurance number. That did struck me as a bit strange (ni number).
I written her a letter stating the hours + pay.
I have nothing against benefits, but i do have an issue with illegality and fraud. she came here to work as an au pair not to milk the system.
My husband was speechless when I told him, he is out of the country until Thursday, so I'll have to deal with it before she applies on Tuesday.

I will have to have a chat with her and explain my position and worries to her. Not sure how to handle it once she gets all defensive and starts explaining that she can because she's been told so. Not looking forward to this...

Lougle Mon 10-Dec-12 07:27:12

This isn't a moral issue, though. If she is of a nationality which confers rights to benefits, she is entitled to claim them, legally and morally, if she meets the criteria. Not a problem. The problem comes if she doesn't meet the criteria, which she doesn't if she is working as an aupair.

Goldmandra Mon 10-Dec-12 08:48:55

Could you offer to go with her to the Job Centre on Tuesday and help her explain her situation? Then you are not the ones telling her she can't claim. You are simply helping her to complete the forms with the correct information.

SamSmalaidh Mon 10-Dec-12 12:58:55

You need to put some bits about her notice period, holiday (5.6 weeks, can include bank holidays) and sick pay (just SSP is fine) in the contract too - if you want to ensure she isn't eligible for benefits then you need to be properly employing her.

I really wouldn't worry too much about her applying for JSA - she's been given poor advice by the Job Centre, but so long as she is honest on the form about her hours and pay from you then she won't qualify for anything.

MGMidget Mon 10-Dec-12 13:12:55

She has declared her intention to look for another job. So JSA aside, if she gets another job in her spare time you will have to register as an employer and deduct tax and NI as her earnings will exceed the threshold. Definitely a good reason for stating her pay as gross in the contract as suggested (maybe also stating that you are entitled to make any deductions from her pay that are legally required?). Is it going to be a pain for you if she has a second job, I.e. do you need her to do extra hours sometimes such as in school holidays? Her plan to look for a second job would ring alarm bells with me as I would see extra hassle with payroll administration and loss of flexibility in her hours.

Regarding the benefits claim, I too would be worried about someone using my address to claim benefits they weren't entitled to. I would definitely discuss further with her, try and find out what she told them and get the contract in place quickly. Also discuss with her how having a second job is going to fit with her current au pair job.

SamSmalaidh Mon 10-Dec-12 13:14:21

I don't think the OP needs to register as an employer - it will be the second job that deducts tax and NI won't it?

fraktion Mon 10-Dec-12 13:51:44

Yes as long as OP makes it clear they're the primary job. It doesn't hurt to do the paperwork and make it clear. You should be noting the pay anyway just to prove that you've been under the thresholds.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Mon 10-Dec-12 14:52:08

If the AP gets another job technically the OP will have to register as an employer, that is true, as her weekly earnings will be over the limit. She won't have to pay tax etc but that is a different matter. It is still vital a gross salary is quoted in the contract.

The way this girl is accessing 'the system' in the UK I would be covering my bases and doing everything by the book.

OP - I don't see why the conversation is so difficult to have, explaining that she is over the earnings threshold in her role with you and she won't be eligibe for benefits. Is it that you're really exposed with childcare issues if she goes?

Don't go to any meetings at the job centre with her, just do your own paperwork and leave it at that. I;m guessing if you're this worried about childcare coverage you're at work anyway and wouldn't take time for for this nonsense.

I think the issue is not that she can get JSA or not - it's whether the AP is likely to tell the truth/describe her role in such a way that it is clear she is earning money with the OP's family.

Principality Tue 11-Dec-12 00:12:22

When I was looking for an ap in the summer my first choice said she would be applying for jsa... That several of her friends who were aps did the same etc.. I did not employ her.

It may sound harsh but I really didn't like the idea that she was setting herself up to come here and claim money off a different government- one where she had never put in to the pot, as it were. I now understand that she may have been refused but it really put me off her.

MGMidget Tue 11-Dec-12 13:34:03

If the AP doesn't tell the second employer she already has a job (eg if she doesn't regard being an AP as a job when she completes forms) is there a risk that the second employer gets registered as the first employer? OP then registers as employer and finds they are regarded as the second employer and has all the payroll administration and tax deduction duties? I have heard of this happening but don't know the circumstances behind this. If it was me I would want to make sure I was regarded as the first employer to avoid this burden but don't know what are the best steps to safeguard yourself. Is the contract and record of payments enough or does OP need to beat the second employer to register with HMRC? Obviously OP can make the situation clear to the AP but won't know what the AP is stating on official forms.

And, Principality, I would feel the same as you about an AP who wanted the milk the benefits system having not contributed anything. Not really a good role model for DC!

OP's au pair may not have been so calculated though, it could be an innocent mistake if the job centre told her she was entitled to JSA and she told them the truth. If she persists with the claim and gets awarded benefits though after OP has made her employment or worker status clear to her then she is not looking so innocent.

SamSmalaidh Tue 11-Dec-12 13:54:58

The OP doesn't have to register with HMRC though I don't think, as she is paying under the tax limit. It is then the responsibility of the au pair to correctly fill in her P46.

BAPAA Tue 11-Dec-12 14:24:18

BAPAA have recently been liaising with the government since the replacement of the directgov website to the new .gov website.
We do have a definition of what an Au Pair is on this site. Please do feel free to read this at: gov.uk

BAPAA Tue 11-Dec-12 14:26:14

Dear all,

the actual link for the new Au Pair definition is:

https://www.gov.uk/au-pairs-employment-law

LadyHarrietdeSpook Tue 11-Dec-12 14:30:21

Sam, the OP doesn't HAVE to register although she can, there is nothing to stop her doing this. As Midget says I don't know what would happen if the AP didn't declare that she had another job, the other employer would 'get in there first' true. If she puts the pay in gross in the contract that would protect her cost wise.

I would be giving the contract and stating that if she pursued benefits despite her earnings with us it's immediately out. Simples, seriously.

fraktion Tue 11-Dec-12 17:04:25

The Government are ignoring a binding judgement against them issued by the ECJ. Oh dear.

MGMidget Tue 11-Dec-12 22:08:21

Ok so AP is not an 'employee' or 'worker' according to this latest government definition. However the guidance says they may have to pay tax and NI if pocket money high enough. Also JSA guidance says they are only eligible if not 'working' more than 16 hours a week. Therefore, I suppose it depends whether what an au pair does is regarded as 'working' when they are not regarded as a 'worker'. Morally it wouldn't feel right to me if they were claiming the benefit when doing more than 16 hours a week of au pair duties.

MrAnchovy Wed 12-Dec-12 01:57:28

We do have a definition of what an Au Pair is on this site. Please do feel free to read this at: gov.uk

Yes but unfortunately both the English and European courts have a totally different definition which means that anyone who works for someone for reward for more than a few hours each week has the same rights as any other worker.

And even by the definition linked to the majority of au pairs in the UK would not fit - "they sometimes go on holiday with the host family"?

MGMidget Wed 12-Dec-12 13:25:54

It looks like the safest, most straightforward approach would be to do as LadyHarrietdeSpook suggests then as long as she hasn't been with you for over a year (in which case employment rights might apply as Mr Anchovy mentions). However, Mummy1106, I appreciate that you don't want to lose the AP so it will be risky to take that stance. Would you still want her though if she goes ahead with the benefit claim despite your reservations and the discussions you have had/will have? Is she really good? I know it can be really disruptive to have to let an au pair go so your situation and potential back-up options may determine how tough you can be on this. Otherwise you would need to protect yourself with steps already suggested and keep an eye on the situation to see if her application gets rejected (hopefully it will). Its awful to think there may be au pairs out there telling one another to claim JSA as Principality experienced!

MrAnchovy Wed 12-Dec-12 14:45:59

Employment status and availability for work are not actually relevant here: all regular income is taken into account in assessing the amount of a claim so even if there is an entitlement to JSA the amount (maximum £75pw) should be reduced by the amount the AP is paid, reducing the claim in most cases to £0.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 12-Dec-12 15:20:02

I really want to know more about the au pairs that Principality mentioned who are claiming JSA/talking about claiming it. Are these people who have been here for a while?

My mind actually boggled at this, I just can't conceive it. I am vaguely considering whether to put soemthing about this in our contract for next year but I'm probably being paranoid.

WHatever disagreements over their employment status may be I am assuming that the BAPAA person who took the trouble to post agrees that an au pair receiving money every week for the duties should mention this in a discussion about benefits with someone, lest risk exposing the au pair and the host family to something unpleasant. That's the point really.

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

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

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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