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To think too many people take advantage?

(8 Posts)
foreverondiet Tue 04-Feb-14 19:10:14

I am in the process of recruiting a new au pair, to help me out with school pick ups etc. 25-30 hours a week, always Saturday and Sunday off (apart from babysitting but not every week) and I have agreed to pay a little more than the standard au pair pocket money as I want someone over 21 and with the flexibility to different hours holidays and term time.

I have been totally overwhelmed by the response to my ad (on au pair world), including those with degrees from Spain Italy and Greece (not surprising given the economic climate). I haven't looked but have had 10 applications every day (was 20 a day at the start).

What I am upset about though is the number who are already in the UK and are contacting me as they unhappy with their current family and want to move - many are being asked to work 50-60 hours a week for not much more than the basic au pair rate. Why do people think this is acceptable?

Ok rant over. Posting here as don't know if I am right thinking its not fair or most people think that its ok.

NurseRoscoe Tue 04-Feb-14 19:18:57

It would depend on how their current jobs were advertised, if they were working more than they expected to or getting paid less than they expected to it's unreasonable!!

If not, well they applied for the job. Anyone would want to work less hours for more money surely?

foreverondiet Tue 04-Feb-14 19:24:19

Well I mean more that legally au pair jobs are supposed to be a max of 30 hours, and so the national minimum wage doesn't apply. If they are working more than 30 hours, then they may not technically be an au pair so be paid the minimum wage???

So, I don't think its relevant how the jobs are advertised because people might be coming from countries with no job prospects and I still don't think its fair to treat people unfairly whatever the circumstances.

Mimishimi Tue 04-Feb-14 19:32:58

If it's true, YANBU. I think a lot of people think they are just getting a cheap nanny. When I was small, the usual family that got an au pair had a SAHM with three kids or so. The au pair would be expected to help out for several hours or so in the mornings each day with school run/washing etc then they would take off the rest of the day for language/college classes, meeting friends etc.Now people hire them to avoid nursery fees. It's sad and exploitive.

SeaSickSal Tue 04-Feb-14 22:02:37

There was a thread on here of some dreadful aupair ads people found on gumtree, what they were asking for was dreadful.

It seems like some people say that they want an aupair for say, 40 hours a week, but say there will be extra adhoc babysitting and weekends. And when they get there it turns out it's almost everyday, not adhoc.

I think it's disgraceful to take advantage of the fact a fairly naive young person will be away from their own country for the first time without a support network to exploit them.

foreverondiet Tue 04-Feb-14 22:14:34

SeaSickSal - Actually yes I remember that thread...Even 40 hours a week is a lot for an au pair who is only given pocket money of around £85 a week. I also think its disgraceful, because as you say away from home - although I suspect in bigger cities they do find friends and talk.

Mimishimi Yes au pair instead of nursery fees, I know lots of people who do this, but its not always exploitation, eg if the mum works part time and it is genuinely 30 hours a week and they can still go to language school etc. Many of the women who contacted me where older than the normal profile of an au pair, ie 23-30 so if their english is ok not ridic for them to have sole charge. I'm more appalled by the ones who are taking the piss on the number of hours etc.

Mim78 Tue 04-Feb-14 22:45:05

That sounds shocking. I thought an au pair could only be up to 35 hours (for an au pair plus who is paid a bit above standard rate) or 25 hours for standard au pair.

We pay £90 per week for what is meant to be up to 35 hours per week but almost never is ( I could confidently say it has never been that much in any given week). If we want babysitting we pay extra and although it's a very rare thing we don't automatically assume she will say yes (for instance if it was something we could change the date of like going out by ourselves and she said Wednesday is not convenient for example that would be fine).

I have always gone through an agency to find au pairs though as i think it protects both parties.

I also pay more because I wanted someone over 21 who has a bit more life experience and needs less hand holding.

I do feel for people who come over her and are not respected are treated like servants etc.

foreverondiet Tue 04-Feb-14 23:29:07

Mim78 The question of 35 hours is not clear cut. Legally they can work any number of hours, especially the European ones since they entitled to freely work here.

There is an exemption from the mimimum wage providing the au pair meets the following: non-family members living in the employer’s home who share in the work and leisure activities, are treated as one of the family and aren’t charged for meals or accommodation (eg au pairs)

So maybe the exploitation is allowed provided they share in the work and leisure activities?

link to gov website

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