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AIBU to tell the au pair to pay

(22 Posts)
UmmAandY Sun 13-Nov-16 17:46:41

We hired an au pair from my country (we are a mixed couple living in a third country) to help improve the children's understanding of my language, she started with us on the 4th November (arrived in the evening on the 3rd). She was supposed to help out a bit in the house but mostly spend time with the children in the afternoon, we quickly discovered that she is not great with kids, her idea of entertainment is to turn on the tv for them (and then sit with her phone), she kept forgetting to speak my language with them and instead switched for English. She didn't clean or tidy anything (would leave her dirty dishes next to the sink for me to do), I was making her lunch most days as otherwise she would wait to eat till the time she was supposed to work. One morning I asked her to do the dishes before we got home and she didn't start doing them till we got in the door. The main issue was that Thursday morning when my husband left for work I asked her to watch them while I went upstairs to get clothes for the youngest, then I got a call from my husband telling me to come outside, he had to drive back to collect my oldest that were standing outside on the extremely busy street (my husband doesn't have a gate key so he leaves the electronic gate open for me to close). When I confronted her she just said oh okay as if nothing had happened. We were considering our options then and were supposed to have a stern talk Friday (my husbands off day) but were leaning towards sending her home as it was written in her contract that anything compromising the children's safety is instant dismissal. Friday morning she came to the kitchen crying and said she received a message that her grandfather was dying, I immediately offered to see if we could change her return ticket (we had paid in advance for a ticket in December so she could celebrate Christmas at home) for that day, I then spend my whole day trying get her ticket changed (while she was watching stuff on her computer or smoking outside, she had told us she was a non smoker and it was written in our contract that no smoking is allowed), we finally managed but had to pay a fee of 165euro to change it. When my husband had dropped her at the airport we got a phone call from her saying there was a problem with her ticket as her name was on the flight but it wasn't registered as a ticket only as a temporary booking. We told her to then pay the fee again (this time only 150euro for some reason) as there wasn't really anything we could do from our home (my husband was trying to call the ticket office but no answer). As she got home she then messaged me to send her our receipts so she could have the 150 refunded. Would I be unreasonable to tell her that we will get it refunded as it isn't really fair for us to pay it when she leaves her contract after only one week (we already paid more than 500pound for the tickets) and had already paid her salary for that week plus extra money for phone cards etc. I apologize if it gets confusing but am writing from my phone

Finola1step Sun 13-Nov-16 17:51:12

I would simply get your own refund and tell her that because of the incident with your dc, you are terminating her employment with immediate effect. Tell her that you will send any belongings to the address she gave you. Wish her well. Leave it there.

FameNameGameLame Sun 13-Nov-16 18:13:12

I do think you should have dealt with Thursday immediately. I also think that if you were expecting her to pay you should've made that clear when ever you did the initial transfer. No ideas about the legalities or moralities or anything, but if I had been unwilling to pay I wouldn't have paid in the first place.

Take a breath, chalk it up to experience and don't let this one girl put you off trying another au pair again. Just maybe be a bit more strict with really clear guidance next time!

OzzieFem Sun 13-Nov-16 18:46:41

Hmm. Was her grandfather really dying or was she finally aware you were not happy with her and made her prepaid escape? Call me cynical.

DavidPuddy Sun 13-Nov-16 18:52:59

I think you should pay. She may have waited til Christmas had she had to pay herself. You may be doing her out of her only funds for the next month or two, especially now she is jobless.

DavidPuddy Sun 13-Nov-16 18:54:59

To not pay after you said you would is a real dickish move. And you have managed to offload an incompetent au pair fairly easily, so you have got off lightly.

UmmAandY Sun 13-Nov-16 18:59:35

Finola1step thankfully she brought all her stuff with her home so nothing to send. There were no talk about her coming back so doubt she have the intentions to do so (and we definitely doesn't want her back)

UmmAandY Sun 13-Nov-16 19:02:42

Ozziefem to be honest we have thought that might be the case, we were discussing what to do Thursday evening while alone in the garden and when we walked back into the house we saw that she closed the front door really fast hurrying inside, she was not outside in the garden so seemed like she was eavesdropping. She did cry and seem quite upset Friday morning though but then she seemed fine the rest of the day.

FameNameGameLame Sun 13-Nov-16 19:14:53

It sounds like you might have been hoodwinked but you'll never be able to prove it.
Let it go.
And next time a person puts your kids in danger dismiss them immediately as the contract says - no room for this sort of thing then.

maddiemookins16mum Sun 13-Nov-16 19:17:19

Is it only me who finds it hard to read these eyes literally go funny.
Have you had many au pairs OP, have they stayed long?

UmmAandY Sun 13-Nov-16 19:28:51

FameNameGameLame; we would have discussed it in the morning but my husband left as soon as he passed me our son and then I had to take the kids to school, I told her very clearly how unacceptable it was but didn't have time for a sit down, as we had activities with the school that afternoon and then a playdate I had told her the day before to do what she wanted day so she went out and I didn't see her until Friday morning (I was asleep when she got home). We didn't really want to pay but at the same time didn't feel good about asking a crying girl for money and she seemed like she was expecting us to pay (she is very demanding as in constantly asking us to buy her stuff or pay for something even before she arrived, she asked me to keep on the weekly cleaner before she arrived so I had my doubts, but thought she would improve as she was otherwise sweeper, stupid)

UmmAandY Sun 13-Nov-16 19:31:26

Maddiemookins16mum, we had another aupair that left about 1,5 year ago (not from from my country), she stayed with us for 20months and then left as she was getting married back home and wanted to have children. We had no issues with her and are still in contact every couple of weeks

FameNameGameLame Sun 13-Nov-16 19:31:46

You've just said that you seen her close the front door really quickly on the Thursday night when you and your husband were returning from talking in the garden? Have I misunderstood something?

2kids2dogsnosense Sun 13-Nov-16 19:36:36

I'd keep the refund myself. Tell the lazy cat to sue you.

SuperFlyHigh Sun 13-Nov-16 19:38:44

I'd pay the money and just let it and her go.

You may never know if she's lying about her GF dying but anyone who puts your kids in danger is a no go in my book. The lying about not smoking would irritate me too.

holeinmyheart Sun 13-Nov-16 19:41:54

Good grief, she needed dismissing as soon as you saw her smoking. I know it is hard getting rid of her, as I have done it once myself and it was very stressful. However the relief when we dismissed her was such a relief.
Our awful au pair sounds a bit like yours as she was a liar and a lazy slob.
I wouldn't pay a penny more to yours as she wasn't really fit for purpose.
If anything had happened to your children no one on Mumsnet would have given her any sympathy at all.
She broke her contract to you almost immediately so I wouldn't give her a backward glance.
My list for a successful au pair is... ask about their family, they need ( preferably ) brothers and sisters. It helps to have a Mum and Pa in the same home. Ask about their education, more intelligent means more adaptable. No smoking of course. Interests ... it helps if your family are Medical or artistic, sporty etc, to choose someone with the same interests. Not too old (18-23) as they will be very independent if older, and you need them to be flexible. My children could all speak before I employed a aupair so that they could tell me what was going on.

UmmAandY Sun 13-Nov-16 19:44:06

Fanelamenamegame, sorry yes that could be confusing, I was asleep on the sofa, so had a chat with my husband when he got home late and woke me up, I didn't see her to have a chat with her only saw her close the front door as we were approaching

Aeroflotgirl Sun 13-Nov-16 19:44:20

maddie the au pair sounds lazy and disinterested, and compromised he chikdrens safety, is that something you would be happy with in an au pair.

GabsAlot Sun 13-Nov-16 19:51:15

tell her no she as fired for gross misconduct its not your problem

its obvious the df dying is a lie

IceIceIce Sun 13-Nov-16 19:54:32

Honestly OP I don't see why you needed your husband (cultural thing?). I'd have sacked her on the spot husband or no husband. He'd surely agree with you when he got home?

I wouldn't be happy about spending any more money than you have to. She sounds absolutely shocking.

UmmAandY Sun 13-Nov-16 19:58:59

Davidpuddy, no she wanted to go home even before I offered to try and see if we could change her flight so she could leave that same day. We never discussed or offered to pay the changing fee but it just became us that paid it as we were the one on the phone with the company all day. But that is also why I am considering if I am being unreasonable smile.

WeAreEternal Sun 13-Nov-16 21:10:17

Get a refund for your 165€ and avoid any further contact with her, it's sounds like you've had a lucky escape.

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