Summer au pair-advice re pay etc(14 Posts)
We have a lovely girl who we met at our holiday kids club last year who wants to be our summer au pair. We've never had one before... I see a lot about 30 hours max of childcare but she will need to do more to cover my working hours. It could be up to 40 hours a week. What do you suggest regarding pay and is this still OK? We live in Bucks and I'm commuting to London.
Also we may go away on holiday but don't want to take her along. Is this considered acceptable. Would it be OK if we just ask her to cat/house sit and pay her the normal wage and I leave her some extra money for food? It would be for two weeks.
She's a great girl and I want to make sure we are very fair with her, but having an au pair is very new to us so any advice would be greatly received..
Since the hours in the week would be heavy and aupair's work is meant to be light so that they can benefit from the cultural experience in their free time, attending language classes etc, I'd suggest you need to up the money and the benefits a bit.
Pay for some language classes for her...find good ones to fit in with your working hours. Also she should have her travel paid...car if possible
Not taking her on holiday is fine, just make it clear before she comes to you. You can't pay more than £113/week (although it may go up in April) without registering as an employer, so your limit is that, unless you want to go through all the faff of payslips etc.
We live in S.Bucks too and pay £110/week for 27 hours. I would either book the children into a holiday camp once a week, or make reduce any other requirement i.e. babysitting. Au pairs do chat to each other about their terms and conditions and you want to make it a positive experience for both of you. Having said that she will have free time the two weeks when you're away, so it may be that when you even out her hours over the 2 months she's here it is much lower.
There generally aren't any au pair language classes here during the summer months, they follow term-time only schedule.
I've asked pervious au pair's to housesit on full pay before. They tend to quite like it. I agree re the hours being too long/ underpaid unless you push the money up significantly
I think 40 hours on au pair money is classed as modern slavery ?
What nationality is she? I am unsure when you say holiday club if that was abroad or not?
If she's UK, no she can't be aupair for you as it's an EU language and cultural programme.
If she's EU, then normally it's 24 hours max and two evenings of babysitting a week.
For that I pay £100 plus a paid for phone sim, whatever food, use of my car on days off (two days, normally weekend), and when the aupair has wanted it, gym membership.
For 40 hours a week for young children, you need a proper nanny as that's too much for an aupair. For much older children, it would possibly be okay if you paid a lot more and they were happy with that.
And no, definitely not normal to leave to leave them behind when going on holiday 😔 The usual is to take them as you would your own teenager, and to not expect them to do much childcare when there.
Au pairs are like "big sisters" to your children. They are not cat or house sitters or cheap labour.
Sue - that's not quite correct, any nationality who can get a visa can au pair, so that's aussies, New Zealander's, Canadians. We've had two South Africans who are here on ancestry visas.
OP taking your au pair on holiday around here is not the done thing at all, I don't know anyone who's done that. We also ask ours to cat sit every holiday (she gets 4 weeks holiday on top of when we're away).
Everyone does it slightly differently, it's just a case of making it clear before they come and ensuring that both sides are happy with the arrangement. We've had 6 happy au pairs, who all still keep in touch.
@underneaththeash I didn't bother typing the additional "and commonwealth countries"...
It's not any country. Someone I saw on a forum from the US got sent back at the airport just last week.
It's a great scheme. I don't know how it'll work after brexit though 😂
Commonwealth citizens can't all get an visa unless they are from Australia, NZ or Canada or have a parent or grandparent who was born in the UK. Those from Taiwan or Japan can also get an unsponsored visa, but I've never met a Japanese au pair!
I think they'll just add EU people under 31 to the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme, so that they're able to come for 2 years.
The rules are mostly guidelines anyway. As long as you tell her in advance and she agrees, then it should be ok. I think the idea of having the house for two weeks with no work to do on full pay sounds like a great deal! If she does find the hours of childcare too much, you could always book them in for holiday club or send them to a childminder for a few hours a day.
Thanks everyone. This is super helpful. Our soon to be au pair is from the EU so should be fine.
Could you put your DC in half day summer camp? That would bring the au-pair’s hours down.
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