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The British Au Pair Agencies Association no longer deny the rights of au pairs as employees

(9 Posts)
mranchovy Tue 05-Jul-11 14:51:15

I wandered past the BAPAA web site just now, and was pleasantly surprised to see that they are no longer claiming that Au Pairs in the UK are not employees with the same rights as any other worker.

I'm not sure when I last visited that site, the latest version in the Wayback Machine is
March 2009: "The au pair programme is a cultural exchange programme and not a contract or work. Au pairs must be welcomed as a member of the family."

Compare that with the current version: "The au pair programme is a cultural exchange programme. Au pairs must be welcomed as a member of the family."

That's a step forward, although it would be nice to see them doing more to advise au pairs of their rights, advising employers of their obligations and ensuring their member agencies do the same.

catepilarr Tue 05-Jul-11 21:11:58

oh yes, its been there now for a while ;)

catepilarr Tue 05-Jul-11 21:14:08

there is more to it in the news section:
BAPAA working with U.K. Government to Clarify Regulations for Au Pair industry

Historically, the role of an 'Au Pair' was a specific category within U.K. Immigration Regulations and the Home Office published Guidelines for Au Pairs, which included: age criteria, hours of work and accommodation requirements. At this time, Au Pairs were not governed by employment regulations. In November 2008 the Au Pair category was removed from the UK Immigration Regulations.

Most Au Pairs now come to the U.K. from countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) under the European Freedom of Movement Directive and do not have to meet any specific immigration requirements to be an Au Pair (note that there are still specific Immigration Requirements for Bulgarian and Romanian Au Pairs).

Following the removal of the 'Au Pair' category from the Immigration Regulations in November 2008, the relevance of other UK Laws to Au Pairs needs clarification e.g. do the Working Time Regulations (WTR) apply to Au Pairs?

BAPAA is working closely with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills “BIS” (the Government Department responsible for the Working Time Regulations) and the Department for Children School and Families “DCSF” (the Government Department responsible for the Vetting and Barring Scheme) to develop clear, consistent guidance on the relevance, (if any) of the WTR or other legislation, the subsequent role of an Au Pair and the responsibilities of their host families.

The purpose of this News Release is to advise current and prospective families that the clarification work is actively in progress and before BAPAA receives the official clarification from Government, families may encounter different interpretations on matters such as working hours and holiday entitlement, from different Au Pair Agencies, on the internet and through various other bodies. Please note that in the absence of any definitive guidelines, these are interpretations only.

BAPAA recognises this situation is not satisfactory, however it will only be resolved when the clarification guidance has been issued and we are working with the UK Government on this.

******
http://www.bapaa.org.uk/displaypage.asp?page=6

mranchovy Wed 06-Jul-11 00:21:09

Just for the record, that's all rubbish of course.

mranchovy Wed 06-Jul-11 00:42:16

That was perhaps not the most informative post of all time - *comments below*:

there is more to it in the news section:
BAPAA working with U.K. Government to Clarify Regulations for Au Pair industry

Historically, the role of an 'Au Pair' was a specific category within U.K. Immigration Regulations and the Home Office published Guidelines for Au Pairs, which included: age criteria, hours of work and accommodation requirements [true]. At this time, Au Pairs were not governed by employment regulations [not true]. In November 2008 the Au Pair category was removed from the UK Immigration Regulations [more or less true].

Most Au Pairs now come to the U.K. from countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) under the European Freedom of Movement Directive [an assertion which may or may not be true] and do not have to meet any specific immigration requirements to be an Au Pair [true in general] (note that there are still specific Immigration Requirements for Bulgarian and Romanian Au Pairs [true]).

Following the removal of the 'Au Pair' category from the Immigration Regulations in November 2008, the relevance of other UK Laws to Au Pairs needs clarification e.g. do the Working Time Regulations (WTR) apply to Au Pairs? [there is no clarification necessary - the judgement of the European Court in the Payir case was quite clear that any employment legislation that applies to employees generally, applies to au pairs - and this case was based on the 1994 rules so applies both before and after November 2008]

BAPAA is working closely with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills “BIS” (the Government Department responsible for the Working Time Regulations) and the Department for Children School and Families “DCSF” (the Government Department responsible for the Vetting and Barring Scheme) to develop clear, consistent guidance on the relevance, (if any) of the WTR or other legislation, the subsequent role of an Au Pair and the responsibilities of their host families [is there any evidence of this 'working closely'? What is the outcome?].

The purpose of this News Release is to advise current and prospective families that the clarification work is actively in progress and before BAPAA receives the official clarification from Government, families may encounter different interpretations on matters such as working hours and holiday entitlement, from different Au Pair Agencies, on the internet and through various other bodies. Please note that in the absence of any definitive guidelines, these are interpretations only [the definitive judgement of the European Court is good enough for me] .

BAPAA recognises this situation is not satisfactory, however it will only be resolved when the clarification guidance has been issued and we are working with the UK Government on this [as above - no further clarification is necessary] .

Paulinaanddavid Thu 14-Jul-11 10:05:35

hya, as far as I know that if you have live in worker the min wage does not apply. Also aupairs pocket money is low that the NI and tax does not apply. I think you have to earn over £120 a week to start paying NI and when it comes to tax before you start paying tax you need to earn more than £5, 000 or £6, 000 a year. Check out the HM Revenue and Customs website or Direct gov website for exam figures. It does have some useful information on it. So Aupairs are live in employees even though the aupair agencies might call it something else. As soon as the home office removed Aupairs from their website the employee and employers status arose. Funny enough I wonder how many families people who pay their aupairs over £120 a week pay the NI.

Please note that only people from EU are allowed to work in the UK as Aupairs. Girls from other non EU countries will have to apply for a proper visa, which is moreless impossible to obtain if you want to work as Aupair.

fraktious Thu 14-Jul-11 14:06:06

Actually Paulina many people coming from Australia, NZ, Canada or Japan will be able to get a tier 5 youth mobility scheme visa, which also gives unlimited working rights, so the point about only people from the EU isn't entirely accurate.

Really you should say that only EU citizens, with the exception of A2 nationals, have unlimited working rights to take up any employment including that of an au pair without needing a visa to enter the country. And as EU citizens they would have been regarded as employed long before the au pair visa (which only applied to certain nationalities anyway) was removed.

It's a move in the right direction by BAPAA (I wonder if they lurk on MN!) but more detailed guidance is definitely needed.

Mra I love your analysis.

Paulinaanddavid Thu 01-Sep-11 21:40:46

Correct, but how many girls from Australia, NZ, Canada etc will work for £70 a week. Also to qualifty for tier 5 you need to satisfy certfain requirements, i.e. have sufficient funs of £1600 and still you have not guarantee that you will get the visa. I have friends in NZ and Canada who did not get their visa even through they qualified. The UK government is very careful who gets their visa or not, and if they have a feeling that a person is not going to return after completing 2 years, they will refuse their application.

I think its great that the Home Office is trying to reduce the number of people trying to work in the UK, especially as the number of unemployed people in the UK has increased. Its suprising how many illegal workers are in the UK, it always makes me laugh when you come across Russian aupairs, or Bosnian or Turkish which are not allowed to work in the UK

fraktious Fri 02-Sep-11 10:16:22

I think you'd be surprised how many do. Maybe not £70 but certainly for £100. They do it for a year to get over to Europe and travel, and the UK is a) one of the easiest countries in Europe to get into for them and b) similar enough to their home country that they feel safe. Even qualified childcarers will do it in the short term to get a UK reference.

Other nationalities may be working legally, as a student for example you can work 20 hours a week which is on the low side for au pair hours but still feasible.

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