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How much do you pay your au pair?

(15 Posts)
expectingagain Fri 05-Aug-11 23:44:43

We're getting an au pair for the first time and aren't sure what the going rate is. We've registered on a site that has lots of great looking candidates but recommends £75 minimum per week. I've seen other sites saying £55-£65. On the plus side we live in a fantastic part of the country that's full of visitors and language schools in the summer and the au pair will be finished mid morning each day so will have stacks of free time for studying or finding another job. On the down side we have 3 quite young children and quite a small house. What do you pay your au pair and what should we pay!

Thank you!

Treeesa Sat 06-Aug-11 01:42:21

it depends on how young 3 young children are.. it also depends if the au pair is just doing before and after school and a straight forward 25 hours a week role, or more hours..

Anything less than £65 for 25 hours is too low. Most au pairs we know are earning £65, £70 or more and if you need driving or slightly older or more experience then yes £75 upwards is common..

fraktious Sat 06-Aug-11 06:59:59

I agree with Treesa and would add that it also depends on the profile (experience, level of English etc) of the au pair.

Beware of your au pair finding another job, although it could be a great arrangement for picking up after school work, as that may take them over the threshold for tax. In that case you want to retain the status of being their primary job (and make sure the contract states gross) or you could find yourself having to make deductions via PAYE. In any case it would be good practice to keep track of their earnings, producing mini payslips or writing it in a receipt book for example, and maybe consult HMRC.

expectingagain Sat 06-Aug-11 11:21:28

Ok thank you, think we might try 70 initially then as very straightforward school and nursery run and def no more than 25 hours

mranchovy Sat 06-Aug-11 11:49:54

I am not sure where this thing about "you want to retain the status of being their primary job or you could find yourself having to make deductions via PAYE" comes from. When a person takes on a second job it does not affect their status in their first job. The only thing that can happen is that the employee could ask HMRC to transfer their tax code to the second job, but if they do the first thing HMRC will do is check the status of the first job and if the employer is not registered because it is under the threshold, HMRC will refuse (although they may consider a code split, but that still won't require the first employer to register).

The contract does NOT have to state gross pay, it just needs not to state net pay - so something like "We will pay you £70 at the end of each week that you work for us" or more formally "Your pay will be £70 a week, paid on Friday in arrears" is fine.

fraktious Sat 06-Aug-11 17:40:18

It depends who gets in first doesn't it? I'm just going by a similar situation I heard of, admittedly the reverse, where an au pair got a morning job but was living with another family, morning family did all the paperwork and somehow became the family with the tax free allowance and family 2 when they went to register for school holidays got told their au pair already had a job. I guess it might have been a case of an incorrect P46 but still irritating for the host family. And cue one pissed off au pair when she started having deductions made.

So isn't it a case of who gets the paperwork done first? The OP just need to make it clear to the au pair that it's a job and for a second job the au pair would need to fill out the paperwork, otherwise HMRC could come knocking for both employers.

Easily she may not want an au pair already in the area with a pre-existing job.

fraktious Sat 06-Aug-11 17:55:12

Really I could have phrased it much better the first time round grin but I couldn't think how to say what I wanted to about being careful that the AP fills in the paperwork for any other job to say that they have another existing job.

expectingagain Sat 06-Aug-11 18:34:23

I thought the au pair was paid pocket money and was essentially part of the family so you didn't have to worry about tax etc. Ok now for lots more reading up if that's the case

mranchovy Sun 07-Aug-11 02:18:56

Excellent example Fraktious, thanks grin. As you say, she must have filled in a P46 saying she didn't already have a job (or the other employers didn't follow the right procedure). Still, as long as you don't agree to pay a net salary it is never going to be a problem.

As the subsequent post shows, the main problem is that due to decades of misinformation, the position of au pair is commonly assumed to have some unique tax-free status in the UK. As far as I am aware, this has NEVER (since the introduction of PAYE in 1944) been the case.

Migsy1 Mon 08-Aug-11 13:06:50

I pay my au pair £65 per week for 25 hours. I have also offered to pay up to £10 per week for English Lessons. She has only a little experience of looking after kids and her English is very poor.

RockinSockBunnies Mon 08-Aug-11 13:09:16

Where in the country are you? We pay our au pair £120 per week (we're in London) from which she is expected to do slightly more cleaning than your typical au pair, plus all the ironing, plus pay for her own travel.

Migsy1 Mon 08-Aug-11 13:17:17

I'm in Manchester.

killercat Mon 08-Aug-11 13:39:57

£70-£80 pocket money a week for 25 hours work. I also pay for theatre tickets, cinema trips so she can come with me at the kids to things.

They are treated as members of the family and generally referred to as 'big sisters' to my LO's. I've never used a formal written contract as that goes against the spirit of it, for me (I'm sure other families work differently). I have, however, had two absolutely super girls I am thrilled to still be in contact with. We'll get another one next year and will approach it in the same way. I got about 70 applications last time online, emailed several back and forth and then telephone interviewed.

In fact, one of our last ones is coming to stay at the end of the month for a few days before she returns to Uni and I am giving her my War Horse ticket so she can take DD1 to it. She's a lovely girl and DD1 will be so happy to have her back again to stay.

Migsy1 Mon 08-Aug-11 14:55:28

Yes, of course, cinema trips, meals out etc are included. I pay for calls home too.
I did not have a formal contract either. It was a "letter of invitation" which set out her expected duties. As you say, formal contracts do not seem to be in the right spirit. It is a cultural exchange. The main thing I think is to stick to the agency's guidelines and treat the au pair kindly.

pertbootywish Thu 25-Aug-11 14:16:05

We are in Bath and pay our AP £70 per week. She also gets an annual bus pass for the city which works out at about £15 per week and a p-a-y-g phone that I top up £10 every couple of months (just for emergencies).

I have 1 child (5.5yrs) and the AP mainly does before and after school care with a couple of early mornings or evenings but in total no more than 25 hours per week.


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