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Au Pair - WWYD

(12 Posts)
harrietthespook Mon 17-Oct-11 10:58:14

Our current au pair ended up coming to the UK with her boyfriend/fiance in tow.

The boyfriend/fiance can only stay around 6 mo. I feel like there is a risk she will bail when he does from some of the things she has said recently. Because of my job, I will also have to ask her to do more hours (she's on 20 atm) which I don't think she'll be especially keen on....and may encourage her to go early...vicious circle.

Would you press it now and say - you need to tell me if you can do the extra hours after Christmas. I feel like it will be easier to recruit for the start of a term than once it gets going.

She was very different at the interview stage than she is now in terms of her focus, interest in children etc. Being with the boyfriend is her key goal this year. Spring holidays planned abroad with him, not in the UK. Which makes me think her timeframe is Feb...

Help. Maybe I'm doing my usual thing of just panicking pre-emptively.

fraktious Mon 17-Oct-11 11:42:59

I don't think there's such a thing as too much pre-emotive panic.

I would ask her straight whether she'll continue when the hours go up and that she needs to ket you know if she's not happy as you need to recruit.

No blame attached, job changing, neither of you loses face.

IIRC she hasn't been brilliant, has she?

harrietthespook Mon 17-Oct-11 12:02:46

No she hasn't. Nice personality but still doesn't quite think of herself as one of the adults in the house.

On the other hand her parents have planned a trip for mid- Feb. It's more that I think she'll come up with a reason to move on after the spring break when Bloke-y def needs to be back home. Why wouldn't you take the three weeks paid leave we offer if you could?

And a March/April recruit gives me the heebie geebies. As I could have to start again in September.

harrietthespook Mon 17-Oct-11 12:04:00

So FEB to finish, take hols in March with the girls, go home.


fraktious Mon 17-Oct-11 12:39:08

Oh heck, I do indeed SWYM. Is the leave accumulated or are you giving it over the allowance? If she doesn't come back can you make it unpaid/part of the notice?

Or (harsh) is she bad enough - and are you certain enough of her plans - that you would consider giving notice for a Jan starter?

Spring would be a really fiendish recruiting time sad but you might get an antipodean to stay through the summer/Sept?

harrietthespook Mon 17-Oct-11 14:06:14

The holiday is extra due to the fact dh is a teacher and wants to spend time himself with the DCs.

Possibly if she wasn't supervised in the nanny share I might have had to think harder about whether she was up to it. When we give her very specific feedback (i.e. buy milk with kitty money if we are running low) it does work. She has started to be more responsive but with the other APs they were already in the zone by now.

I have learned a lot about my views on visitors though. We have a very liberal policy, I'm finding. I think it was one of the main reasons she came to work for us.

lunaticow Mon 17-Oct-11 21:05:02

I'd just ask her about the extra hours. You can't offend her by asking. Then she has a choice. I don't see why you can't ask her about her plans. She might not give you a truthful answer though.

Strix Tue 18-Oct-11 07:42:59

What is the notice period in the contract? I would absolutely move to get a firm (written) commitment on length of stay. I have a similar situation in that our au pair has no notice period in the contract. It is fixed term for one year and neither of us wants the other to terminate on a month or two's notice. So, if I were you, I would consider giving informing her that contract terms will be changing in the new year and she can sign them or give you whatever notice is currently contractually required.

I have hired a couple of au pair / nannies for March starts and definitely found the supply very thin on the ground at that time of year.

harrietthespook Tue 18-Oct-11 10:36:40

Notice is a month although we informally say to the them when they arrive: We would appreciate as much notice as possible if your plans are chaning, we'll do the same for you.

There is an update. I asked her last night about her length of stay. She said "yes, yes" to the full year but I felt like there was a "but" there. I really don't think I'm imagining it.

After we were talking about the timeframe she jumped in with 'feedback' on DD on an incident that happened over a week ago that she failed to mention at the time it happened (at least a week and a half ago, accd to AP.) When we talked about it, it was clear she seemed not to have a grip on the details of the incident (involved a breakage and my 6 year old supposedly 'hiding the evidence' ridiculous), failed to properly look into it, thought it was nonetheless appropriate to launch into 'disciplinary proceedings' at this stage etc.I said to her: "Did it seem like it could be an accident?" "Well, yes." And in fact it has been broken for ages - if anyone was hiding it from me, it was DH who put it back together.

Sigh. I didn't like her approach at all. I think her judgement isn't great overall.

But I went onto AP WOrld yesterday and I have to say I'm not convinced we'd be able to replace with better...Just not confident.

harrietthespook Tue 18-Oct-11 10:54:46

Strix have you recruited for January? We've not struggled with nannies then but don't know if it's different with au pairs.

mumsareglam Tue 18-Oct-11 14:24:50

I recruited in March last year. Our best ever AP, she had a 6 month gap before going back to university.

lunaticow Tue 18-Oct-11 20:47:07

Perhaps you could enter into correspondence with candidates from AP World and then see how you feel about it. Of course is, there is a risk that she might see you advertising on it.

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