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Au Pair - time off?

(47 Posts)
MrsJones100 Sun 17-Feb-13 18:18:01

I am completely new to Au Pairing, I would like to offer £70 per week as I feel the package on offer could be quite desirable. What do you think? I work four 12 hr days then get three days off, then work four 12 hr nights then get seven days off. Most of those days off I would give the Au Pair off, paid, only expecting the house to be kept tidy and some washing up unless she went away.
DC's are 10 and 12 so quite self sufficient. Would I still need to give more
holiday time?

MrsJones100 Mon 18-Feb-13 20:08:58

DH has not fixed working pattern, he is self employed working from home. At times no work then with no warning completely flat out for the next month unable to do any kind of child care. So he really has to be thought of as out of the equation and any help a bonus. Of course the AP would have my hols paid as well which they would have advance notice of. Still no good!?

MrsJones100 Mon 18-Feb-13 20:23:25

DH has no fixed working pattern, he is self employed working from home. At times no work then with no warning completely flat out for the next month unable to do any kind of child care. So he really has to be thought of as out of the equation and any help a bonus. Of course the AP would have my hols paid as well which they would have advance notice of. Still no good!?
Hi Florence, No could not be Mon-Fri, I will be working many weekends and yes some DH will be around but not guaranteed. The childrens schools are not walking distance. I was just thinking seriously about male AP, I have DS and DD 10 and 12, do you not think a good idea with DD. Yes I too am confused the job has not started yet I have a little while. I will run it by you, thanks.
I would work 4 days of day shift then have 3 days off. Then I would work 4 days of night shift then have 7 days off. If the AP has the rota in front of them they will know exactly what is going on. They would need to be on duty about 3 hours each end of the day during the 4 day blocks.

FlorenceMattell Mon 18-Feb-13 21:06:33

Hi Mrs Jones, when I had au pairs they did some weekends as I was single parent but maybe one in four , as your children older, wouldn't need a lot of care, mainly just having an adult there, help with home work and evening tea/dinner.
To be honest I can't see problem with hours, as they could have holiday when you do. And the extra days off would appeal to some. They do need friends nearby so find other families with au pairs and find out about language schools. The most important think IMO is to treat them like as family/babysitter they are not cleaners or nannies.
The biggest cost I found was paying the initial agency fee, which was fine if they stayed the full term/nine months to year. But I had one poor girl who was so home sick she just cried the whole time and went home after a fortnight , then I had to pay again. Maybe that has changed now.

Mendi Mon 18-Feb-13 21:29:51

OP you seem quite happy that there will be takers for this arrangement so why not just post an ad on AP World and see how it goes? Ultimately it is like anything else: only worth what someone is willing to offer. You might very well find some willing takers who find those hours v appealing. I would expect though that you will find at least sometimes the AP will want to visit family back home for a week or so that doesn't tally with your "off" days.

I speak as someone who's never had an AP but will probably have to get one in the next year. I've read a lot on MN about APs and so I had expected (for my own more standard hours) to offer/pay as follows:

AP not needed in the mornings as I get DCs (age 11 and 9) up and take to schools

AP to collect DCs from school, take home, make them do homework - until I get home from work. About 3 hours in total.

Nominally one week night babysitting but in reality I hardly ever go out. More realistically this will be used to cover occasions I have to work later than usual.

£85 pocket money per week plus £10 PAYG phone credit and bus pass (which is about £45 and i would need to provide for the AP to get to and from the DCs' school for pick-up) per month.

I am in S.E.

So I think what I would offer is quite "generous" but at the same time I need some flexibility and am prepared to err on the "generous" side to get that. Ultimately I think the AP is not going to be that bothered by whether I want her/him for 15 hours a week or 25 hours. But she/he will notice an extra £60 a month in his/her pocket.

Newtothisstuff Mon 18-Feb-13 21:29:56

Advertise the position on aupair world, if an aupair doesn't like the sound of it they won't apply.
Our aupair looks after my 9 month old and does the school run for my 6 year old,
I advertised it as what it was and got 200 applications.
My husband works shifts 4 on 4 off and I work Monday-Friday
My aupair is more than happy with her days off and as long as she knows in advance what says she gets off she's fine with it.
Just make sure you tell whoever applies it's going to be early mornings !!

fraktion Mon 18-Feb-13 21:34:20

If you provide them with your paid holiday on top then you would be fine. It doesn't have to be their standard time off (which they will need if they have to work weekends) plus your holiday plus their holiday on top.

Not walking distance = needing a driver? I fear you're really narrowing the field for yourself here.

What's your current childcare arrangement? Is there any chance that rather than a foreign au pair you'd consider a nanny who is looking to do some study, so freedom in school hours would be guaranteed, but they would be more accommodating in terms of shift pattern etc?

MrsJones100 Mon 18-Feb-13 23:23:44

My childcare at the moment is me. The job hasn't started yet, but lots to organise before it does. Decorate spare bedroom, Buy another car, find Au Pair and panic. From what I have seen on Au Pair world, lots of drivers. I will be looking for someone over 23 if not 25. Lots of Spanish AP fit this. Hoping more driving experience at this age, but will still get some lessons for driving on left. I was under the impression a nanny costs a lot more. As newtothisstuff said she got 200 reply's, so if I got as much as 20 due to my criteria this would be fine.
By the way while I am on this roll of so much great support, what is this I have briefly seen regarding scams. Sounds ominous.

MavisSparkle Tue 19-Feb-13 05:03:33

Why would the au pair have to get up at 6.15?

MrsJones100 Tue 19-Feb-13 09:43:27

My DD has to be out the house by 7am and driven to catch school coach.

Newtothisstuff Tue 19-Feb-13 12:30:04

My Spanish aupair hates getting up, I have to knock on her door most mornings ! hmm

Looster Wed 20-Feb-13 10:48:38

Unless you are in a very attractive area, I think you are paying very little for a somewhat confusing and irregular set up. Suggest you explain in your ad the average hrs per week in a month and have a doc ready to send showing a month's work pattern. Btw, our neighbours who have paid the same as you lost their first three au pairs who went to better paid 25 hr per week jobs. They now pay a bit better. Tbh, I think £70 is low nowadays unless you are throwing in extras such as travel card/use of car, mobile, gym etc.

When you work out whether over a month of your shift pattern, what is the av hours per week is that the au pair will work, no need to include in that cleaning up after themselves during hours they are not working but you should include any hours you expect them to spend cleaning up after you/family.

The hours they are not working are not holiday - they are the hours they don't work. You should expect they will want (and arguably are entitled) to take paid holiday time off from hours they would otherwise work - you are on shaky ground relying on UK govt perspective that au pair is not an employee - HMRC certainly consider that they are. Suggest as others have you agree upfront that you can stipulate 2 of the holidays weeks and 2 they can determine and inform you with a months notice.

Looster Wed 20-Feb-13 10:55:52

Just seen you need a driver - think about organising a driving lesson if not driven in UK before and also check how much driving they have actually done not just number of years they have had a licence. Your insurance costs will improve the older they are. Check the licence is clean. We have found best prices at Admiral - you need business, domestic and pleasure - this is because au pair is working for you when driving the car. Pushes price up of insurance but otherwise your insurance is invalid.

We also had great au pairs through au pair world - ours have all been older with good driving and childcare/previous au pair experience.

MrsJones100 Wed 20-Feb-13 12:06:47

Hi Looster, not sure what you call attractive we are zone 5 piccadilly line. They would have use of car when not being used by myself, Yes to travel card, they would need a mobile so would pay an allowance towards that, and if the gym was their things would get a membership. As I have mentioned earlier not only would they have all the extra days off when I am not on a shift, which would give them whole weeks at a time, I would give my holiday to them paid.

forevergreek Wed 20-Feb-13 12:33:43

As an example of desirable, we are edge of zone 1/2, our friend two doors down has an au pair.

Aupair works mon-thurs, 8-9.30am then 3-5.30pm, and babysits every mon eve. (7-10pm ish).Kids are 5 and 6 and in school 8.45-3.30 ( so she is paid the time it takes to get back and to school for example). No cleaning apart for general cleaning up as she goes/ after making kids something etc.

£95 a week, travel card for tubes and buses zone 1-6, phone and contract paid. She has a large bedroom with lounge area, private bathroom. Children go to grandparents or school clubs during holidays for at least the same hours as a school day so no additional hours.

fedupwithdeployment Wed 20-Feb-13 12:40:49

Forever - your friend is more generous than we are:

Zone 2/3 (long walk to zone 2).
Working hours 7-9, 3.30-6.30 or 7, 5 days a week.
Very little clearing up.

£80 pw, phone (but not much contributed), the odd meal out with us. We pay half of language lessons, and are pretty generous with holidays. Good size bedroom with small balcony and he shares bathroom with boys. Also, we have had current APs Dad to stay, and gf is coming tomorrow for her second stay. No travel card though.

Viviennemary Wed 20-Feb-13 12:45:03

From what I've heard about au pairs you could never rely on them to be up at 6.15. And I think most of them would like some sort of routine for the week. Because that would enable them to take classes. I think you are expecting a lot. And I don't think most au pairs would like to be in charge overnight. Would that be counted as working hours. Hope you sort something out as I know childcare can be a nightmare.

Looster Wed 20-Feb-13 14:29:51

I think 615 is early but is not every day - just be very explicit, warts and all, about the job. It's not the regular gig - but there are lots of potential applicants on au pair world and it will likely appeal to someone who matches your criteria as well. If you are very detailed about what you need, then your applicants can exclude themselves. Don't assume that all will read your description however - think some just click interested to anything in the area...

I think what you are offering as a package is worth more than £70 - you might want to check out disclosure obligations for cash/benefits under HMRC new RTI rules. benefits may need to be valued as well - might be easier to offer a cash equivalent and au pair may prefer that. If not, you might let them know the value if what you are offering in terms of travel card/ phone/ gym - it will make the deal seem more attractive than headline rate of £70.

Good luck

MrsJones100 Wed 20-Feb-13 15:59:07

Viviennemary, In what respect am I expecting a lot, the 6.15 start for four days then they get a week off or three days off to get up when they like. Have you read this whole post? AP 90% of time would not be in charge over night, DH at home unless he has a very rare business trip abroad.

MrsJones100 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:02:01

Of course there is a routine like any family with school age children, but while the children are at school they are free to do classes ect and a little light cleaning.

Viviennemary Wed 20-Feb-13 16:47:19

Sorry I didn't mean to be unhelpful. It just sounds quite a taxing regime for a young inexperieced aupair. Which most of them are from what I've heard. On the face of it. But what would the actual hours total week to week. It's quite difficult to work out. And also the aupair wouldn't be free at weekends either.

forevergreek Wed 20-Feb-13 16:55:08

Yes you need to be specific. You say oh just getting them ready and to school (2 hrs). Just keeping an eye after school until say 7pm ( 4 hrs) just a bit of housework ( what's that? Are you expecting hoofing/ kitchen and bathroom cleaned/ bins out/ dishwasher emptied etc etc- that's 2 hrs a day for someone inexperienced). So potentially 8hr or more a day ( more if starting 6am). Most aubpairs do max 25 a week ( 5 a day or 4 a day plus babysit)- 4 a day at 8/9 hrs is 32/36hrs a week.

MrsJones100 Wed 20-Feb-13 18:00:07

The AP would not be working every weekend, half my working time is at weekends, and some of those weekends DH around or grandparents. They would work 24 hours over 4 days then get three days off, then another 24 hours over four days then get six days off and so on. No more than an hour on the house, as mentioned I have a cleaner once a week. I am hoping to get, and I have seen many AP's who are not so young and inexperienced with cleaning. I would rather not work than have someone under 21 with such responsibilities. However I was very capable of cleaning very well at age 12, its not rocket science!

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