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How much to pay AP extra for school hols?

(33 Posts)
Mendi Mon 20-May-13 12:06:53

Just planning ahead and trying to budget. Assuming AP is happy to do additional hours in school hols of course.

If you pay your AP £80 per week for 4 hours a day during term time, how much would you expect to pay him/her in addition to that during school holidays, if that entailed an extra 6 hours a day? Is £100 reasonable? Not enough?

Not looking for 'but that's less than minimum wage' points as this is an AP who gets bed and board on top of pay.

Kids are 9 and 11 so no concerns about leaving them with an AP all day.

andagain Mon 20-May-13 12:15:17

I pay mine double as her hours double (like yours mine does 4 hour days in term time). My view is that 9-10 hour days with kids, even if they don't need much done for them, are long days for any au pair so should be compensated accordingly.

rootypig Mon 20-May-13 12:22:52

So you would be increasing it pro rata? Sounds like the reasonable minimum.

But I would also say that you're really changing the nature of the AP's job, from her having significant free time (reflected in low pay) to full time work with kids. A full week with any kids is really hard work! So I would add some extra in recognition of that. Or give her a bit of an entertainment budget to make life easier.

nannynick Mon 20-May-13 12:54:03

4 hours to 10 hours per day is a big jump.

It's moving the job from au-pair to live-in nanny isn't it?

Could you increase the hours a bit but also use holiday club so that au-pair gets some time off.

Increase in salary may mean yoy get into needing to register as an employer, may need to operate PAYE, so look at the threshold for Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance and pay less than that, adjusting the working hours so that your au-pair considers it to be fair pay for the work.

Mendi Mon 20-May-13 12:55:31

Yes good point rootypig. I really need the AP to be happy to do the longer days in school hols so am hoping to cover that aspect off at recruitment stage. Then want to make sure she/he feels adequately compensated. I would certainly allow a budget for cinema/leisure centre stuff as well, as I would if I were at home with them. Also I expect they will each go to friends' houses a fair bit.

I feel that all day at home with a 9 and 11 year old is nothing like being at home with younger kids - they are quite self sufficient and unless I am doing an 'activity' with them like baking or something, generally they just entertain themselves and don't need active supervision. So the AP would be able to surf Internet/watch TV or whatever. Just need an adult to be there for them if needed really. And it would work out about 8 weeks per year of full time care as their dad, grandparents and I would take care of the rest.

Mendi Mon 20-May-13 12:57:38

Thanks nannynick. I had wondered about the tax and NI. Is it just that you pay that in the weeks you are paying over £109 or do you approach it by 'annualising' what is paid to the AP and then work out if over the year (or 6 months) you're paying over £109 per week?

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 20-May-13 12:58:47

I think you need to pay her, the normal hourly rate x the hours you want her to work.

You pay £80 per week for 20 hours work, that works out at £4ph.

You now want 50 hours work (I think I've read that right?) so that would be £200.

I think you're being quite generous with £80 per 20 hours though, so maybe a bit less. I would say £80 for 25 hours is more usual, which works out as £3.20ph x 50 hours = £160 per week.

Mendi Mon 20-May-13 13:00:32

Yes outraged but you don't pay an AP an 'hourly rate' the rest of the time, so why would it be on an hourly rate for school holidays but not term time? They are not childminders or nannies.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 20-May-13 13:04:33

I know, but it's just a good way to think of it.

She is working 20 hours and she is earning £80 and that does equate to £4ph. So when working out how much to pay for 50 hours, it makes sense to use the same kind of calculation.

If she were doing 25 hours for X amount and then you wanted to double the hours, it would make sense to double the pay wouldn't it? This is the same thing, except it's double plus a bit more.

That's how I would work it out.

nannynick Mon 20-May-13 13:09:05

As you do not have the au-pair yet, if you make the working hours known at advertising/recruitment time is it not then up to the au-pair to decide if they want the position or not?
the au-pair may be going home or travelling for several weeks of the holidays so another thing to factor in.

Mendi Mon 20-May-13 13:44:14

I do recognise that not all candidates will want to take on holiday hours (though it does seem from reading on here that most AP employers do use their AP for longer hours in the holidays). So I am definitely going to make the holiday hours very clear in the ad.

I thought that £80 per week would be about normal - maybe a bit above normal (for Surrey). Actually it won't even really be 20 hours a week because school pickup is 3.30pm and most days I'm home by 6.30pm. But sometimes I might be 7pm and very occasionally later, so I thought advertising 20 hours would be sensible.

On that basis though, should I start lower for the term time weekly rate (maybe £70) and then offer 2.5 times that for the 2.5 times longer hours in the holiday weeks?

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 20-May-13 13:47:20

I think £80 is about right for 25 hours a week, but quite generous for 20 hours. I think £70 for 20 hours would be fair. I would times by the increase in hours for the holidays, just because that seems to be the fairest way of working it out (imo, of course).

LadyHarrietdeSpook Mon 20-May-13 17:44:45

It is a usual part of the job description to state that the AP will have additional hours during school holiday times. I think it is very unlikely an AP would be surprised by the request and I wouldn't worry about it. We pay £80 for 25 hrs but the AP normally is doing 20.

Doubling the pay to £160 is fine if it's the odd week and there, like covering a normal half term. Are you talking about the full six weeks in one go over the summer? In that case, I might consider laying on another activity for the children to do to give her a break. They might enjoy it anyway as well. It could get quite boring indeed at their ages to have that many hours with the au pair. But overall I think the pay is fine.

Mendi Mon 20-May-13 17:49:56

Thanks LadyHarrietdeSpook. Their dad and I usually split half terms and holidays so half term will be just 2-3 days full time care and school hols unlikely to be more than one full week at a time.

I also thought probably AP switchover would be in August so we might have a few weeks of no AP then, which I would try to fill with our summer hols, their dad's summer hol time and maybe a visit to grandparents. Is that normal?

RosinaCopper Mon 20-May-13 18:06:38

Have you had an au pair before?

When I have au pairs the official line has been that they get £70 allowance (plus full board of course) and that is in return for 25 hours of help spread over 5 days of the week.

I work part time, so the au pair who is coming this summer will have sole care of my 8 year old (although dh works on site) on the 2 days that I am at work, but she is happy with that as we discussed it via Skype. My two under 3's will go to nursery on the days when I am out of the house at work. Given that she will do more hours on those days, we will probably ask her to help for fewer hours on the other 3 days to balance it out. Would that work for your situation?

Mendi Mon 20-May-13 19:44:35

No I've never had an AP before.

With flexibility, I don't have much leeway. I'm a single mum so there's no spare pair of hands to take it in turns to get home early with. On a working day I need to be at work by 9am and can't leave before 6pm (though do usually leave at 6/6.15).

I will be living within 20 mins of work.

With school holiday time, the DCs tend to spend blocks of days with their dad and then with me so the AP will be needed to mop up the time I don't have enough annual leave for. In the long summer holidays that will mean 2 weeks with him, 2 with me (those 4 weeks not necessarily back to back) and so 2-3 weeks left to fill. They could go to my parents' for a week so say a week with AP, a week away, then a week back at home.

Realistically I am not going to be able to afford to pay for summer camps etc on top of childcare. Had a leaflet through this week and it looks great but at £300 per week per child, totally unaffordable on top of other basic costs. So will need to juggle family and AP.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 20-May-13 20:01:30

If you're in London have a look at 'Fit for Sport' they're very reasonably priced, it's less than £30 for a standard day (9:30am-4:30pm I think) and less than £40 for an extended day (8:30am-5:30pm). Still more expensive than the au pair though, but might be good for a day here and there, you don't need to sign up for the whole week.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 20-May-13 20:38:38

Just realised you said you're in Surrey, not sure if they go out that far, but worth a google.

Mendi Mon 20-May-13 21:07:27

Thanks Outraged. We're actually moving to Surrey this summer so I'm not sure exactly what will be available by way of holiday clubs, though with the ages of my DCs I don't know how keen they'd be for holiday clubs. Well I'm thinking of my older one really. All he wants to do is play PS3 and wait for his voice to break. But I expect there will be some holiday stuff I can try to encourage them towards, cost permitting.

blueshoes Mon 20-May-13 22:07:25

I agree that £80 for 20 hours per week is generous, but not outrageously so.

Doubling her pay per day sounds like a sensible way to go. None of my aupairs have baulked at working nanny hours over the school hols and I always check in advance (even before hiring) that they are fine with providing school holiday cover for, in my case, an extra £20 per day.

For children your dcs' age, that is not intense. They would usually just go to other aupair's/nanny's houses or the park and their charges play. I also arrange playdates and the occasional activity. I provide spending money on top for treats and activities.

MrAnchovy Wed 22-May-13 14:24:22

"Not looking for 'but that's less than minimum wage' points as this is an AP who gets bed and board on top of pay."

But they don't get any more bed and board when they work more hours.

"I pay mine double as her hours double"


"do you approach it by 'annualising' what is paid to the AP and then work out if over the year (or 6 months) you're paying over £109 per week?"

No, if you pay weekly you must operate PAYE if you pay £109 or more in ANY week. You only pay NI on earnings over £148 in any week though.

You can however actually pay the AP a fixed amount based on an average over the year to minimise the amount of NI paid. This is basically how teachers are paid. We did this once but found that it did not work well from a motivational point of view.

If you work out a fair rate of pay by taking NMW (say £6ph) for 20 hours, so £120pw you are only putting a value of £40pw on room and board. In (most of) Surrey £100-£150pw room and board is more like it. £6ph for 50 hours is £300pw, so a fair wage is around £175-£225.

Mendi Wed 22-May-13 18:38:28

Thanks MrA. I'll look at the tax and NI bit later but am a bit confused by your last paragraph. You seem to be saying that I should pay £120 a week for 20 hours but that is way over the going rate discussed on every AP thread on MN. The going rate seems to be £75-£100 for 25 hours. Where do you get £120 for 20 hours from?

Mendi Wed 22-May-13 18:41:50

...the other posters on this thread say £80 per week for 20 hours is generous.

blueshoes Wed 22-May-13 19:19:10

What is fair is in the eyes of the aupair and what the market rate is.

Personally, Mr A's figures are IMO inflated and not reflective of the market standard for aupair holiday top up pay. There is no way I would start with that. Your aupair is within her rights to reject your doubling of her pay - it is a free market. She might think she can get more per hour but how many per hour jobs (cleaning, mothers help) actually allow her to work an extra 6 hours of not particularly stressful work a day back-to-back without travelling and no adjustment to employers' conditions? She could try waitressing or babysitting but can she find work within those hours and for that block of time per day?

blueshoes Wed 22-May-13 19:22:13

National Minimum Wage does not apply to live in aupairs.

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