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Au pair from overseas; who pays what ?

(7 Posts)
ronroncelup Thu 01-Jan-15 17:50:16

We have some questions that may have well been answered in one of the many other threads but I had not been able to find it. We are considering to take in an au pair, not through an agency but rather someone recommended through friends, which brings up a number of questions.

Now, we are aware of what the normal rates are that au pairs get paid as an allowance. The questions we have evolve around another aspect that seems not to be mentioned anywhere.

If an aupair has to travel a long distance to come to the UK, who will pay for the flight ticket (750 GBP); will it be us, the au pair or is it shared cost ? The same question arises with regards to the cost of visa, which may be as high as 250 GBP above. And of course following this comes the question, what if the au pair decides she doesn't like the family she lands with, or what if we do not get on with her ? What will happen in terms of reimbursement ?
Can we cover ourselves with contracts and are these legally binding for the au pair ?
Is it worthwhile considering using an agency after all and will the agency assist the au pair with sorting out a visa and travel or will we still end up doing that after all ?
Essentially we are looking for advice from others out there with regards to sorting the nitty-gritty of these matters, cause finding an aupair on one of these websites is easy enough...

Thanks so much in advance for your advice and opinions...

nannynick Thu 01-Jan-15 18:54:47

I would say that the aupair pays all costs associated with getting to the UK.
This person is not a friend of yours, you don't know them so I don't think you should offer to pay for anything at this stage. Once they complete their time with you then perhaps you could offer something - such as flight home.

If coming via Tier5 they also need £1900 in savings. It's going to be costly for them/their family. You may also have sponsor costs depending which country they are a national.

Do your friends know them well? Can you interview via skype and combine that with your friends knowledge of them and of you to determine that you would get along?

blueshoes Thu 01-Jan-15 19:13:31

Agree with nannynick.

Don't pay for anything before they have arrived - you risk being scammed.

As for the visa, I would not employ any aupair who needed a visa. There is so much choice from EU candidates that unless than £250 visa candidate has some special skill or power, it arguably isn't worth the hassle to incur the cost and delay of a visa. Many EU aupairs speak good English, if that is your concern.

As you have already guessed, what if it does not work out with that aupair, after you have gone through all that trouble to get her a visa? How easy is it to transfer that visa to her next family? Does she have to go home in the meantime and if so, there is the cost to her? Basically, if an aupair does not work out, I give her time (3 weeks?) to find another family and they generally do during that time. However, if your aupair needs a visa, very few families will be prepared to take her on and you have a problem getting rid of her. You might feel obliged to keep her just so you don't force her to incur the cost of going home.

The aupair relationship should not incur such a high investment on either side.

As for the aupair contract, a few of my aupairs have asked for them. Maybe it gives them some marginal protection against the family (but I build in notice periods anyway) but it does not give the family much protection against the aupair if she decides to do a runner. From the family's perspective, would you actually go look for and and sue an aupair if she disappears. IME it is not worth the paper it is written on.

I cannot advise about agencies as I don't use any.

Strix Fri 02-Jan-15 07:55:31

I agree with all that nannynick and blueshoes have said. There are loads of good EU candidates, who will buy their own tickets, appear on short notice, and generally blend in well with all the other EU su pairs at the school gate. There seem to be loads of Spaniards and Italians these days in my area.

I too am looking for an aupair and have largely (although not exclusively) targeted the Spaniards because I figure they will find some new friends quite quickly; and also because my 11 year old is taking Spanish at school.

I don't believe agencies are worth anything but a nice sense of false security. You'll get much better advice here.

schlafenfreude Fri 02-Jan-15 08:02:16

The au pair pays everything in my eyes.

As for contracts I do have in ours that we can recover certain expenses from pay owing to her, but the protection is more in the sense of protection and seriousness with which au pairs view the contract. There us an advantage in having something written to prevent things escalating to the point where you'd need to enforce it.

andagain Sat 03-Jan-15 22:26:33

I agree with previous posters re paying for flights and visas-don't, that is not a standard. Having said that, what we do is say to the au pair that we will reimburse her flight to the UK after six months with us. We always look for au pairs to stay 12 months so six months is absolute minimum I would accept. Also, my au pairs have always been from EU so not a huge cost. Maybe you can offer to partially fund the flight but only if they stay a certain amount of time.

Contract wise, we do have a fairly detailed one but it is more so everyone is clear on expectations. As someone above said if your au pair buggers off without giving you contractual notice there is nothing you can do except not give reference.

ronroncelup Thu 08-Jan-15 08:55:04

Many thanks for all your answers, it's given us a much better idea of how to approach things grin

Does anyone happen to know whether, if getting an aupair from an agency, at least the agency busies itself with the formalities ?

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