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I need advice on how to get rid of my au pair with minimum pain to her

(17 Posts)
Honesttodog Sun 07-Feb-16 17:20:16

I don't dislike her. She is pleasant enough and performs her basic duties. However, she is really is not very clever. She has been very slow to improve her English, Despite diligent study, and has proved time and again to have a terrible memory. She is disorganised and lacks maturity.

She is pleasant to my kids but not very loving or chatty. I know what sort of person I want and she is not it.

I very little to recommend her for a future job but I really want to try and give her some sort of final warning or kindly let her go. Unfortunately her boyfriend has just come over to the UK doing some menial work and won't be able to support her. What can I do do support her going forward but also be clear that this is not right?

I just feel like summer is coming and I want my kids to be with someone really fun and sparky.

Aridane Sun 07-Feb-16 17:22:48

Oh, the poor poppet

RedOnHerHedd Sun 07-Feb-16 17:32:17

Poor thing, I get what you're saying though, if I had to have someone look after my children, they would have to be right. No advice though sorry, but good luck.

Filmstar01 Sun 07-Feb-16 17:36:50

What notice period do you have in your contract with her? i think you should explain to her that it's not working as you had hoped - it seems only fair. She can't change if she doesn't know there's a problem.

Cindy34 Sun 07-Feb-16 19:09:15

Will she be going home for Easter? Could be a good time to end things. You can give notice under you agreement, you can provide a reference about the good things, you can possibly pay towards her flight to sweeten things a bit.

Sometimes it does not work out. Sometimes personalities clash. Sometimes people are different on the phone/skype to how they are in person. We all sell ourselves when applying for a job, we then have to prove it once in the job. If we don't live up to the expectations, then we don't have a job.

An aupair is part of the family, not an employee but if they can't fit in to the family then regrettably they need to move on.

Honesttodog Sun 07-Feb-16 20:26:26

Need to check re Easter, she mentioned it but not given me plans yet.

judt thinking about saying that we have decided we don't need extra help, or can't afford it right now?? Not true but... Ugh I don't want to discuss it too much, I just want a more satisfactory set up.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 07-Feb-16 20:30:09

I think you'd make it easier on yourself, then, but not necessarily on her. For a start, she might be annoyed that you've essentially wasted her time flying her out and then saying you can't afford it or actually don't need her.

Also, it won't help her improve going forward, so this could keep happening. Although it won't change things for you, her knowing what to work on could be massive for her.

I think I'd ask about Easter, and hope she's going home. I'd then let her know that, sadly, you won't require her services after Easter because the bond with the children isn't really there, and whilst you're grateful for her effort, you don't think this will be a fulfilling relationship on either side. Offer to give her some more detailed feedback if she wants it (you could always write it down, and it saves her from hearing it before she's ready).

Salmiak Sun 07-Feb-16 22:28:21

I'd go down the warning route first. Have a chat with her and specify exactly what you want in an au pair - someone far more proactive and 'fun and sparkly' with the dc. Suggest that she may bond with them better and improve her English too if she really starts to fully play and interact with the dc,encourage her to be more fun and get real enjoyment from each others company. Say you'll review it in 2 weeks and see how she gets on, if it's not improved then suggest that your family isn't he best match for her and offer to pay for flights home.

NathalieM Mon 08-Feb-16 12:10:21

Talk to her first, ask her if everything is OK and check if something is hindering her ability to work before completely sacking her.

Perhaps it is something remediable, if not, you'll just have to be honest. How long does she have left of her duties? If she's approaching a year or so, maybe that would be a good time to let her go?

PovertyPain Mon 08-Feb-16 12:14:42

I wonder if the wee soul is afraid of being too hands on with the children, in case you get jealous? I know that sounds daft but I had that experience when working as a nanny.

She is, possibly, missing home and her family, but trying to hide it. Ask her if everything's ok and explain to her what you would like from her.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 08-Feb-16 14:48:50

I think "fun and sparky" is either in your nature naturally or not.

Is this something you want because it doesn't come naturally to you and you would like a lively energetic "fun" au pair who is happy to do silly dancing in the park etc?

Or is she generally just a bit morose?

catsinthecraddle Mon 08-Feb-16 16:56:04

maybe give her some time to find another family?

It must depends on your local area. Around London, it doesn't take more than 2 weeks to find a family. If she could have a chat with her agency, and go from there. I don't mean to let her search for 6 months, but just a bit of time. She might be perfect for someone else!

TooMuchOfEverything Mon 08-Feb-16 16:58:38

Well I read the title and thought 'a swift blow to the back of the head'. Maybe I've been watching too many of the wrong sort of films blush

AnotherEmma Mon 08-Feb-16 17:02:26

Do you have a written contract or agreement and is there a specified notice period? If so, you just need to respect that. If not, just give her a reasonable amount of notice (I suggest one calendar month). Tell her the date you'll like her to finish working and move out - you could also say that if she finds a new job or place to live before then, you would be happy for her to finish sooner, but she doesn't have to. You could also offer to provide a reference (it can be a basic factual one rather than a glowing recommendation) and help her apply for jobs, if you're feeling kind/guilty.

Just give her fair notice and break it to her kindly but clearly. She might be upset but one she gets through that she'll chalk it up to experience and move on. The sooner you tell her the sooner she can do that.

EssentialHummus Mon 08-Feb-16 17:07:36

I'd go with whatever your contract says. As somebody equally un-sparkly, I don't think this is fixable!

And I'd be honest with her (gently) rather than say that your circumstances have changed. She probably has some sense of how things are going and having you confirm things to her that she may be feeling herself is likely to come across more honestly/authentically. It's also harder to argue with (whereas "We have no more money" might be met with "I'll work for board!").

OzzieFem Mon 08-Feb-16 18:12:21

Who does your au pair speak with to improve her english conversation skills. As a 'member of the family' do you include her in your conversation or is she expected just to talk to the kids?

As for being disorganised, have you given her a daily routine you would like her to follow? It's possible you are her first family and she is feeling lost without any direction.

Have you employed an au pair before?

Honesttodog Mon 08-Feb-16 21:51:47

I am supporting her English studies, we discussed it and she is working on it.

She really is not a great fit in with the family, we are loving, chatty and affectionate and she is pleasant but rather unaffected by everything and a bit shallow. She struggles to explain things and this often prevents deeper conversation - tho we all try.

I don't want to go on about her, so I'll leave the thread for now. I think it will be best to be firm, kind and clear, and to make sure I've got my ducks in a row before I broach it.

Appreciate the responses tho!

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