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Au pair pay(9 Posts)
I was hoping to get some help on something. We have had a live in au pair (our first!) for the past month. She said she'd like to get paid monthly rather than on a weekly basis, so tomorrow is her first pay day. I told her at the beginning that any extra baby-sitting hours will get paid with £7/h and she did 4 extra hours this month. 3 of them were her being around while our daughter was sleeping in the afternoon, as we needed to pop out and pick up some furniture, but that's besides the point.
When she arrived she told me she would like to work in a hospital at some point and at the moment she's trying to sort out some papers, register as a nurse etc. A couple of weeks ago she needed to go out for an appointment in relation to her documents for close to 4 hours during the hours she was supposed to be with our daughter. Should I deduct them for her pay? My husband thinks I should cancel the pay for at least 3 of the 4 extra hours she baby-sat for us. It's not about the money, but when she started working here I mentioned that I don't mind her trying to get work in a hospital as long as it doesn't interfere with her job. We had this discussion because less than a week after she started working here she brought a pile of papers for me to read through and check for her during her working hours - she just handed my toddler her phone to keep her occupied while we were checking the papers. English is not her first language and needs some assistance, but I am really not interested, I think it's her business.
I know I should've had a conversation with her and clarify when she had to go out for the appointment, but I didn't. She never offered to catch up the hours either.
Looking forward to hearing some suggestions from you.
Just ask her to make the hours up
On this occasion pay. In future discuss what happens regarding making up hours, or reducing pay, if they don't work their full hours a particular week/month due to their choice (not your choice - if you decide you don't need them to work, you still pay).
I've been 100% correct with her working hours, allowing her to start late on most days (I'm heavily pregnant at the moment and I'm at home all the time). So she can often start late, have coffee, breakfast, sit on the phone, whatever, while I'm spending some quality time with my 17 month old. During the day my daughter is also often with me because, well, I'm her mum . I'll need her a lot more once I give birth in about 4 weeks and I'm hoping she'll do all the hours she's supposed to do then. She's also supposed to cook lunch for my daughter and give her breakfast, but it never happened yet... Again besides the point. Yes, I will need to have a chat with her but I really don't like confrontations.
What did you agree during the recruitment phase? I would guess that you agreed to pay x amount per week/or per month in addition to providing accommodation and food plus joining in with family activities as they are living as part of your family.
You have agreed a rate for extra babysitting, so that is fine.
If the babysitting had occurred after she had taken the hours off, then agreeing at that time that the babysitting was in lieu of those hours she had off would be fine. You seem to be wanting to do that following the event and that is harder as you are negotiating after the event.
I would just be clearer next time she has time off during hours she is meant to be working - be it that those hours are made up later or a value is deducted from pay (what value that would be would need to be decided, it may be less than the babysitting rate as the 'pocket money' you pay for the core hours may have a lower hourly value).
It sounds to me that you need to be managing her time a bit better. Letting her start late is your decision and whilst very nice of you it may mean she thinks that starting late will be the norm. Do you have a list of duties for her, so she could start each morning doing a particular task - such as putting a wash load on?
I would try to get her in to a routine over the next few weeks so that you don't need to micromanage once baby has arrived.
If she is looking to get another job I would suggest that although you almost certainly don't need to pay tax and NI on her current pay that you get her on PAYE so if she gets another job you have all of her tax free allowance.
You should also be prepared for the fact that it sounds very much like you are just a stepping stone to another job. Be there done that. Make sure you have a notice period established so you are not left in the lurch.
@nannynick - We did agree on a weekly pay. I had an add placed on an au pair website and it set out the pocket money, hours, hourly rate for any additional baby-sitting which is always agreed in advance and also a typical day. I was very clear in what we offer and what we expect specifically because I'm horrible at having 'those' conversations. I do need to manage her time better. I wanted someone a couple of months before giving birth to help them adapt to our family life and have a good routine in place when the baby comes. So I wanted her to ease into this role because it's her first au pair job. I was expecting her to slowly do everything I set out in the contract but a month on it's still not happening. There is now way, for example, I will be able to carry on cooking 3 meals a day and feed my toddler every one of them when I'll have baby number 2 to breastfeed every few hours.
I am with my daughter a fair bit during the day because even after a month she still doesn't really like the au pair. She screams every time she sees her and when she's coming right in her face to kiss her good morning she's getting slapped if I don't catch her wrist on time I promise she's only like this with her, whenever we have any family over she forgets she has a mum, she loves to spend time and play with them. BUT the au pair is keeping the downstairs and the upstairs family bathroom nice and tidy and I really appreciate that.
@Lonecatwithkitten - she is looking to get a job in the NHS but her english is absolutely basic and I'm not too worried about that. All I asked is that she doesn't ask me to help with filling in paperwork/ reading through documents etc. That time she had to go for the appointment she asked me to go with her and my daughter and act as a translator and I refused. We don't have that kind of relationship yet and I am not here to assist her in obtaining another job!
How many hours is she doing for you and at what pay rate? If its just a standard 25 au pair hours, at a standard au pair rate, (4 hours is a big percentage of 25hrs) then I would probably just discuss it with her and ask her to make them up. If you're expecting a lot more hours, for not much more pocket money then I would just let it go.
The phone thing would bother me, I would ask her not to let your daughter have her phone and for her not to use her phone when she's looking after her.
Start tomorrow with the lunch thing, remind her after breakfast that she's making lunch and ask if she know where everything is. Get her to get something crafty out tomorrow and ask your daughter if she'd like to do it with her. It does take time for both of you.
I have had several au pairs over the years and if I were you I would think about trying to find a new one... So many issues so soon isn't great and some of the things she has done do not sound ideal at all. From my experience, if she is annoying you already and not really pulling her weight and trying to make a good impression it will just get worse. I would cut your losses and find someone else. I've been there and got the t shirt...
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