Advanced search

Anyone had a demi-pair/room in exchange for help set up?

(96 Posts)
EdenX Sun 26-Mar-17 11:47:04

We currently have a traditional au pair, however I will be going on mat leave soon with 3rd child so won't actually need any childcare. I feel like what I will need is some help with cleaning and a night of babysitting a week would be great, plus we will miss having an extra pair of hands in an emergency (for eg I recently had to take a DC to hospital and au pair was on hand to babysit the other one).

We have a spare room. In the past we have hosted language students on a basis of providing a room, Internet and laundry facilities and breakfast and dinner, for £100 a week. I was thinking about offering a similar set up in exchange for 3 hours cleaning a week and some babysitting. Anyone successfully done similar?

OP’s posts: |
hibbledobble Mon 27-Mar-17 15:01:29

I haven't, but am following with interest.

I think it could work well, as long as the deal is fair and clear to both sides.

How much your spare room is worth varies hugely according to where you live, but it sounds like you have a good idea of value and how much help to expect in return.

lovelynannytobe Mon 27-Mar-17 16:08:33

Spare room is only worth £42 a week in a set up where you expect somebody to do something in exchange for free room so it would only work if she was working very few hours

harshbuttrue1980 Mon 27-Mar-17 17:52:35

I agree with lovelynanny. There are so many people looking to abuse others, its ridiculous. Do the decent thing and pay the minimum wage, minus the £42 a week you are legally allowed to deduct. Making people work without pay has a name, and that name is slavery. No doubt someone vulnerable would agree to this set-up, but that doesn't make it legal or ethical. Get a cleaner ffs.

Chippednailvarnishing Mon 27-Mar-17 17:56:45

This is also running at the moment...

harshbuttrue1980 Mon 27-Mar-17 18:20:27

I saw that one too, Chipped. Disgusting. If you can't afford live-in help to be paid properly and according to UK law, don't have live-in help. Some people are so keen to have the school-gates status of having a "live-in" that they leave their morals at the door and forget to treat people like humans. Just get hourly help ffs. I have an hourly paid cleaner once a fortnight. Maybe I should just get some poor exploited woman to work for me 24/7 in return for being able to sleep on my sofa. If she works hard, I'd even let her have my leftover food :-/ Seriously, have I just woken up in the victorian era???

jannier Mon 27-Mar-17 18:20:38

I don't understand why you would need this anyway you only have 3 children and if your home can surely do your own cleaning just like most working parents would do. Many also don't have emergency cover especially if single parents you just get on with it and woman up. No need to exploit someone a cleaner 3 times a week would be at least £60 and then childcare as a babysitter £20 to £30 an evening if your use them 3 times a week you would be paying a minimum £120 less the room at quoted £42 but then the person would have to be free to work elsewhere and you would need to look into their rights as an employee and resident.

EdenX Mon 27-Mar-17 19:42:18

For £80 a week we could have an au pair to work 30 hours, which we could do but don't need that level of childcare.

Of course very few people need cleaners or babysitters, its more of a nice to have.

OP’s posts: |
EdenX Mon 27-Mar-17 20:08:09

Actually I'm not sure minimum wage applies at all in this kind of arrangement.

OP’s posts: |
Chippednailvarnishing Mon 27-Mar-17 20:31:25

Then why ask? Hire your slave and be done with it.

EdenX Mon 27-Mar-17 20:35:36

Why ask if anyone else has had a similar set up? Because I'm interested if it has worked out.

You sound slightly hysterical talking about slavery.

OP’s posts: |
Trifleorbust Tue 28-Mar-17 07:03:58

Well, it's does. You are seeking out someone to work for you on a regular basis, and in return you are proposing room and board. Legally, you are obligated to pay them minimum wage. Morally, you are obligated to pay them.

I would also be staggered if your '3 hours plus emergencies' was actually how it worked out:

"I just need to pop to the shops..."

"X is having a day-time hen so I will be back at..."

"Could you just walk the dog/throw these in the machine/make some sandwiches for lunch while I..."

Get a grip of yourself.

Trifleorbust Tue 28-Mar-17 07:05:17

Oh and 'some babysitting' - a night a week? You could expect to pay £30 for that.

2014newme Tue 28-Mar-17 07:05:37

It's not a legal arrangement.

harshbuttrue1980 Tue 28-Mar-17 12:23:06

Of course it would be nice to have staff. However,you cant afford it, so it'll have to stay a dream.if you do break the law as you're proposing, I hope you get caught.

hibbledobble Tue 28-Mar-17 12:57:19

Ah, the usual 'having an au pair equals being a slave driver' lot are out in force again!

If the op were to rent out the room for 100/week, then pay another person a wage to carry out babysitting, no one would have a problem. Why is it so offensive to combine the two? What is the tenant babysitter in return for a 10/hour reduction in rent?

As a student I had an arrangement with a family for 10 hours of work per week in return for a free room in a desirable area of London. I thought it was a pretty good deal.

harshbuttrue1980 Tue 28-Mar-17 14:02:35

Hibble, the fact is that its illegal whether you like it or not. An au pair is a totally different set-up, and au pairs are paid (even if just pocket money) and treated as part of the family. What the OP is proposing is to break the law. The law says that people must be paid the minimum wage, and if someone is live-in, then the employer can deduct a maximum of £42 per week from their wage, even if the accommodation is in an expensive area. The UK is a country where workers have rights. What the OP is proposing is common in less developed parts of the world, but isn't appropriate here. People can have as many staff as they like as far as I'm concerned, as long as they are paid and treated within the LAW.

Oly5 Tue 28-Mar-17 14:06:37

OP, just offer this as an au pair setup with three hours cleaning, a bit of childcare and babysitting and offer £80 a week in pay.
If you're hoping to pay nothing at all then hm, no don't think you can do that.
But an au pair might find that attractive no?!

Lapinlapin Tue 28-Mar-17 14:11:54

Clearly I'm out of touch, because 3 hours' cleaning plus one night's babysitting in return for free accommodation and meals sounds like quite a good deal to me! If I were a language student I'd be quite happy with that!

I au paired (some time ago!) and whilst I did get paid, it wasn't much and I basically worked 6 days a week. OP's deal sounds pretty good in comparison!

Trifleorbust Tue 28-Mar-17 15:13:08

It's not about whether it is a good deal. We have employment laws for a reason. This isn't legal.

EdenX Tue 28-Mar-17 15:51:47

We won't really need an au pair anymore as we don't need 25 hours of childcare.

As far as I understand it, au pair type situations where someone lives as part of a family (sharing meals and leisure activities) minimum wage doesn't apply.

Even if we did pay minimum wage, for someone under 21 doing 10 hours a week would be £56. If we then deduct £42 for the room they'd have £14 a week to feed themselves, pay for laundry, internet etc.

Anyway, I've had a few messages from EU students wanting to "home stay" for the summer to improve their English, so I might try it for a month or so and see if it works out.

OP’s posts: |
Trifleorbust Tue 28-Mar-17 16:14:35

That you are even willing to have someone living 'as part of the family' and give them no money for underwear tells me as much as I feel I need to know about you. Vile.

EdenX Tue 28-Mar-17 16:18:55

I'm sure students will manage to bring enough underwear with them to last the summer holidays.

OP’s posts: |
Trifleorbust Tue 28-Mar-17 16:23:21

And transport, phone, deodorant, snacks, entertainment, toothbrushes, birthday presents? You know, living expenses? You are proposing exploiting a young person rather than paying them a fair wage. It's grim enough without you being facetious about it.

Lapinlapin Tue 28-Mar-17 16:24:27

It's nothing to do with me really, but I don't get why it's 'vile '? Surely it's basically an au-pair job, but just not needing them for many hours? The student isn't exactly being overworked and gets food and accommodation (expensive if they were trying to find somewhere to live in their own) and people to talk to, people to help with practicalities in a foreign country and the chance to practise their English.
Plus loads of free time to study and socialise with friends.

Obviously you get some families who are lovely and the au-pair will have an amazing time and other families where the au-pair will have a miserable time.
But how on earth can you tell from the few messages posted on here which category the op falls into?

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in