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Housekeeper for free?

(60 Posts)
feelingsickaboutit Mon 27-Mar-17 16:55:45

I have nc to post this ...
This has been playing on my mind for the last couple of weeks and I just can't stop thinking about it ...
one of my 'friends' has a live in help who looks after their daughter, cooks for them, cleans etc. She is foreign and her English is very very limited. She's lived with them for a few years and is in no way related. This friend has recently revealed that she doesn't pay her and was actually boasting to other friends how fantastic this set up is and why pay an au pair or a nanny when you can have a more mature woman with experience without paying a penny. When I challenged her about it she said that food and room is enough payment and she found her another job she does a few hours a week which she gets payment for so they don't need to pay her. She should be really greatful for this job as her English is so poor she wouldn't get that job on her own. She also said if she's not happy she can leave any time and because she's agreed to this set up herself it's perfectly ok and legal. It just made me feel physically sick. AIBU to feel upset about this or is she using her? Is it really ok not to pay somebody for such work?

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Mon 27-Mar-17 16:57:14

I thought slavery had been abolished??

JigglyTuff Mon 27-Mar-17 16:58:33

No of course it's not okay. You surely don't have to ask that

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 27-Mar-17 17:00:35

Slavery is illegal. Hth.

HeyCat Mon 27-Mar-17 17:05:53

It's not legal - you can only deduct a fixed amount (can't remember amount) for food and accommodation, otherwise you have to pay minimum wage.

wizzywig Mon 27-Mar-17 17:08:30

Oh my god. Poor woman. Go to the police

feelingsickaboutit Mon 27-Mar-17 17:13:40

Wizzywig ... the thing is she's not held against her own will ... she can truly just pack her bag and leave ...

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Mon 27-Mar-17 17:14:18

How would she move on without any savings???

feelingsickaboutit Mon 27-Mar-17 17:16:23

She has another job a few hours a week so she does get some money but not from them

HeyCat Mon 27-Mar-17 17:16:37

Ok, your friend can only legally deduct £6 a day from minimum wage for accommodation. Look at this: www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-accommodation/rates

This woman must be owed thousands in back pay to bring her wages up to minimum wage.

If you're genuinely concerned about her, can you contact her to let her know how to make a claim or where to get advice?

If you say what language she speaks, somebody on mumsnet can probably translate a note for you.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Mon 27-Mar-17 17:17:03

Does she have access to her passport tho?

bignamechangeroonie Mon 27-Mar-17 17:20:09

Slaves are not just physically kept against their will, they're also psychologically prevented from leaving.

She's a slave, tell the police.

feelingsickaboutit Mon 27-Mar-17 17:21:21

Yes she does have a passport and she's from a country with free movement with UK so she doesn't need a visa. This whole situation has totally stunned me. There is consent to this set up ... I don't think she is aware or even feels she's being used as she's just so grateful ...

ofudginghell Mon 27-Mar-17 17:22:02

shockshockshock

Aridane Mon 27-Mar-17 17:23:22

I wonder if your 'friend' is playing on any doubtful immigration staus??

feelingsickaboutit Mon 27-Mar-17 17:24:17

Aridane ... she's from EU so there's no question about any immigration status

toffeeboffin Mon 27-Mar-17 17:25:30

Oh come the fuck on, feelingsick.

OlennasWimple Mon 27-Mar-17 17:25:56

If she is from the EU, though, she is still supposed to be working, studying or in the UK with a family member. It isn't quite as simple as anyone can live anywhere in the EU...

bignamechangeroonie Mon 27-Mar-17 17:26:20

After years of living there I doubt it's 'consent'. The authorities will not view it as consent.

You can't sign your rights away.

wizzywig Mon 27-Mar-17 17:27:34

Does she have any additional needs? Is she actually thinking she has a good job and hasnt realised she is being used?

feelingsickaboutit Mon 27-Mar-17 17:30:10

Wizzy ... no additional needs except poor English but I guess she can get back. I know her and spoke to her many times (I speak her mothertongue) I don't think she realises she's being used ....

feelingsickaboutit Mon 27-Mar-17 17:31:18

I meant to say ... she can get by with her English as it is

listsandbudgets Mon 27-Mar-17 17:31:54

Whereabouts in the EU is she from feelingsick? Do you think that she knows that there are no questions over her status? Are you sure she is from the EU and her "owner" (yes she is being treated as a slave) isn't just misrepresenting her situation.

Not from one of the old USSR block states is she? Belarus for example?

OlennasWimple Mon 27-Mar-17 17:32:05

Kalayaan are a fantastic organization who might be able to provide some advice and support.

There's a short summary of the rights that an overseas domestic worker has in the UK here

FormerlyFrikadela01 Mon 27-Mar-17 17:32:47

You need to report this OP. A lot of what you've said is classic abuse language. How many victims of Domestic abuse say try are grateful their partner is looking after them, that they could leave at any time. Doesnt make it true.

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