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Au pair - do you have one and can you help with some queries?

(7 Posts)
neva Wed 17-Jun-09 19:22:41

Have had au pairs, but many years ago. Now looking for another to help with 10 year old. Questions:

1. Any one found an au pair via Au Pair World?

2. What is the going rate of pocket money for au pair in SE England?

3. Is it normal to request references?

4. Any regulations to be aware of when taking on an au pair?

5. Any tips in general?

Thanks!!

nannynick Wed 17-Jun-09 19:51:03

Can answer point 4.

Now that the au-pair visa category has been removed... in my view usual UK employment law will apply. As your employee is live-in, National Minimum Wage does not apply. To avoid running PAYE pay should be below the NICs Lower Earnings Limit (connected with point 2).

An au-pair can come from the countries listed at: UKBA: Working In The UK EEA plus those who can work in the UK under Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme subject to them meeting the scheme requirements.

Millarkie Wed 17-Jun-09 20:01:12

1. Yes - 2 (and a third arriving next week)
2. Depends if you are in a town or rural - about £65 for cities up to £95 for rural for 25 hours, or slightly more for 30 hours or drivers (but be careful to stay under the limit for national insurance or you'll have to do payroll )
3.Yes. I only take APs who supply checkable references.
4. It's a bit of a grey area since the removal of 'au pair' as a visa category. I stick to european au pairs and treat them like 'live in mother's helps' ie. contract, holiday pay (5.6 weeks a year including bank holidays)
5.Lots - do a search on my name in this section, I never stop whinging talking about au pairs.

neva Wed 17-Jun-09 20:26:41

Very helpful!! Thanks.

DadInsteadofMum Thu 18-Jun-09 11:22:13

1 - yes 3 so far
2 - pay £70 pw during term time more during the school holidays
3 - yes - and if they provide an email address I insist on a work email address not a personal one as these are more checkable (would prefer it that the prospective AP is not writing their own reference)
4 - they should have a contract that complies with employment law including holiday and sick pay terms (amongst others)
5 - try not to laugh to hard when you search under Millarkie and don't let the (many) horror stories under the various other threads put you off.

To expand on the PAYE/NIC point from Nick. although they don't have to start paying PAYE/NI if they earn less than £110 pw (primary threshold) you as an employer have to start keeping accurate pay records if they earn above £95pw (lower earnings limit).

CoffeeAndCarrotCake Thu 18-Jun-09 11:36:14

Yup!

1. Yes - my current lovely German AP and my next (hopefully lovely) French AP.

2. Well, we pay £100/week for 26 hours, with 3 days off p/w, which is WAY over the normal going rate, but is the result of my first ever Mumsnet post about APs: I asked what was reasonable, got totally FLAMED, increased my payment offer and have had hugely overpaid and underworked APs ever since!! angry hmm

3. Yes - although I had known our first AP for a year so didn't bother, and the current and next APs, I spoke with lots on Skype and didn't get references in the end. Good point though - might just ask her...

4. See previous posts- they know more than me.

5. Yes - really think about what you want them to do, and then tell them very clearly, and write it down. They can't possibly do everything to your satisfaction if neither of you know what needs to be done. I gave our AP a timetable clearly setting out when we'd need her help, what we'd need her to do, and when her free time is. That way, she can lounge on the sofa / go out for the day knowing that it's her free time and she needn't feel guilty about taking it, and I know that she's there for me to rely on when I need her.

Also, don't be a wimp. I am, and it has meant that I've put up with some ridiculous stuff that I should have immediately put my food down about. blush That said, we do have a lovely relationship, and I think she's a fab AP, and we're a great family for her to live with << blowing own trumpet emoticon >>

Good luck! grin

mumof2222222222222222boys Thu 18-Jun-09 14:18:06

I have had 4 APs - all French and all through Au Pairs by Pebbles. I have found them to be really helpful and they deal with all the refs. On the one occasion that an AP left suddenly, they managed to get a much much better replacement pretty quickly.

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