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Au Pairs - paid holidays?
Looby4 · 13/05/2007 21:04
We are going away in half-term, while our au pair who has been with us since January, will stay at home. We have agreed that she can have 6 friends from home (Hungary) to stay for the week while we're away and show them London.
Should we pay her for the week while we are away? Agency rules state we should, as it is us who are on hols. However my hubby feels that we are allowing her to have 6 guests in our home for free, heating, lighting, free run of the place etc. We won't be leaving her any work to do while away (normally I have asked the au pair to do a huge "spring clean" if we are away and have paid her for this, but this au pair wanted to have her friends).
Don't want a problem to arise - she's not the best au pair I've ever had - a bit slack with her work, but not too bad all in all.
lemur · 13/05/2007 21:17
For what it is worth, I was an au pair once, and paid holidays are part of the deal as I understand it. Did you say to her "if you have six friends over we won't pay you" when you agreed her friends could stay? If not, it seems rather harsh to penalise her for something you have previously permitted her to do.
Additionally, presumably you are not feeding these friends, so it does not cost you as such. Yes there is the heating, lighting etc, but if she was there alone, I imagine she would still turn the lights on and keep the place warm.
I think it would be good to take a positive view of her having friends over - it will make her a happier person, as being an au pair can be incredibly lonely at times, and it will give you a lot to talk about when you get back.
If all in all she is not too bad an au pair, then this show of generosity may make her an even better one. One of my au pair friend's family was generous in this way - it made a real difference to her - she was happier than most of the rest of us!
Have a great holiday!
Genidef · 13/05/2007 21:18
You could look upon the payment as house sitting services. I personally hate leaving our place unoccupied when we're away. I do think letting a huge crew in for the time you're away counts for something, though, although it's hard to say how you should factor this in, as I do agree fundamentally you have to pay an au pair/nanny whoever when you're away as they're free to work. You would hope she'd get you guys a gift/flowers whatever to thank you...
ScottishThistle · 14/05/2007 10:53
If you're going away & not taking her with you then yes you should pay her.
With regards to the heating/lighting etc I'm sure she won't be home very much if she has 6 friends over on holiday.
I'm sure she'll appreciate you allowing her friends to stay & you'll benefit in the long run as she'll be a happy AP.
Anna8888 · 14/05/2007 13:22
I think you are amazingly generous to let her have six friends to stay. I think I could have agreed to one or two friends, if I really liked the au pair, but not six.
Having said that, your generosity in having friends to stay has nothing to do with pay/food to the au pair, which you must provide as usual.
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