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Au Pairs and holidays?

12 replies

eleusis · 18/09/2007 08:36

Following on from my nanny thread about the new holiday law, I'm wondering what people do if they have au pairs rather than nannies.

How much holiday do you give to your au pair? Is it paid?

How much holiday is your au pair legally entitled to? Does it have to be paid?

Also, if the au pair is from the EU, is she legally classed as an employee?

OP posts:

ingles2 · 18/09/2007 10:28

Hi Eleusis....
Ok from what I understand from the agency I use au pairs are not employees, they are here on a cultural exchange, and will do light work in return for board, lodging, the chance to be part of your family and pocket money which should be below £91 a week, so they don't have to pay tax. We give our au pair 2 weeks paid holiday a year and another 2 weeks unpaid but I don't think legally you have to give them anything. Also I think au pairs should be EU citizens, can't remember why and I know there are ways around this. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong please..


MrsRecycle · 18/09/2007 10:47

Oh are you going to get an AP ele?? Tell me more!!

I'm generous with my holidays - I give 2 weeks per every six months in the contract but in practice this is a lot more - they normally have all the school holidays off. For example my AP is here for 6 months, is having a week off in October, 2 weeks at Xmas, 1 week half-term in February so 4 weeks in all. But I don't pay overtime. It actually works out that the extra days she has off equate to the extra days when she has to look after dds for the day (due to sickness etc).


eleusis · 18/09/2007 11:52

no, I'm not. Just thinking forward. When current nanny leaves (probably end of next summer) I might go for an au pair then. But, the holiday issue has come up on the nanny threads, and I just wndered what the law is for au pairs. It appears you don't have to give them hols at all. (not that I would do that, but it is interesting that none are legally required)

Hmm... I think the move from nanny to au pair is looking more attractive. DS will be 3.4 in September. I wonder if that is old enough for an au pair. I'd have to enroll him in full time nursery and she could do the school run. Would get me out of five weeks of pain hold plus taxes... Oh and I could use childcare vouchers. Hmmm... might have to run numbers in more detail when it gets nearer the time.

OP posts:

mummypoppins · 18/09/2007 11:56


Its an intersting debate. We moved the other way. I got so fed up with moody sulky lazy au pairs. We have a big driving requirement which is always scary with AP's and the homework became a real issue for us as the children got older.

You have posted on my other thread this am so you know I am a little miffed with our Nanny today but if it fell apart I wouldnt go back to an Au pair unless she was english Mother tongue. My DS was getting nothing in his spelling tests with our last Au pair yet I thought she would have jumped at the chance to improve her English.


eleusis · 18/09/2007 12:25

Oh no you don't. I am so looking forward to reducing the childcare bill. You are not allowed to come here and burst that bubble.

LA LA LA fingers in ears LA LA LA LA...


OP posts:

MrsWobble · 18/09/2007 12:29

i've done the same as mummypoppins as well. i got fed up with well intentioned but untrained girls and really didn't want to have to train them - it's not easy when you're not there and if i was there i wouldn't need the help.

sorry eleusis - i'm sure this isn't what you wanted to hear.


eleusis · 18/09/2007 12:30


OP posts:

Anna8888 · 18/09/2007 12:44

Eleusis - one of my best friends here gets her au pairs from Russia - they are always post-grads who have done modern languages degrees and want to be interpreters - so they are in their mid-20s, hardworking and responsible and very good with homework etc because they are really into improving their French. They're terrible cooks, though, and have never seen modern domestic appliances.

Don't know whether the Russia thing works in the UK, though.


ingles2 · 18/09/2007 12:53

Ok, so someone has to defend au pairs
I guess it really depends on your circumstances but in our case a nanny wouldn't really work. We live rurally and also I'm a freelancer so it's great to have someone doing a bit of cleaning when I am at home, so I can dedicate more time to both my ds and also someone consistently at home, who is like a big sister when I'm at work. The driving is an issue but I know now to only employ girls from EU countries and who have been driving for at least 3 years. We have had 3 really fantastic girls from Germany and the CRepublic who have been a pleasure to have stay. At the beginning I make sure I have a couple of weeks to help them settle in and work out what they are doing and I also get them a few driving lessons to make sure everything is fine. My only mistake was hiring a male aupair this summer won't be doing that again!
Also the agency I use has just started providing NVQchildcare courses so my new au pair goes to college 2 days a week during school hours to get her NVQ2. I think as long as you use a decent agency who will really try and find you the right person and you can cope with someone in your house all time it's a really good solution.


Squiffy · 18/09/2007 12:54

Although I am still deep in my love-fest with my latest nanny, I will definately go back to au-pairs when my kids are older. I had a few when I only had one child and am a big fan of Swedes, mostly because they drive like angels, speak fab english and do the very daftest of things - my last au-pair left 18 months ago and my friends are STILL laughing about some of her exploits (her terrifying the Mousses rep, Simon - known to many MNers - was probably the funniest)...

Re the OP, so far as I know you don't have to pay them anything for holidays (although we always did anyway). They are not legally classed as an employee if they are from one of the qualifying countries and even if they came from a non-qualifying country you don't have to treat them as an employee from a tax point of view if they earn less than £84 a week (below PAYE and NIC thresholds). I think basically because the premise is that they are part of the family then no employment laws or suchlike apply...


MrsRecycle · 18/09/2007 13:20

Another big fan of swedes - my current AP is Swedish as well and is wonderful. I was in the same situation as you when we had our first nightmare AP (you know the details ele) but after getting N who, as you know was wonderful, we were able to gradually move dd2 away from the childminder to an AP.


eleusis · 18/09/2007 14:32

What I'm thinking is au pair gets DD and DS ready in morning (fed and dressed)and heads off to the bus for the school/nursery run. Then, goes back to pick them both up round 5:30 (after they have had tea) and brings them home for bathtime and gets them into pyjamas before I appear at 7:00.

But, need to work out the afternoons between school and that 5:30 pick up. Need to think a bit more about this...

OP posts:
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