Au Pairs are not entitled to the minimum wage or paid holidays. They're treated as a member of the family they live with and get ‘pocket money' instead - usually about £70 - 85 per week. Au Pairs may have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance, depending on how much pocket money they get. Au Pairs can reasonably be expected to provide up to two evenings babysitting per week but should be paid extra for any additional evenings worked.
To ensure that your Au Pair isn't classed as an employee or paid worker, it is important to pay reference to the Government’s guidance . Alternatively, BAPAA is the only recognised trade association for the Au Pair industry in Britain and provides information, support and training to its registered agencies and also helps to set industry standards for the benefit of host families and Au Pairs. They promote assistance to families considering the possibility of providing an Au Pair opportunity.
Many people tend to think Nannies and Au Pairs are in the same category but they are totally different. Au Pairs are not nanny-substitutes, and usually have no formal childcare training. It is not recommended that Au Pairs take continuous sole charge of children under 2 years of age.
Au Pairs can be on duty from 25–30 hrs/week if they are from an EU country. These hours can be spread out over 5 days/week. Longer hours (35 hours) are usually referred to as ‘Au Pair plus'. Many Au Pair Agencies also offer ‘Mother’s Help’ positions; this is not part of the traditional cultural exchange programme, as it usually involves longer hours and schedules can conflict with language classes.
There are many agencies and websites available to you, some of whom are listed within the FID. Alternatively, BAPAA is the only recognised trade association for the Au Pair industry in Britain and provides information, support and training to its registered agencies and also helps to set industry standards for the benefit of host families and Au Pairs.
- To enrich the life of a foreign young person through cultural exchange. Very often the relationships built in the process can continue for a lifetime.
- Your Au Pair should have their own bedroom and be allowed proper time to study English, with 2 days a week free time.
- It is important to remember too that your Au Pair may feel homesick at times so it can be helpful to look into local Au Pair groups or online forums where your Au Pair can meet others which will make the transition that much easier for all concerned.
- An Au Pair should not be expected to carry out heavier housework duties such as gardening, washing upholstery and carpets, cleaning windows, washing the car or doing ironing and bed changing for parents.
- It will take a lot of effort to find your ideal Au Pair, so it is important to keep to the agreement made and offer competitive duties and pocket money so that Au Pair doesn't become unhappy and look for a new host family.
- Allow you Au Pair to return home to visit family and friends each year, at her own expense. It is currently recommended that you offer at least 28 days paid holiday. Bank holidays should be treated as such, with the offer of the day off or another day off in lieu of the bank holiday worked.
- It is your responsibility to ensure your Au Pair is allowed to drive on her current driving licence, that your insurance provider is notified and your are confident that your Au Pair is capable and responsible driving in the UK, prior to allowing her to take your vehicle.
- Show your Au Pair the local area by taking her for a drive, it offers the opportunity to evaluate her driving skills.