Recent Changes to Au Pair’s Wages

Given the recent court case which recognises that au pairs are employees entitled to be paid a minimum wage, currently (January 2018) between €7.64 and €9.55 per hour, we have updated our blog posting on au pair wages, you can view the posting at https://www.aupairireland.ie/blog/au-pair-wages-au-pair-costs/187.

Our opinion on this ruling is that, it is only fair that au pairs are paid the minimum wage, however it is unfair to host families, given the cost of living in Ireland, that the maximum deduction a host family can make for hosting the au pair, is €54.13 for full board and lodgings per week.

It’s a complex and emotive issue for most people involved, both host families and au pairs, and it will take some time to see the full effects of the ruling.

While there has been a notable increase in the salaries being offered on the site, in the two weeks since the ruling, we have also noticed a worrying (approximately) 30% decrease in jobs being posted. So, for the moment, it looks like it is a significantly reduced number of au pairs who are going to benefit from this ruling.

Further Reading

“Already applied for job” notification

We’ve added some new functionality for jobseekers. If a logged-in jobseeker has already applied for a position, they will be notified of that under the job title on the job description page. Previously the jobseeker was only notified when they went to submit their application, but now they will be warned on the job description page itself. This functionality only works for logged in job seekers, who apply for jobs using the inline job application form.

County and Country links on job descriptions and job search results pages

We’ve added cross-linking to the Locations on our job descriptions, and to our job search results pages.

This new functionality allows a jobseeker who’s looking at either a job description, or looking at a job search results page, to click the job’s location and view all jobs listed for that location. This functionality has existed on the Au Pair Ireland homepage for some time – job seekers can click the View Jobs by County links, to see all jobs in that county – however we’ve now made that functionality available throughout the site as a navigation aid to users.

Home Page Job Listings

We’ve changed the way jobs are listed on our homepage. Previously jobs were listed by the date they were posted, with the most recent job posted being listed first. We now list jobs according to the most recently logged in host family – so each time you log in your job appears at the top of the list on the homepage. We did this to encourage more applicants for jobs, with host families, that are most actively looking for jobseekers. The most recently posted jobs are, however, still listed by post date on the side panel of the jobs listing page.

New Homepage design

We’ve just launched a new homepage design, The new responsive homepage replaces the older one, which has existed in one format or another for about three years or so. The new, cleaner, design cuts down on visual clutter and prioritises the functionality based on feedback we got from heatmap of visitors’ interaction of the page. This new page retains all the functionality of the old page, so there’s nothing missing in the new version.

Added SSL to site

Yesterday the site was down for about two hours, while we switched over to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), SSL transmits all data transferred between your browser and this site in an encrypted format. You can tell the site has SSL enabled now, due to the https:// (instead of http://) in the address bar.

Besides the trust element of seeing “https://”, and the fact that Google now uses it as a ranking signal for its search results, I’m not sure what the benefit of having it on the site is. There seems to be a slight increase in load times for certain pages, so we’ll keep an eye on that and decide, based on that, if we want to continue using SSL in the future.

Site Update – Work progress

Just a quick update on progress on the work we’ve been doing on the site.

We have pretty much finished converting the Host Family section of the site to a responsive design, that means that you’ll see different views, each optimised for that device, when viewed on a desktop PC, a tablet, or on a mobile phone. There is still a small bit of cleaning-up to do, here and there, which we’ll get to as soon as the more urgent tasks are completed.

The second task we have started (and almost completed) is refactoring some of the slower pages on the site. Over the years the constant updates to pages has had an affect on the quality of the code behind those pages, it became a bit convuluted and cumbersome, this has caused them to run very slowly. We completely rewrote the code behind the Job Applications, Search Results, Favourites List, and the Downloaded CVs pages in the Host Families logged-in section, and we also rewrote the code behind the Free Au Pair Search page, which is accessed from the site homepage. All these pages are noticably faster now.

The latest bit of work we’ve started is converting the Au Pair/Jobseeker section of the site, this was only started today, 04/08/2015, and should go on for about 3 weeks.

So, that’s it really, busy bees.