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.
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.
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.
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.
We’re trying out some changes we made to the membership model for the Host Families. Previously a host family got one free job post, when they registered, and two job posts when they upgraded. We’ve now changed that so host families, regardless of whether they are Premium Members or not, get unlimited job postings. We made this change in order to facilitate our new job posting format, whereby we now require a host family to have an active job posted when in order to use the site.
When a new member logs in now they will be taken to the job posting screen, once they have a job posted and while the job is active, future log ins will take them to the standard Host Family homepage. If an existing member logs in, and they previously posted a job, they will be taken to the job posting screen, with the option to reuse/re-post one of their previous jobs.
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.
Today we increase the price of our Premium Membership plan, from €20 to €27, this price increase is down to a number of factors including the intense investment in, and development of the site over the past four months, all of the new functionality since our last price increase, and the fact that our last price increase was over 6 years ago – in late 2008.
Our new price still offers you great value for money, and we are still one of the cheapest when compared to competitors’ plans.
Today is AuPairIreland.ie’s 8th birthday!
A lot has changed over the years. This is how the first website looked:
And Mahooneys the kitten, who features on our Error 404 page was a lot younger:
Today she’s a lot older, and just as unwise:
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.
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.