Au Pair wage set to increase from January 2019

The minimum legal wage for an au pair, and all other workers, is to rise by 25c, from €9.55 per hour, to €9.80 per hour from January 2019.

This increase was recommended by the Low Pay Commission, and accepted by the Cabinet yesterday.

This minimum wage increase will apply to all childcare workers, including live-in and live-out au pairs employed in Ireland, following the court ruling in 2016 which recognised au pairs as employees.

However host families who host live-in au pairs will still be entitled to deduct the standard €54.13 per week (or €7.73 per day) Food & Board allowance. Our au pair salary calculator will be updated once this new wage comes into effect.

Au Pair Working Hours in Ireland

Traditionally the role of an au pair would have involved between 20 and 25 hours work per week, with occasional paid babysitting duties. However in early 2016 a Workplace Relations Commission ruling recently recognised au pairs as employees, which instilled on them, the same rights and expectations as Continue reading Au Pair Working Hours in Ireland

Au pair Interview questions

We’ve put together a list of some interview questions you might find handy, when looking for your perfect au pair. They cover a wide range of topics including travelling, personal life, driving and working.

You’ll also find a link, at the bottom of the page, which allows you to download and print these questions, to have with you during the interview. Continue reading Au pair Interview questions

Au Pair house rules and guidelines

Establishing written house rules and guidelines is a very important part in the hiring process of your au pair. Establishing rules and guidelines can help both you and your au pair avoid misunderstandings, and sources of possible conflict.

Rules and guidelines will vary from home to home, but the following are some you might want to address:

  • Set a day-by-day timetable, including start time, finish time, and what days the au pair has off
  • Babysitting – how often it would be expected, and is it included in the au pair’s base pay. If it is not included in their base pay, how much will you be paying your au pair for the service
  • Au pair wages – when are they paid, what rate the au pair is being paid, and how frequently they will receive their wages
  • Curfew – if you have one, make sure you mention it. If your au pair is not spending the night in your house, by what time do they have to they let you know
  • Are Smoking and drinking permitted, if so when and where
  • Phones – important phone numbers (creche, doctor, parents, neighbours, etc.) should be stored on the au pairs phone, the phone should be kept charged, with credit at all times
  • Establish rules that address the use of phones during working hours and mealtimes
  • Computer use – when and where computers can be used, are your children permitted to use the computer with your au pair
  • Au pair car use – when your au pair can use the car, can it be used during the au pair’s time off, and who is responsible for replacing petrol
  • Cleanliness – address how your au pair’s room should be kept, how frequently they should hoover, change bed-sheets, etc.
  • Cleanliness in common areas such as the bathroom, kitchen or living room – what are the standards expected, and who is expected to clean up after your children
  • If you recycle make sure your au pair understands the process
  • Children’s eating and sleeping times
  • What times children need to be dressed by, and what time they should be in bedclothes by
  • Children’s important activities and appointments, when they start, when they end, and where they are
  • Treats for the children – for example sweets and television, are these allowed – if so, how much and how often, and on what conditions

Continue reading Au Pair house rules and guidelines

Au Pairs for the Elderly

We first blogged about elderly / senior au pairs about 5 years ago.

At the time we were just starting to see elderly au pairs emerge as a viable option for caring for the elderly. Now 5 years later, they have become an established and popular home care option, and a fantastic alternative to a nursing home.

What is an elderly/senior au pair?

An elderly au pair, or senior au pair as they are also known, is an individual who provides companionship, light home care, and other assisted living duties for a person, or in some cases a couple, in their own home. Continue reading Au Pairs for the Elderly

10 ways to get more applicants for your Au Pair ad

We always see a noticeable disparity in the number of applicants a job in the city will receive, compared to a job in the countryside. It’s not unusual for city jobs get as many as thirty times more applicants, than their country equivalent.

We’ve blogged about this in the past, posts aimed at jobseekers,  trying to encourage them to apply for positions outside the cities, so in this posting we thought we’d share some tips with host families, especially those living in the countryside, on how to get more applicants. Continue reading 10 ways to get more applicants for your Au Pair ad

Legal Cases being Pursued Against Many Irish Host Families

We received an email this week from a host family, who had received a letter off the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI). The MRCI, acting on behalf of an au pair previously employed by their family, was threatening to bring a law suit against them and sue for non-payment the minimum wage.

According to the host family:

“there are 30-40 cases pending at the WRC which involves over 1000 au pairs, and this is increasing on a weekly basis”

and

“I definitely think host families need to be made more aware of the whole situation and that they are opening themselves to a huge liability”

Their original advert for the job was posted earlier this year and the au pair worked and lived with the family for around 5-6 months. So this family are potentially looking at having to pay their ex-employee the shortfall of 5-6 months of the difference, between what they were, and what they should have been paying them.

Our host family’s signing-off comment was

It looks like this is going to be very costly.

On the subject of the cases themselves, Aoife Smith of MRCI said:

the length of time to resolve each case varies depending on the parties willingness to resolve the issue. Situations can be resolved very quickly in some cases, where the families recognise their responsibility and make payment immediately, or it can take longer if disputes arise or if going through the Work place Relations Commission and labour inspectors.

and that the role of the MRCI is to

provide advocacy to au pairs in a number of ways. An au pairs come to our Drop In service, sometimes the au pair is happy to receive support to self advocate and discuss employment concerns with the family herself, other options include MRCI advocating on behalf of the au pair with her consent, if this is unsuccessful, MRCI may refer the case to the Workplace Relations Commission and/or Labour Inspector who will then investigate the case, they may also carry out an inspection and seek employment records etc. A complaint made to the WRC may result in a hearing at the WRC.

We strongly advise all host families to read our other blog postings, on the WRC/MRCI court case and ruling, and the minimum wages that an au pair, or any other domestic worker is entitled to, as an employee. This posting is most definitely not meant to put you off hiring an au pair, it is only meant to make you aware of the possible consequences if you fail to pay your au pair the minimum wage.