Low Pay Commission Release Food & Board report

The Low Pay Commission have just released their review of Food & Board rates report.

The review was commissioned by Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen T.D.

Announcing the review, after the Au Pair Placement Bill 2016 was defeated in July 2016, Mr. Breen said:

“The current amount for board and lodgings (€54.13 per week or €7.73 per day) is set out in the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 (National Minimum Hourly Rate of Pay) Order 2000 (SI No. 95/2000). I am very conscious of the passage of time since these rates were set and I think it is timely that these rates be reviewed. To this end it is my intention to ask the Low Pay Commission to review the allowances for board and lodgings, provided for under the National Minimum Wage Act, as part of their next work programme”

The above statement seemed to suggest the allowance would be updated to better reflect the current cost of living. However, with the release of the report, we find ourselves in a bizarre situation where the food and board allowance would be reduced in the majority of cases. This means hard-pressed host families will now find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to pay more to employ an au pair, than before, and an an au pair will pay less for food and board, than they would have 17 years ago.

The table below show the proposed new rate, compared to the current rate:

Hours worked (by au pair per week) Current Wage (after current Food & Board allowance applied) Proposed Wage (after new Food & Board allowance applied)
30 €245 €252
20 €152 €168
10 €60.36 €84.30

The reason for the change is, the Low Pay Commission decided that rather than a worker being charged a flat weekly rate for board, their board should now be calculated at a rate of €0.82 per hour worked.

We don’t know if the report findings have been accepted by the government, and, if they have, when they will come into effect. We’ll keep you updated.

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