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aupair duties and pay

(6 Posts)
Kathygagh Mon 10-Feb-14 15:55:51

Hello.
I work as an au pair and I have a few concerns. I would really appreciate if you could give me your advice.
I work for a family with 2 children. The younger daughter is 10 and the older one is 23. What we agreed upon, with the parents, when we chatted on Skype, before moving in with them, was obviously looking after the young girl and doing light housework. The housework included hoovering the house, dusting, ironing, laundry.
When I first moved in, and also for a few months things were fine, but I realised that I was the only one doing all the cleaning. And from the duties previously mentioned I ended up being asked to do the windows, cleaning the radiators, all the cleaning, all the dusting, kitchen being cleaned separately, I also had to clean the oven, the dishwasher, clean all their dishes ( that they would just leave in the sink, dirty) change their bed sheets, iron the bed sheets and all their clothes (not only the kid's clothes). They also have 5 bathrooms that I have to clean by myself every week. On top of that I need to mop the floors, clean all the spider webs, the fire places. Basically everything that has to do with cleaning. Everything that can be cleaned in this house I need to do, including cleaning their daughter's room and tidying the mother's make up products. I work around 36 hours a week (M-F) and they also tell me that I need to work when they have guests or parties on the weekends but they never pay me for those extra hours. And sometimes they just go shopping during the weekends and leave the girl at the house, so I need to look after her.
What is more, I am the one cutting the onions, vegetables and salad for dinner everyday.

I feel more of a house cleaner than an au pair. And I also feel like they, especially her, doesn't really care about other things as long as I clean her house. Also I feel that she just used the girl as an excuse to get a cleaner, pretending she needed an au pair. Although she is never in charge of the little girl, I am the one showing her around and teaching her everything. When I first arrived the girl didn't even know how to tie her shoe laces, how to blow her nose, how to put her things back in their place etc. I showed her and taught her to do all that.

He is a lawyer and she is a doctor.
I don't know what I should do, because they don't treat me bad, they are not rude but somehow in a very discreet way they just ask me to do more and more.And when I try to talk to her, she barely lets me speak, always saying that I am like a daughter to them and I eat at the same table with them. Leaving no space for me to complain or just tell them what I feel.
I am paid 80£ a week.
I don't know exactly what type of housework au pairs are supposed to be doing and I am very confused.

Kathygagh Mon 10-Feb-14 15:58:32

I would also like.to know how much do you pay your aupair and what do.you expect them to do?

Karoleann Mon 10-Feb-14 16:49:18

No, that's not reasonable. Just get a new position, au pairs generally aren't expected to stay for the long term and now that you have experience you're likely to get a better post anyhow.

Make sure next time that the family also have a cleaner!

Heartychoke Mon 10-Feb-14 16:55:47

As you say yourself they are using you as a cleaner not an au pair.

I've always taken the view that it is ok to ask au pairs to do light housework but exactly what this means should be explained in the contract. Our au pair hoovers the children's rooms, sweeps up after breakfast, stacks and in stacks the dishwasher and that's it. A friend also gets her au pair to iron her husband's shirts but that was agreed in the contract before the au pair started and comes within the standard 25 hours a week.

The 25 hour a week limit is normal for an au pair and all my au pairs have been pretty clued up about that and made it clear (quite fairly) that they expected to work no more than that. Having said that the 15 hours don't include two evening babysitting a each week which is also v standard. For these 25 hours we pay £85 in London, again this seems v standard.

Heartychoke Mon 10-Feb-14 16:56:38

That last para of my post should say 25 not 15.

Kathygagh Mon 10-Feb-14 19:35:23

Thank you so much for your responses. This being my first time I didnt know exactly where to look and how to choose a family, but if I want to continue being au pair I will only consider those who have a cleaner too.

Believe me when I say, sometimes I just don't want to go downstairs because I am afraid they might ask me to do/clean smth else.
Could you recommend a good website where I could find other HF? The current family I found on aupair-world.

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