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Couple au pair?


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#1 pianohands

Posted 03 December 2018 - 10:55 AM

Has anyone had an experience with a couple au pair?  Good idea or really bad?  How would you work out the pocket money?  I'm presuming it would be less as you will be forking out more for food and electricity?

Any advice appreciated!

#2 marple

Posted 03 December 2018 - 11:09 AM

Pocket money?
Aren't you supposed to pay a wage?
Do you mean a couple sleeping in your house to look after your children of an afternoon?
If one goes out is the other one working?
So many questions.

#3 hm6

Posted 03 December 2018 - 04:59 PM

Yep lots of questions - not sure what you mean by ‘ pocket money’ - what are you providing them with exactly ?Where are they staying at your place - do they have their own seperate space? What are your expectations ?
On the info you’ve given - it sounds like a bad deal for them but perhaps you are leaving important info out?

#4 Luci

Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:24 PM

I am hoping you will be paying them more than just a bit of "pocket money".

Their wages will depend on the number of hours they are expected to work each week and what the living arrangements will be. Will you provide all their food or will they cook for themselves?

I suggest you contact a professional agency that provides au pair placements and see if they can advise you on suitable wages.

#5 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:35 PM

I’m assuming by pocket money, you mean the award wage minus than the value of room and board (whatever that fairly works out to be).  

But I think if they were both working for you, and sharing a room, you’d have to give each one a bit more money, because the value of the room would be split between them.

If one wasn’t working then yes the other would get less cash if you are providing board for both of them.

Edited by Feral-as-Meggs, 03 December 2018 - 05:36 PM.


#6 Cimbom

Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:42 PM

Au pairs are your employees and are entitled to a fair, legal wage for the work they do. The food and housing may be a condition of their employment but it is not in lieu of a wage

#7 Cimbom

Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:51 PM

Also don't do what I see many people do who take on au pairs and subtract the market rate of a room in a share house, the actual cost of the food and utilities used, etc from their pay and think that represents a fair wage. Living in a bedroom of your employer's house with their whole family and kids is not worth the same as living in a share house of your choosing. They are effectively on call when they are there and don't have the full privacy of their own home.

#8 blimkybill

Posted 03 December 2018 - 05:54 PM

The reference to pocket money comes from guidelines published about the rights and responsibilities of au pairs.
Pocket money refers to the amount paid in cash, which should be worked out as the value of the work provided (at least at minimum wage) less the value of board (including food).

Eg this quote from au Pair World:
Pocket money

Your host family will give you [url="https://www.aupairwo...air/pocketmoney"%5Dpocket money%5B/url%5D in exchange for your help. Au pairs are entitled to receive the national minimum wage, which amounts to $18.29 per hour (gross). The average cost of "room and board" (AUD $350) is to be deducted from the total. On that basis, we can recommend an amount of 200-250 AUD for 30 hours/week.


To work out an appropriate amount, I would first of all reduce the value of the board if the couple were sharing a room. So calculate as the value of one room, but the value of two lots of food, bills etc. So it might work out at closer to $250 each rather than the recommended $350 for one person.  Then also work out how much work each of them will do, do the maths, and work out a total for each person. Note if one member of the couple is not working for you at all they may reasonably have to pay for their board.

#9 Lifesgood

Posted 03 December 2018 - 06:18 PM

A colleague at work had a couple au pair but only she looked after the children. He was not employed, just co-habited. I'm not sure exactly how they charged them for food, bills etc but it seemed to work out ok, the male partner had casual work elsewhere and helped out with the kids and odd jobs as suited him.

#10 born.a.girl

Posted 03 December 2018 - 06:24 PM

View PostCimbom, on 03 December 2018 - 05:51 PM, said:

Also don't do what I see many people do who take on au pairs and subtract the market rate of a room in a share house, the actual cost of the food and utilities used, etc from their pay and think that represents a fair wage. Living in a bedroom of your employer's house with their whole family and kids is not worth the same as living in a share house of your choosing. They are effectively on call when they are there and don't have the full privacy of their own home.


Worth repeating.  What's viewed as fabulous from the employer's point of view (compared with what they'd pay elsewhere) is simply a false comparison.

This is a bit of a bugbear of mine.

#11 Mollyksy

Posted 03 December 2018 - 06:27 PM

Ok, I'm confused. Lifesgood's example is an pair that lived on site with their partner, an extra. Ignoring he helped with the kids, you'd assume the basic au pair 'pocket money' for her would be less as they paid for him to live there too.

Having him contribute too leads onto example two, I assumed a couple au pair is two that share a room and share responsibilities equally. To me, that would cost slightly more than 2 individual au pairs as the 'host' was only providing one room, but two of everything else. Are they on duty together or complementary hours? I guess it works for like 8 kids!! I'd then reduce the 'pocket money' (by increasing room cost) if each doesn't provide a full au pair worth of contribution.

That hurts my head! I think I'd prefer option 1 with a clear au pair and a live in partner.

Edited by Mollyksy, 03 December 2018 - 06:29 PM.


#12 Cimbom

Posted 03 December 2018 - 07:03 PM

I'm not sure what Au Pair World is but personally I think $200 for 30 hours of work is very low :shrug:

#13 spr_maiden

Posted 03 December 2018 - 07:58 PM

^ I thought that too!

#14 Future-self

Posted 03 December 2018 - 08:07 PM

The Op would probably like advice from people who have had an Au Pair rather than people who have absolutely no idea what the role and responsibilities of them are and can’t even be assed googling to find out.

#15 spr_maiden

Posted 03 December 2018 - 08:13 PM

hmmmm, I don't recall giving advice in my post.  I was simply commenting that I also thought the wage seems low.
Your post is aggressive in response to what's a pretty low key comment.

#16 WaitForMe

Posted 03 December 2018 - 08:30 PM

View PostCimbom, on 03 December 2018 - 07:03 PM, said:

I'm not sure what Au Pair World is but personally I think $200 for 30 hours of work is very low Posted Image

It does seem low doesn't it, but thats because minimum wage is low.

$18.29 x 30 = $548.70
-$350 board = $198.70

Minimum wage though I'd be expecting someone with very little experience. I've hired a few nannies, with a bit of experience under their belt they are generally about $25-$30+ per hour.

Also worth bearing in mind that 30 hours is about 3 days of full time care. 4 days a week is generally seen as full time for a nanny.

#17 blimkybill

Posted 03 December 2018 - 08:32 PM

View PostCimbom, on 03 December 2018 - 07:03 PM, said:

I'm not sure what Au Pair World is but personally I think $200 for 30 hours of work is very low Posted Image
It's $200 to $250 plus room and board and bills. And room, board and bills is worth a fair bit.
I know some people think living in someone's home is not worth $300 to $350 a week and is not as good as living in a share house. But for au pairs they may prefer it to a share house, they probably get good quality food, furnishings, internet, etc, even access to a car, which they probably wouldn't get, or would have to fund, in a share house. There's no lease to sign or bond to pay, and families often include their au pair in family activities or trips.
It seems like there are plenty of people willing to do it.
(My only experience is doing it myself overseas when much younger; I enjoyed being part of a family and I certainly got better quality food than if I had been living in a share house).

#18 pianohands

Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:10 PM

Sorry I assumed (wrongly) that people would understand how au pairs work.  
It is a cultural exchange NOT like employing a nanny. They live with you, usually share meals with you, go out for dinner with you. Most aupairs get free use of a car, unlimited internet, all food, bills etc

My question was simply around how to work out pocket money (not wages they are not employees) for a couple.

#19 pianohands

Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:13 PM

View PostLuci, on 03 December 2018 - 05:24 PM, said:

I am hoping you will be paying them more than just a bit of "pocket money".

Their wages will depend on the number of hours they are expected to work each week and what the living arrangements will be. Will you provide all their food or will they cook for themselves?

I suggest you contact a professional agency that provides au pair placements and see if they can advise you on suitable wages.

My arrangement is exactly what professional aupair companies recommend  🤦🏻‍♀️

#20 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:27 PM

View Postpianohands, on 04 December 2018 - 06:10 PM, said:

My question was simply around how to work out pocket money (not wages they are not employees) for a couple.

This is going way off topic but the words pocket money have very negative connotations. It should probably be called it spending money if it is not wages.  

(Yes Im aware that its a term that Aur Pair organisations use)

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 04 December 2018 - 06:29 PM.


#21 pianohands

Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:30 PM

Agree! It is a terrible term but it’s the one that’s used as standard 🤷🏼‍♀️

#22 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:33 PM

View Postpianohands, on 04 December 2018 - 06:30 PM, said:

Agree! It is a terrible term but it’s the one that’s used as standard ‍♀️

Im probably a bit sensitive to it as I have had it used by employers who tried to rip me off!  I cant see it ever being used for a male.

#23 Luci

Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:36 PM

View Postpianohands, on 04 December 2018 - 06:13 PM, said:

My arrangement is exactly what professional aupair companies recommend  ‍♀️

Your question was mainly about how much to pay them, not whether the arrangement was recommended. I was responding with the suggestion of obtaining professional advice regarding the payment.

#24 WaitForMe

Posted 04 December 2018 - 07:53 PM

pianohands, maybe try and find some FB groups for au pairs, they might be more knowledgeable and also give an indication of what they'd expect in such an arrangement.

#25 AsperHacker

Posted 04 December 2018 - 08:12 PM

View Postpianohands, on 04 December 2018 - 06:10 PM, said:

Sorry I assumed (wrongly) that people would understand how au pairs work.  
It is a cultural exchange NOT like employing a nanny. They live with you, usually share meals with you, go out for dinner with you. Most aupairs get free use of a car, unlimited internet, all food, bills etc

My question was simply around how to work out pocket money (not wages they are not employees) for a couple.

Actually, *some* au pairs ARE employees and *some* are based on a cultural exchange. In the case of cultural exchange the workload of caring for children is secondary to the cultural experience and the hours of Child care reflect that.

Everyone who has commented has taken into account board, food, internet etc. Considering the issues around both au pairs and host families, your snarkiness suggests you understand less about an au pair arrangement than you think.




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