If you decide to invite an Au Pair – you will become what is known as a Host Family. Here is a guide to being a host family and the process of inviting Au Pair to your home
What is required from a Host Family?
The word Au Pair – ‘an equal’ from French – is at the heart of the concept: Au Pair is expected to be treated as an equal member of Host Family for the duration of her/his stay.
Own Bedroom and free use of home appliances: An Au Pair must be offered own bedroom and depending of the number of bathrooms in the house – either own or shared access to a bathroom. As the Au Pair will live with Host Family, she must be provided with free access to home amenities like bathroom and kitchen and be free to use home appliances – washing machine, cooker, microwave, as well as the Wi-Fi.
Food: During the working week Au Pair usually has meals with the children. During the time off Au Pair must have free access to the food at host family’s home, although she is expected to prepare her own meals.
Weekly hourly plan: We request that each Au Pair is provided with a weekly hourly plan – this way he/she will know exactly when is she required to work. The Host Family must also allow the Au Pair to attend English course – typically twice a week – this needs to be arranged between the family and the Au Pair. English classes typically take place either in the mornings or in the evenings.
Time off: The Au Pair’s schedule must provide sufficient time to attend language school. Au Pair shall receive two free days each week – usually over the weekend – to ensure she/he has time for sightseeing and traveling, meeting new friends etc.
Babysitting: Two evenings babysitting per week are included as part of the programme (three evenings for Au Pair Plus) Any additional babysitting must be agreed between the candidate and host family and paid extra at a pre-agreed rate.
How long will the Au Pair stay with me?
This depends fully on your requirements and can vary from 2 months (Summer Au Pair) to 6 or 12 months.
So what will this cost me?
Here is a summary of costs associated with the programme
1. Weekly pocket money
Au Pair is not paid a salary – hence there is no requirement for NI or tax – but a pocket money. Prime Au Pairs sets a minimum pocket money amount based on the number of hours worked:
- £75/week for Au Pair = max 25 hours/week
- £95/week for Au Pair Plus = max 35 hours/week
It is important that the host family considers special circumstances when setting the amount of the weekly pocket money – for instance if a host family lives in a rural area and the transportation costs is reasonably high, then the host family should consider offering an above the minimum allowance.
While the Au Pair is responsible for covering the cost of arriving to/from the UK and paying for the English course – sometimes a Host Family offers to help with such costs – but it is at family’s discretion. It may however allow for a greater response rate from potential candidates – please specify this in the registration form.
2. Prime Au Pairs Agency Fee
We do not charge you anything until you select your perfect candidate! Once you are ready to offer a place for the Au Pair, you will be asked to issue an invitation letter (don’t worry – we will send you a handy template for that!) and settle an agency fee within 5 working days.
3. Expenses related to the Au Pair’s role
All expenses related to the Au Pair’s role, such as the cost of activities Au Pair is asked to undertake (e.g. when asked to take children to the swimming pool or a play centre) or travel (e.g. bus ride to collect children from school) must be paid in full by the family.
4. Other consideration
Extra Hours: Should an Au Pair be asked to work extra hours, the additional hours wage needs to be agreed between host family and the candidate. Prime Au Pairs sets a minimum pay of £4 for each extra hour worked – but note the total number of hours in one week must not exceed 35.
Holidays: Minimum paid holiday is 4 weeks per year including public and bank holidays, or pro-rata for shorter periods. Prime Au Pairs – in line with BAPAA guidance – sets a guidance for 1 week of paid holidays for each 3 months worked.
Bank Holidays: UK Public Holidays are included in the recommended holiday allowance – Au Pairs can either be given the day off or have a day off in lieu as part of their holiday allowance.
Pay Levels: Please note it is Host Family’s responsibility to ensure compliance with HMRC guidance. (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk) Prime Au Pairs urges the families not to exceed the maximum number of hours worked nor go above the weekly pocket money threshold set for Income Tax and NI to ensure compliance.
As a reminder – for 2017/2018 the primary threshold for paying NI contributions is £157 per week and standard Personal Allowance is £11,500 = ~£221/week
The Au Pair must receive the weekly allowance at the end of each working week. Should there be a preference from either side to pay/receive the money on a four weekly or monthly basis – this needs to be individually agreed in advance between the Au Pair and Host Family.
Driving in the UK: If a host family requires the candidate to drive as part of the duties, it is then the host family’s responsibility to cover the following:
- Costs of driving lessons with a local driving school instructor to ensure competency to drive in the UK
- Cost of car insurance
- Cost of fuel and car maintenance
Welcoming the Au Pair upon arrival in the UK
The family should, wherever possible, collect the Au Pair from the airport upon the first arrival to the UK. Should that not be possible – arrange and pay for an alternative travel (collection by taxi or organise reasonable onward travel by public transport). For additional fee Prime Au Pairs can assist with the airport meet and greet – please contact us should this be required.
Lastly – the Healthcare in the UK for an Au Pair
The Au Pair must travel to the UK with an EHIC card which lets her/him to receive an access to state healthcare at a reduced cost or free. While recruiting the candidates, Prime Au Pairs asks the candidates to purchase an additional insurance for health/travel/loss property/accident etc.