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Old 06.08.2011, 20:11
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My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

I was working as a au pair.

12 hours a day (even when the contract says just 40 hours per week)
they paid me monthly 700 Chf

It was such a bad experience for me but i wont speak about it. After i left, (one year ago), i start to work with new family, this one called old one to ask about references. The old family (concretly the woman) says i been hitting the kids and many bad things. I went to her house to speak to her, she just said everything is not true!!!! Ok i asked her about references, she send it to me, twice with wrong dates (they wrote that i been working month and a half, and i worked 6 months!!), third time they send me the references was right dates and WITHOUT SIGNATURE. Why so complicated!!!!

Would like to know my rights, do somebody knows??!

Many thanks in advance!!!!
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Old 06.08.2011, 20:16
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Re: My rights....im so fed up

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I was working as a au pair.

12 hours a day (even when the contract says just 40 hours per week)
they paid me monthly 700 Chf

It was such a bad experience for me but i wont speak about it. After i left, (one year ago), i start to work with new family, this one called old one to ask about references. The old family (concretly the woman) says i been hitting the kids and many bad things. I went to her house to speak to her, she just said everything is not true!!!! Ok i asked her about references, she send it to me, twice with wrong dates (they wrote that i been working month and a half, and i worked 6 months!!), third time they send me the references was right dates and WITHOUT SIGNATURE. Why so complicated!!!!

Would like to know my rights, do somebody knows??!

Many thanks in advance!!!!
Take your references to your local arbeitsamt; explain the situation & ask them to check them & to contact your old employer/family.
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Old 06.08.2011, 20:24
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Re: My rights....im so fed up

Well you had an au Pair salary, but a job that would be totally illegal as an Au Pair. Happens all the time and it is wrong. Did they give you time off and paid for a French or German course. Do you know if you were insured? Did you have a contract signed by both parties, and did you go through an Agency?
I am so sorry that so many of you young people are misused like this- and not only in Switzerland. I seriously wish that the situation with the abuse of au-Pairs would be tightened up- but as there is such a shortage of proper child-care facilities (not just in Switzerland, same in UK) the authorities close a blind eye. Good luck.
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Old 06.08.2011, 20:37
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Re: My rights....im so fed up

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Well you had an au Pair salary, but a job that would be totally illegal as an Au Pair. Happens all the time and it is wrong. Did they give you time off and paid for a French or German course. Do you know if you were insured? Did you have a contract signed by both parties, and did you go through an Agency?
I am so sorry that so many of you young people are misused like this- and not only in Switzerland. I seriously wish that the situation with the abuse of au-Pairs would be tightened up- but as there is such a shortage of proper child-care facilities (not just in Switzerland, same in UK) the authorities close a blind eye. Good luck.

They did not paid me the german course, they even didnt paid the permit, they gave 100 Chf, to pay the permit, and the same day the gave me the super salary they told me about the money.

I was thinking to go to the police, because of the bad references that they gave about me, the magnitude of that acusation is very serious, hitting kids is not a joke and ive been working looking after kids MY WHOLE LIFE with very good references.

What should i do :-(????

I did not found the job by agency, they put an announcement and i contact them.
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Old 06.08.2011, 20:45
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

Sounds fairly simple - you had an illegitimate job (I bet they didn't pay social insurance or taxes either) and you were treated poorly.

Personally, I think you have two options - take it further, and then consider the consequences (were you properly registered with the authorities?) - or walk away and consider it life-experience.

And my advice is to never work for anyone without a proper work contract before you start...
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Old 06.08.2011, 20:54
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

Is your current family threatening to sack you because of the lack of reference and lies from the previous 'employer'- or is your job safe at the moment and the atmosphere with them OK?
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Old 06.08.2011, 21:18
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

I had contract with them, they made me the contract the second week i was working with them. Been working 6 months and i left, this happened year ago. Some 5 months ago, the family i start to work called the old one, and the made the acusation.

Now i just want my references, and forget them!!!

They were just bad to me, i waas not alloud to have any breakfast or snack in their house. Contract was 40 hours weekly, and i was working 11 hours a day!!!!
I was looking after 5 kids!!! 2 sets of twins and a baby, first twins, 6 years, second twins 3 years and a baby just had one year. It was a craaaazyyyy job!!!!!

Its just not fair let them gave bad reference about me or just send me just wrong references. I have to show up or they gonna make my life here even more difficult.

P.S. JUST HATE THEM!!!!
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Old 06.08.2011, 21:21
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

Quote:
Is your current family threatening to sack you because of the lack of reference and lies from the previous 'employer'- or is your job safe at the moment and the atmosphere with them OK?
The family its ok, they like me.....and trust me. Im working with them since 5 months, they are happy and me too!!!! Just want to show up to the old family!!!
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Old 06.08.2011, 21:26
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

Good- excellent news. If I were you, I'd put the past behind me and enjoy the current job and family. And when you do eventually leave, they will give you an excellent reference for all your hard work. What happened was bad and wrong - but let go and enjoy the future.x

A warning to all other young people out there- don't accept any old 'job' without a proper contract and conditions, if you can at all (and I realise for many of you ANY job can seem better at times than NO job- but there are sadly vultures out there to pluck you without any shame).
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Old 06.08.2011, 21:37
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

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Good- excellent news. If I were you, I'd put the past behind me and enjoy the current job and family. And when you do eventually leave, they will give you an excellent reference for all your hard work. What happened was bad and wrong - but let go and enjoy the future.x

A warning to all other young people out there- don't accept any old 'job' without a proper contract and conditions, if you can at all (and I realise for many of you ANY job can seem better at times than NO job- but there are sadly vultures out there to pluck you without any shame).

I came one year and a half ago from Spain. I came ALONE, i just did not know anybody here. I just found the job and took the chance.

I knew would be difficult, but im a hard worker and a fighter so i just came. Didnt know gonna be that bad.

One thing i realize here if you just shut up, all the vultures just try to make your life difficult. Once you show up they will retreat!!!
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Old 06.08.2011, 21:47
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

I am not sure how you plan to threaten them. It seems like they employed you under the table and they are aware of it, so they might be very eager to intimidate and threaten, too. Unfortunately, both parties seem to be liable, to my knowledge, employee and employer. If you do want to do something about them, do not even think about going there alone.

If you can, just explain the situation to your new family, so there is no chance of those horrible ones to spoil your new job. I am not sure if you can force them mean ones to give you a good reference, nor have control over the reference phone calls they will be getting from your future families, just don't list them, or do, but explain what happened..But I would be careful dealing directly with them, maybe there is a service for unfairly treated aupairs so they'd have somewhere to report?
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Old 07.08.2011, 00:22
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

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I am not sure how you plan to threaten them. It seems like they employed you under the table and they are aware of it, so they might be very eager to intimidate and threaten, too. Unfortunately, both parties seem to be liable, to my knowledge, employee and employer. If you do want to do something about them, do not even think about going there alone.

If you can, just explain the situation to your new family, so there is no chance of those horrible ones to spoil your new job. I am not sure if you can force them mean ones to give you a good reference, nor have control over the reference phone calls they will be getting from your future families, just don't list them, or do, but explain what happened..But I would be careful dealing directly with them, maybe there is a service for unfairly treated aupairs so they'd have somewhere to report?
As mentioned go to the Arbeitsamt; they will handle the situation.
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Old 07.08.2011, 01:09
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

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As mentioned go to the Arbeitsamt; they will handle the situation.
You can get free advice at the Arbeitsamt, then ask them what you can do,

http://tel.local.ch/en/q/Basel%20(Re....html?rid=u7VG
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Old 07.08.2011, 11:45
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

The only thing the Arbeitsamt can do is about the contract (40 hrs weekly/11 hrs a day?!).
As for the reference, they can handle the good/bad report only if both (you and your employer) can prove their point of view.

I'm afraid the fact that you had to take care of 5 children (that's a lot indeed) is irrelevant, since you accepted it.

I'd go to the Arbeitsamt only if you had a regular/official contract and that everything was legal on both sides.

To find a nice host-family - and for the family the right au-pair - is also a matter of good/bad luck. You are not the only one in that situation.
Take it as a usefull experience and enjoy the difference with your new family!
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Old 07.08.2011, 12:01
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

Hi there.. I can only imagine how hard time you have been! I hope that everything will be better!
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Old 07.08.2011, 12:36
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

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The only thing the Arbeitsamt can do is about the contract (40 hrs weekly/11 hrs a day?!).
As for the reference, they can handle the good/bad report only if both (you and your employer) can prove their point of view.

I'm afraid the fact that you had to take care of 5 children (that's a lot indeed) is irrelevant, since you accepted it.

I'd go to the Arbeitsamt only if you had a regular/official contract and that everything was legal on both sides.

To find a nice host-family - and for the family the right au-pair - is also a matter of good/bad luck. You are not the only one in that situation.
Take it as a usefull experience and enjoy the difference with your new family!
This is of course not just the situation in Switzerland. When I went back to Uni, then in my first years of teaching, with 2 young children and an OH working all the hours of the day - we employed several Au Pairs (all still very good family friends 30+ since). Our house was constantly full of other Au-Pairs who felt very unhappy in the family they were placed. Some ended up living with us for a while until we found them new families, as any attempt of mediation failed. Sadly if young people desperate to get a job here, any job, accept very poor pay and conditions, it is difficult to protect them. Au-pairs should live as part of the family and have meals with the family, provided by the family- and have ample time off for language courses (paid for by the family), accident Insurance, etc.
BTW did you get free lodgings for the 700CHF?
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Old 07.08.2011, 13:52
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

Quote:
This is of course not just the situation in Switzerland. When I went back to Uni, then in my first years of teaching, with 2 young children and an OH working all the hours of the day - we employed several Au Pairs (all still very good family friends 30+ since). Our house was constantly full of other Au-Pairs who felt very unhappy in the family they were placed. Some ended up living with us for a while until we found them new families, as any attempt of mediation failed. Sadly if young people desperate to get a job here, any job, accept very poor pay and conditions, it is difficult to protect them. Au-pairs should live as part of the family and have meals with the family, provided by the family- and have ample time off for language courses (paid for by the family), accident Insurance, etc.
BTW did you get free lodgings for the 700CHF?


I was living with them, but i never felt part of the family. Currently im working with another family, and i have VERY GOOD conditions of work. They pay me very good.
Now i wont fight for what happened, they were just BAD to me. I notice her 3 months before that i will leave, and after one month she told me, next week starts a new girl. Next friday i was with my bags completly in the street.....

And its ok, because i learnt about it, i grown and im more wiser.

What i completly refuse, is she giving bad references about me, she tellling lies about how i was looking after her kids.

I had contract with them, but when i left they just gave me a paper, wrote with her hand of what she had to pay me.

I just wanted to run away...and i did it....now im showing up...cuz its just not fair, i will NEVER let somebody say i been hitting kids when is not true.
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Old 07.08.2011, 16:40
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

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The only thing the Arbeitsamt can do is about the contract (40 hrs weekly/11 hrs a day?!).
As for the reference, they can handle the good/bad report only if both (you and your employer) can prove their point of view.

I'm afraid the fact that you had to take care of 5 children (that's a lot indeed) is irrelevant, since you accepted it.

I'd go to the Arbeitsamt only if you had a regular/official contract and that everything was legal on both sides.

To find a nice host-family - and for the family the right au-pair - is also a matter of good/bad luck. You are not the only one in that situation.
Take it as a usefull experience and enjoy the difference with your new family!
About "As for the reference, they can handle the good/bad report only if both (you and your employer) can prove their point of view."

The OP wrote the reference was not signed; I am sure the Arbeitsamt can help with that.
I also found them very helpful at correcting an unfair reference.
What was your experience? Are you talking from experience?
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Old 07.08.2011, 16:54
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

Sorry you had such a bad experience. Good for you that you got out, and have found a better position. Consider the old one a learning experience. Good luck.
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Old 07.08.2011, 17:01
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Re: My rights....im so fed up [Au-pair work certificate question]

Too late for you perhaps- but I do hope others who want to embark in this kind of "work" will read this and perhaps avoid the same pitfalls. However- there are so many young people trying to get a foothold in CH or the UK- and you sadly won't be the last one. Just out of interest, were those 'employers' Swiss? And do you know if they have another 'au pair' now, and if she has the same working conditions as you did.

Last edited by Odile; 07.08.2011 at 17:18.
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