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Old 05.05.2017, 00:41
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

3,600 chf is not too bad an income a month for cleaning as you tell us that is 90% of the job.
Especially when you convert that to Euros and compare that to the wages people asre getting in Poland, the rest of the Eastern Europe, Spain, Italy, France and even the UK.
Unfortunately there is no shortage of people looking for work at the moment and it will not change.
I would look at alternative jobs in Europe and see what luck you have.
  #42  
Old 05.05.2017, 09:06
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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That is irrelevant. You have a choice and thus are not exploited. You can accept the new allocation of tasks or you can decline. If you decline they have to provide you with the old task allocation during the notice period and then you are free to go after the notice period is up...It is all regulated and it seems to me they have not broken any regulations except maybe for the overtime hours.

Are you live-in or live-out btw?
No, the OP doesn't, as declining would mean the job would go to someone else, and I assume there would be a handful of people who'd be keen to take the offer. Now, tell me, what's the difference with what's going on in sweatshop factories in Cambodia? Employers tend to exploit their workers because they have more bargaining power than the workers have.
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  #43  
Old 05.05.2017, 10:05
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

Also it is worth noting that when a person lives in, it is very hard to be yourself/assert your identity as it is not your home. You don't get that distance needed to think clearly or prepare yourself to have the right answer when you receive yet another request to clean or sort something out.

It's very easy for an employer to start with asking the live-in-nanny a favor to do one extra task to help the family in an emergency only for it to gradually increase and all those extras are then expected, for free. A lot of the onus is on the employer in these situations to do the right thing, respect the nanny/employee, give her space and let her know exactly what her job is by clearly defining the role. The responsibility isn't solely on the nanny here to sort it all out. I have known too many lovely young hardworking aupairs who want to be helpful so do the extras only for them to be put upon and used badly by their employers.

OP, when he said to the accountant that they clean themselves it could be that he/they see you as a part of them, part of the furniture, as it were. They just think you're happy to do it all. You really need to sit down and talk honestly with them about how you feel and take it from there..
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Old 05.05.2017, 11:11
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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Also it is worth noting that when a person lives in, it is very hard to be yourself/assert your identity as it is not your home. You don't get that distance needed to think clearly or prepare yourself to have the right answer when you receive yet another request to clean or sort something out.

It's very easy for an employer to start with asking the live-in-nanny a favor to do one extra task to help the family in an emergency only for it to gradually increase and all those extras are then expected, for free. A lot of the onus is on the employer in these situations to do the right thing, respect the nanny/employee, give her space and let her know exactly what her job is by clearly defining the role. The responsibility isn't solely on the nanny here to sort it all out. I have known too many lovely young hardworking aupairs who want to be helpful so do the extras only for them to be put upon and used badly by their employers.

OP, when he said to the accountant that they clean themselves it could be that he/they see you as a part of them, part of the furniture, as it were. They just think you're happy to do it all. You really need to sit down and talk honestly with them about how you feel and take it from there..
3600 plus accommodation (and food?) is not a low salary, without accommodation it would be.
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Old 05.05.2017, 11:20
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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Actually this is not the case because they still take off money from the 3600 for food and lodge...
So in the end the salary is not so high as some here like to believe. Even if it was, the salary is normally payed for a specific and agreed number of hours and tasks - with some variations of course.
Everything extra should be payed or otherwise compensated with free time etc.
The fact that is a good or bad salary for cleaning is irrelevant. Time is time.

OP, please ask the mods again to close the thread, it seems your request has not been seen. You also need to PM to one of them I guess.
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Old 05.05.2017, 11:48
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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3600 plus accommodation (and food?) is not a low salary, without accommodation it would be.
It's not about the salary amount. It is about what she has to do for that salary.. if she was told her payment is based on x amount of work but there is now a significant increase in the amount she has to do without it being wholly agreed then that is the issue, no? If the family expects her to do everything she is doing and thinks she knows that and doesn't, then there's a break down in communication somewhere.. added to that, it is not clearly defined in a contract.

Let's put it like this: cleaning a house/apartment with kids can take up all day, everyday. A contracted cleaner is paid for x amount of cleaning hours.. said cleaner finishes up and goes home at end of those hours. Is the Nanny's arrangement similar? It sounds like she is asked to clean whenever the need arises which to my mind is not fair.
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Old 05.05.2017, 12:06
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

@Butterfly89
I hope your thread is not closed. You are in a difficult situation, which has been discussed here from several angles, which may be more or less helpful to you.

In various forms, this kind of question comes up on this forum from time to time. There are others out there, working as nannies, childminders, au pairs, cleaners and carers who may very well have similar concerns. For their sakes, please, when you've taken the next steps, when you've worked through it, would you come back and share with us what happened, what you'd recommend that others in such circumstances do (or avoid) and what worked best for you? Thanks.
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Old 05.05.2017, 14:09
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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3600 plus accommodation (and food?) is not a low salary, without accommodation it would be.
They deduct food and lodge

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Actually this is not the case because they still take off money from the 3600 for food and lodge...
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Old 05.05.2017, 15:31
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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The work as such doesnt constitute exploitation. They give you tasks, you accept or resign. Simple as that. The salary is low but not much lower than what an air hostess at Swiss makes.

Expoitation would be if you work more than 42 hours per week. Do you?
I totally agree with Tilia, if you are not happy talk to them, if that does not work, look for another job. Very simple. good luck!
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Old 05.05.2017, 16:19
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

I agree with the discussion approach. What would be exploited is being paid as an au pair (in my day it was 450 per month) then having to wash up after dinner parties & being told "the cleaner is leaving so "we'll do it together"... yeah, right. My answer was no. As Swisstree says, sometimes you have to strap on a pair & try to be assertive or you'll get walked on.
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Old 02.02.2020, 22:55
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

Hello There!
I thought I would come back and leave a quick feedback on how things turned out to be...
There were different opinions about me being or not exploited. I felt like I was and I felt really used, but I also know that it was my fault allowing them to take advantage of me to this extant. I have learned the lesson or so I hope.
So back in the days... I tried to speak with the family and ask for a salary raise. Surprisingly they promised to give me one "after the summer". So I stayed with them a few more months and reminded them "after the summer" of what they promised. They seemed quite surprised as if we hadn't discussed that before. In the Autumn instead of them giving me a raise, they fired me. End of story.
Luckily I was hired officially, so I was entitled to unemployment benefits.
At the moment I have a great job and I have worked in this position a bit longer than a year. It's not in private household. After all that I have been through I would only take on a nanny job if I was starving...
What would I advise to girls/boys being exploited in their position as a household staff ?
Depending on them being or not live-in, there are different things they could do:
-be sure to know your rights(working hours, extra hours, baby sleeping and you not being paid, kind of tasks you legally might be assigned based on your job,etc.)
-stand up for yourself
-don't do more than what's in your contract
-have a backup plan -just in case
- in case you are live-in be precocious as you might land on the street in less than a minute
- get a legal insurance -it worths the money
-get in touch with the SNA -Swiss Nanny Association as they might provide you support
I would like to thank again everyone for their input and the shown support. It meant a lot for me!
Wishing you all best of luck!
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