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Old 03.05.2017, 19:52
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How to deal with being exploited?

Hi Everyone,
I would need some advice on how to deal with being exploited in my current job? I have been working as a nanny for the past three years but things have gone too far at this point. In my initial working contract it was written that I will be working 90 percent as a nanny and 10 percent as a housekeeper. In the meantime the cleaner left so I agreed to take on her job. (four hours of cleaning in a week)They increased my salary with 400 CHF. Even like this I only earn 3600 (without deductions) in a month. I am qualified (teaching qualification) with 6 years of experience with children, so I guess we can say I'm underpaid. (They only offer me 4 weeks of paid holiday in a year and I'm not getting a 13th salary). They expect everything from me in and around their house. I cook, wash, iron, for 5 people. When they have guests I am expected to cook for them too and serve them. I clean a house with three floors. They expect me to clean their windows and blinds (the previous cleaner never did that). I need to clean the snow away in Winter around their house. They believe I am also responsible for cleaning all the filters in the household items. I am also dealing with garbage, sorting paper, glass household waste. I did become their servant, sadly, because I never said ,no. Sometimes when I get the chance I can act like a nanny for their two children. Although this should be my main preoccupation or this is what I believe. My boss forgat to take qst off my monthly salary, so I got two bills for the previous years. This means that this year so far I have only worked to be able to pay my taxes. So changing the job is not an option for now. However, I do feel stressed, tired, depressed and used at the end of every single day. I have mixed feelings about them. I love those kids and if the parents wouldn't be using me to such an extent I would really need to say that they are a nice family to work for. We never had any arguments or disagreements this far and we treat each other with respect but enough is enough. I could really use some advice on how to deal with this situation. I don't want to report them or anything, after all we have spent together the past three years...
Many thanks in advance!
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Old 03.05.2017, 20:10
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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?
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Old 03.05.2017, 20:15
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

Tell them you are working too hard for the money, and ask them for a 10% pay rise. As a nanny you are not supposed to do house keeping. Are they paying your AHV into your account?
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Old 03.05.2017, 20:20
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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?
A nanny job is different from that of an air hostess. If someone works as an air hostess she is not asked to iron the pilot's shirt for free for example. Besides, an air hostess travels the world while being paid so this is the reason for their salary. As I have read, I should be earning at about 4500 just for being a nanny. But it doesn't bother me that you have a different opinion. To answer your question I work 45 hours a week and my extra hours are not being paid either.

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Tell them you are working too hard for the money, and ask them for a 10% pay rise. As a nanny you are not supposed to do house keeping. Are they paying your AHV into your account?
They are paying it according to my salary declaration...

Last edited by 3Wishes; 03.05.2017 at 22:53. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 03.05.2017, 20:30
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

Sit down, talk with them and say something is going to change.

1) less work
or
2) more $$
or
3) proper description and expectation
or
4) you quit at the earliest moment convenient (to you, of course)
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Old 03.05.2017, 20:35
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

What is detailed in your employment contract regarding any work around the house? Is it specified? If so, then tell them that's what you're going to do from now on and that only. If they want anything else done they can hire a new cleaner or do it themselves. You're a nanny, not a maid of all work.

Are you live in or live out? Minimum salary for a nanny is 3,500 a month.

http://www.perfectway.ch/en/for-fami...formation.html

Check with your canton whether you're being paid what you should be for your skills/experience.
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Old 03.05.2017, 20:36
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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A nanny job is different from that of an air hostess. If someone works as an air hostess she is not asked to iron the pilot's shirt for free for example. Besides, an air hostess travels the world while being paid so this is the reason for their salary. As I have read, I should be earning at about 4500 just for being a nanny. But it doesn't bother me that you have a different opinion. To answer your question I work 45 hours a week and my extra hours are not being paid either.
If I were in your shoes, I would look for another job then baaammm quit.
In the meantime, as advised earlier request a pay rise. if/When you request a pay rise, you should be prepared- a list of your achievements and so on.

NEVER QUIT A JOB BEFORE FINDING A NEW ONE unless your life in danger.
Good luck
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Old 03.05.2017, 20:53
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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What is detailed in your employment contract regarding any work around the house? Is it specified? If so, then tell them that's what you're going to do from now on and that only. If they want anything else done they can hire a new cleaner or do it themselves. You're a nanny, not a maid of all work.

Are you live in or live out? Minimum salary for a nanny is 3,500 a month.

http://www.perfectway.ch/en/for-fami...formation.html

Check with your canton whether you're being paid what you should be for your skills/experience.
I have just looked and the housework it's not specified in my contract...
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Old 03.05.2017, 21:04
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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I have just looked and the housework it's not specified in my contract...
Yes, but you agreed with them to take on the cleaner's work as an extra and presumably agreed the extra money too, no?
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Old 03.05.2017, 21:09
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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Yes, but you agreed with them to take on the cleaner's work as an extra and presumably agreed the extra money too, no?
Yes, I did. But I only agreed to do what the previous cleaner was doing and what they are expecting from me it's something totally different. The load of work has increased way too much.
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Old 03.05.2017, 21:15
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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Yes, I did. But I only agreed to do what the previous cleaner was doing and what they are expecting from me it's something totally different. The load of work has increased way too much.
I will shout at you now !

SIT DOWN AND TALK TO THEM,

if they are reasonable you'll find a solution and if they're not, well sod them, find another job and walk out. If they threaten legal action for breach of contract...........well bring it on buddy, but beware of the consequences. The Swiss aren't too keen on exploitation on this scale, the law if firmly on your side
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Old 03.05.2017, 21:16
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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Yes, I did. But I only agreed to do what the previous cleaner was doing and what they are expecting from me it's something totally different. The load of work has increased way too much.
At which point you should've had it written up in your contract exactly what you agreed to do for the extra money. If the cleaning work has crept up and you're are doing too much, you need to have a conversation with your employers and be honest with them.
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Old 03.05.2017, 21:18
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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I will shout at you now !

SIT DOWN AND TALK TO THEM,

if they are reasonable you'll find a solution and if they're not, well sod them, find another job and walk out. If they threaten legal action for breach of contract...........well bring it on buddy, but beware of the consequences.
Thanks! I will try to do that.
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Old 03.05.2017, 21:26
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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Yes, I did. But I only agreed to do what the previous cleaner was doing and what they are expecting from me it's something totally different. The load of work has increased way too much.
That is because you (most probably) never say "No, I cannot do this during my working hours, I would need extra hours which should be payed".
You are taking too many tasks as they can give you, and they don't blink an eye when coming with more and more tasks for you.
Sorry, this is not a nice family, as you put it. They take advantage of your fear of being fired. It is the opposite of nice actually, don't mix up "civility" with kindness, or with being reasonable.
Heard so many stories like yours, some people take advantage of their position and of the fact that they can get away with it - no one else to control them....but you.

Really, get out of your head "they are nice". They are NOT nice, they just manipulate you. And take it from here.
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Old 03.05.2017, 21:29
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At which point you should've had it written up in your contract exactly what you agreed to do for the extra money. If the cleaning work has crept up and you're are doing too much, you need to have a conversation with your employers and be honest with them.
It was a mistake not to have it written down. It's not only the cleaning work that has increased but they are giving me all kind of works and tasks that I feel like they have nothing to do with my job. For example, I once found water in the lowest drawer of the fridge and told them. The boss asked me "Did you check the instruction's book?" I said , I didn't so he gave it to me in German, I didn't speak German back then, so he said I can google it in English based on the serial number and try to see if I can find a solution. They want me to fix their tap, take it into pieces and put it in anti-calc. Their newest idea was for me to print a weekly calendar in order to take notes of the dates when I'm cleaning the filters in different machines.. well, I won't do that!.. and so on..

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That is because you (most probably) never say "No, I cannot do this during my working hours, I would need extra hours which should be payed".
You are taking too many tasks as they can give you, and they don't blink an eye when coming with more and more tasks for you.
Sorry, this is not a nice family, as you put it. They take advantage of your fear of being fired. It is the opposite of nice actually, don't mix up "civility" with kindness, or with being reasonable.
Heard so many stories like yours, some people take advantage of their position and of the fact that they can get away with it - no one else to control them....but you.
I guess you are right!

Last edited by 3Wishes; 03.05.2017 at 22:54. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 03.05.2017, 21:32
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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I guess you are right!
Read the last sentences I added when I edited my post.
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Old 03.05.2017, 21:44
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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It was a mistake not to have it written down. It's not only the cleaning work that has increased but they are giving me all kind of works and tasks that I feel like they have nothing to do with my job. For example, I once found water in the lowest drawer of the fridge and told them. The boss asked me "Did you check the instruction's book?" I said , I didn't so he gave it to me in German, I didn't speak German back then, so he said I can google it in English based on the serial number and try to see if I can find a solution. They want me to fix their tap, take it into pieces and put it in anti-calc. Their newest idea was for me to print a weekly calendar in order to take notes of the dates when I'm cleaning the filters in different machines.. well, I won't do that!.. and so on..
No is a lovely word.. use it.

Tell them you want to go back to just being a Nanny as the cleaning work is too much for you. Then repeat.. and repeat.. repeat. No matter what they say, excuses they throw at you, asking you to clean for one more week, just repeat that one sentence until they accept it.

Then say: thank you for listening to me.. but be very clear, from that point on, no more more cleaning. Let them do it.. or hire someone else to clean.
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Old 03.05.2017, 22:08
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

Looks like they need you very much and you seem to have forgotten it. I think I would not expect somebody who gives you homework to google and repair their fridge and keep a track of their filters while hiring you as a nanny - as anyone who will sit down to a reasonable debate over giving you a raise or not turning you into a personal maid. I think you know it, otherwise you would have done the talk already instead of checking with us first.

So, take your time looking for better options for your qualified self! You will quickly find another family no worries..less work and maybe hourly paid, less cash. But you will have time to move on from there. Up and up.
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Old 04.05.2017, 07:36
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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NEVER QUIT A JOB BEFORE FINDING A NEW ONE unless your life in danger.
Good luck
Not really. Never quit a job before find a new one unless your health is at risk. And that includes your mental health.
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Old 04.05.2017, 08:00
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Re: How to deal with being exploited?

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My boss forgat to take qst off my monthly salary, so I got two bills for the previous years. This means that this year so far I have only worked to be able to pay my taxes. So changing the job is not an option for now. However, I do feel stressed, tired, depressed and used at the end of every single day. I have mixed feelings about them. I love those kids and if the parents wouldn't be using me to such an extent I would really need to say that they are a nice family to work for. We never had any arguments or disagreements this far and we treat each other with respect but enough is enough. I could really use some advice on how to deal with this situation. I don't want to report them or anything, after all we have spent together the past three years...
Many thanks in advance!
You know what. Maybe it is not a bad thing to report them. Seriously.
You have all the reasons in the world - working hours and payment conditions not respected. This is Switzerland, Europe. This is not some third world country where these practices are normal.
And they deserve every little bit of the repercussions they might face. By not doing anything, they will just find someone else, even more desperate, more obedient.
P.S. I am not the type who gives this kind of advice, usually (on the contrary). But this is serious, and they will just get away with it. Not even ever crossing their mind they did something wrong.

Last edited by greenmount; 04.05.2017 at 08:39.
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