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Old 10.11.2012, 00:25
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Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this legal?

We will need to hire a live in nanny / Au Pair some time in the next year. We would be happy to hire someone from the EU, and the most important issue we have is that my job hours are totally unpredictable and difficult. We need an au pair that would be ok working 15 hours one week and 60 the next. We have no problem paying extra if we are asking her to go above and beyond, and we would work to make sure that her schedule balanced out so that if she averaged over 30 hours a week, we would pay her extra and/or make up the hours with easier weeks and vacation time. But my work hours are hard and not in my control, I am in rehearsal in the mornings and on stage (opera house) until late at night and on the weekends. We would need someone extremely flexible, who does not mind helping out with errands, light food prep, light cleaning (although we have a cleaning person also) and laundry. This is exactly the kind of work I did in my early 20's with a wonderful, fun family, and I had to be very flexible, and I loved it, but the work ethic here in Europe seems quite different, and it seems that regulations about work here are very strict. We want to do everything legally. Open to anyone's ideas.
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Old 10.11.2012, 03:15
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

Hire two au-pairs, if the cost is not an issue?
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Old 10.11.2012, 09:20
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

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This is exactly the kind of work I did in my early 20's with a wonderful, fun family, and I had to be very flexible, and I loved it, but the work ethic here in Europe seems quite different, and it seems that regulations about work here are very strict. We want to do everything legally. Open to anyone's ideas.
The regulations are strict; it stops exploitation.
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Old 10.11.2012, 09:31
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

First - you need a nanny, not an aupair.

An aupair is a young person on a specific visa whose whose work conditions are clearly defined. It sounds like you are looking for responsible child care, which really means a nanny. Advertising using the wrong term means you might not find the right person.

Are you looking for live-in or live-out help? I would think that such a schedule will be easier with a live-in nanny.

You are right that irregular work hours are viewed as a negative here; with the kind of flexibility you need you could to run into difficulties given the expectation here for planning and schedules set in stone.

To find a responsible, dedicated person who is guaranteed to be available when you need her but is also willing to be flexible when you don't, you would likely need to pay up, to give your nanny an incentive to compensate for the irregularity which here is likely to be seen as a negative.

A different set-up, but what I have done with my sitter (who is self-employed, not my employee) is to pay the full day rate no matter how few hours she works. If I need her on day X, that means she has to set that day aside for me, she can't work for another client - therefore it is only right that I pay her for the whole day, even if it turns out that I only need her help for a few hours.

Good luck - hope you find the person you need.
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Old 13.11.2012, 11:53
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

Hi there,

I think you can find someone who will be flexible, so long as you are upfront and honest about the nature of the work and keep good track of how much she/he works. You pay her a monthly wage and as long as the number of hours match up, then you should both be fine about it. But you do have to do it legally and that means buying health insurance (if a foreigner), and doing all the pension and tax paperwork with the gemeinde. A word of caution: you simply won't be allowed to legally pay whatever you want. There is a minimum that the state will accept and that is up to the Canton to decide. If you underpay, you will receive a letter of rejection from the authorities.
Indeed, an au-pair is not really appropriate, particularly one that does not speak the local language. She will die of loneliness. Think of an au-pair as having an older child around, albeit more helpful.
Your future nanny will be in loco parentis with obviously little supervision so you need someone who really knows what they are doing. They're out there... you just need to pay.
Good luck
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Old 13.11.2012, 12:05
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

You mean accident insurance? Employers do not have to pay health insurance only accident insurance if working over 8 hours per week.

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Hi there,

I think you can find someone who will be flexible, so long as you are upfront and honest about the nature of the work and keep good track of how much she/he works. You pay her a monthly wage and as long as the number of hours match up, then you should both be fine about it. But you do have to do it legally and that means buying health insurance (if a foreigner), and doing all the pension and tax paperwork with the gemeinde. A word of caution: you simply won't be allowed to legally pay whatever you want. There is a minimum that the state will accept and that is up to the Canton to decide. If you underpay, you will receive a letter of rejection from the authorities.
Indeed, an au-pair is not really appropriate, particularly one that does not speak the local language. She will die of loneliness. Think of an au-pair as having an older child around, albeit more helpful.
Your future nanny will be in loco parentis with obviously little supervision so you need someone who really knows what they are doing. They're out there... you just need to pay.
Good luck
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Old 13.11.2012, 16:12
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

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You mean accident insurance? Employers do not have to pay health insurance only accident insurance if working over 8 hours per week.
If you hire a nanny from abroad (which might end up being cheaper if you have an extra room), it is expected that you pay their basic health insurance. There is also the added cost of accident insurance.
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Old 13.11.2012, 16:48
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

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If you hire a nanny from abroad (which might end up being cheaper if you have an extra room), it is expected that you pay their basic health insurance. There is also the added cost of accident insurance.
It's not "expected" but "obligatory"
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Old 13.11.2012, 17:00
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

Can you link something official? Only accident insurance has been obligatory in all the time I have hired nannies.

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It's not "expected" but "obligatory"
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Old 13.11.2012, 17:09
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

Slave? I am not sure if they exist much here anymore, but I am sure you can find one or two if the chuffage is right
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Old 13.11.2012, 17:35
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

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Can you link something official? Only accident insurance has been obligatory in all the time I have hired nannies.
Lou is correct. Health Insurance is not obligatory for nannies. Perhaps yes for au pairs, but not nannies.
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Old 13.11.2012, 17:55
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

The job you describe is neither an Au Pair, nor a Nanny- at least not in the UK sense of both terms. An Au-Pair has a very special status, with strict guidelines. S/he can has to live in as part of the family, work 30 hours max per week, not have sole charge of infants, and only sole charge on children for a max of 15 hrs per week, and only light house-work - against pocket money, with language classes paid for, or at least 50%.

A Nanny (in the UK) is a qualified child-carer (normally NNEB qualified) - they can have sole charge of children of any age, but do NO housework apart from tidying up toys and possibly doing the kids washing, and NO cooking apart from feeding the children - at least this is how it is in the London area.

So it seems that what you need is a full-time house-keeper. All taxes/social/unemployment will have to be paid, s/he will have to be fully registered, and will have to pay own health insurance, and you accident insurance. If that person will be living-in, you can deduct part of the salary for accommodation and food though.

Last edited by Odile; 13.11.2012 at 19:13.
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Old 13.11.2012, 18:24
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

I have never had a nanny but all the ones I have known did housework as well as taking care of the children...at least keeping things tidy, maybe some laundry for the kids, etc. Probably not cleaning the toilets, but cleaning up after the kids and the like...
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Old 13.11.2012, 19:06
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Re: Want to hire an au pair but need 40+ hrs / week, willing to pay extra, is this le

Every nanny I have had has been expected to do housework including the qualified ones. The key is to be upfront about it, I include it in my job ad, and discuss in detail at the first interview. I've never had anyone say no but then again I also don't treat them as slaves and pay a decent wage.

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I have never had a nanny but all the ones I have known did housework as well as taking care of the children...at least keeping things tidy, maybe some laundry for the kids, etc. Probably not cleaning the toilets, but cleaning up after the kids and the like...
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