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Blog  »  March 2016  »  Au Pair Awarded €9,000 - Blog
Mar 16

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Au Pair Awarded €9,000

Yesterday saw a landmark judgement as an Irish family was ordered to pay a Spanish au pair more than €9,000.

Ruling in favour of the au pair, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) found the family breached several employment laws, including:

  • Failure to pay minimum wage
  • Failure to issue a contract of employment
  • Failure to provide correct annual leave

The au pair was paid €100 a week plus board for between 30 and 60 hours of work per week during her employment with the family.

Au pairing in Ireland has increased dramatically in the last five years. According to research conducted by the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland (MRCI), more than 20,000 Irish households are employing au pairs to look after children and clean homes, with the average au pair paid just € 100 for a 40-hour working week.

Ireland has no legal framework for au pairs and nothing that stipulates that they are exempt from employment regulations. Some Irish agencies tend to categorise au pairing as a cultural exchange programme where the foreign worker lives with a host family to experience a new culture and learn English. However, the validity of this argument is very much under scrutiny in light of this ruling.

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