Recently there has been a lot of talk in the press regarding au pair legislation. Back in
March an au pair brought her host family to court for under payment of salary. In this
case the judge deemed that the au pair was an ‘employee’ and as such was entitled to
minimum wage. The au pair was awarded just under €10,000. This case has left
approximately 20,000 au pair host families open to being sued by their au pair also.
Internationally an au pair placement is considered to be a cultural exchange programme
between a young foreign person and their host family. In the past this programme
worked well in Ireland as Irish people are warm and welcoming and are for the most
part, wonderful hosts to their au pairs. In the past, young men and women have come
to Ireland to learn English and take time out before beginning their professional career
or time out between their formal education. In exchange for living as part of the family
and help with integration into society, cultural learning, room, board and pocket money,
the au pair helps the family with some childcare. The courtcase in March has thrown this
au pair programme into disarray.
Recently Fianna Fail TD, Anne Rabbitte has proposed au pair legislation to govern the au pair programme in Ireland. As part of this legislation, an ‘aupair’ would be defined in Irish law as a cultural educational programme. If her bill became enacted, then au pairs would no longer be deemed to be employees and would be legislated for outside of employment law. This is really very good news but we need your help.
We hope that this bill will be proposed to the Dail within the next few weeks. Following the legislation being presented to the Dail, TDs may then be asked to vote on this bill. In order to be enacted the majority of TDs in the Dail need to vote in favour of this bill.
We need your help!
Please email your local TD and request that them to vote for the au pair bill proposed by Anne Rabitte TD. Below is a template email which you can use:
My name is ……. I am writing to you regarding a bill that is due to be proposed to the dail by Fianna Fail TD, Anne Rabbitte. I would urge you, on behalf of Irish families, to vote to enact this bill into being. This bill will not only ensure and safeguard the au pair programme in Ireland but it will also ensure fair treatment for host families and au pairs into the future. For the sake of approximately 20,000 Irish host families I sincerely request that you vote for this bill.
To find the contact details of your local TDs please click the following link:https://www.whoismytd.com/
If you have any other questions regarding the above please get in touch.
Kangaroo Au Pair