We asked our au pairs and families the following question:
"On our website, Kangaroo Au Pair recommends €80-€120 in Ireland and £70-£80 per week in the UK. How much pocket money to pay an au pair? We'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this."
What au pairs said...
Jules, au pair in the UK "i think 70-80 is really low... i have had two jobs in the uk now as an au pair and both paid 125..."
Marion, au pair "I think it all depends on the situation, what your costs are (for example language courses and getting there - bus, train etc) and of course in which country you are (what the usual salaries are in that country) how many children, how much hours you work etc etc, think it's difficult to generalise."
Yaheli, au pair in the UK "I was paid 60 pound for 12 hours at day and the lady wanted me to clean as well!! pff please girls careful!".
Nives, au pair "I think au pairs are underpaid... but i also have to say that i'd also make it up to the hours they work... i worked a lot more hours than i was supposed to... but never got anything in return... other au pairs were luckier got the same amount that i got but had to work a lot less..."
Freya, au pair "I agree with Nives, the pay should be worked out by amount if hours to e.g. 70-80 pounds for 25hrs and then 80-10 pounds for 30 hrs for example. Also making a set amount is difficult because some people have more kids, and kids can have different ages, some families require more housework than others and some require none. So I think even if you have a set average pay you need to state what the average pay is based on e.g. age of kids, how many kids, how many hours per week etc. That might make it a bit more clear and also give a guideline to families and au pairs when looking so the au pairs aren't under paid if their circumstances are different to those stated in the average pay for an au pair. :).
I don't work in England or Ireland but based on au pairing in general I believe that the recommended pay is sometimes quite low, I remember getting offered when I was searching for jobs pocket money offers that were a lot lower than what to her families were recommending. I find that the recommended pay is just enough to live by. I believe being an au pair you should get paid in order to have enough to get to go around and visit places etc
and also be able to afford language lessons as not all families pay for it and also health insurance. I understand food and accommodation is payed for but once you also take these factors (language lessons, health insurance etc) out of the pay there is only enough to live by and I thought it was so the au pair could experience new cultures and see new places and learn a new language while helping out the family and get a bit of pay in return. Au pairs can work lots of hours/week so I think it should be based on your hours but I do believe in some cases (not all) we are under paid ( I surely am not under paid).
And I think it is only fair that we get paid for the work we do because accommodation isn't really that much more with one extra person in the house when you already have the room there in your house you are really just adding water (which I believe in England you pay a set amount for?? correct me if I am wrong though) and not much more. In saying this I just believe that if you actually added how much the family pays for food and water for the au pair and then add their pocket money the family will in most cases if not all work out to be on top and be getting a good deal and I doing believe it would hurt to pay a little bit more. Your au pair will be a lot more at ease not having to worry about pay all the time and therefore will be happier and you will find probably a lot more willing when asked for extra task to be done and just a lot happier in general.
I know that I am paid above average for an au pair so when my family asked me to do something extra that say isn't directly in my contract I know I don't mind because I am happy with the deal we have.
I hope this makes sense and I haven't gone on too much but from an au pairs point of view this is what I believe :)
Rosi, au pair in Ireland "100 € a week. and if i have to work a few hours more i get also some money more. i know a lot other au pairs who also get just 100 €. so id say that's the normal pocket money for that."
Sandra, au pair in Ireland "First family, €110/week, 3 children and light housework. Close to (dublinbus) busstop with cheap busfares, so money was very good.
Second family, €100/week, two little children, money would be ok, but living in the countryside I spend around €50 a weekend on returnticket bus eireann fares (with student card), so sometimes it's very hard to get it right... :)"
Vanessa, au pair "I will get 110€ per week, i am in Ireland. But i have 3 little kids under 5."
Monika, au pair in Ireland "I´m in Ireland as an aupair and my family give me 100€ plus extra money for gym,pool,school,flight to my country, etc..."
Karine Novaes, au pair in Dublin Ireland "Honestly YES, families should increase the pocket money of Au pair, after a few months. If people show a good au pair and fulfill all its obligations!
I always do much more than me is requested, then the parents are happy, why not increase?
Being an au pair is a job that requires a lot of responsibilities! and this should be rewarded!"
Martina, au pair in Ireland "When i worked as an au-pair, i got 130 euro (10 euro/ hour for overtime)... plus money for phone and bus and flights home..."
Saskia, au pair in Ireland "€120 a week. They pay also the taxi and top up for the phone."
Jules, au pair in the UK "i think €70-€80 is really low... i have had two jobs in the uk now as an au pair and both paid 125..."
What families said....
Clare in London England "We live in London and are currently looking for our first au pair. We are offering £80 per week for 25hours per week. We have interviewed 3 au pairs, 1 said that she wouldn't consider the job unless the money was better and another said that she wanted £130 as her friend was getting this amount!! Most of the au pairs I have come across want more money than we are offering. Anyone else come across this problem?"
Louise in London England "We give our au pair £90 but this is for 35hours per week."
Lynn from Hampshire England "I tend to offer at the bottom range of the au pair wage as I don't want someone who is only interested in money. We offer a good package: a separate apartment beside our house as well as a car, mobile phone and we bring her on holidays with us 3 times per year. I usually renegotiate the wage upwards after 3 months if the au pair is really good."
Susan from Wexford Ireland (2 children aged 5 and 3) "We pay our au pair €100 per week for 30hours of work plus 1 evening of babysitting (Children are usually in bed by the time we leave the house so it isn't really extra work for our au pair. For any extra hours beyond this we pay her €5 per hour."
Horacethecheese, family from Ireland "Well from what I saw people are offering more than that plus holidays etc I was hoping to get one for the recommended price but when there's more offered they're gonna go with that. They're usually very well to do in their own country and eighty euro is pittance really. They are well shod young women."
Roisin from Galway Ireland "We pay €125 per week. Our priority is that the kids are well looked after and are happy. We also ask the au pair to do cleaning duties related to the girls such as getting them dressed, giving them lunch, sweeping floor after mealtimes, tidying toys as well as filling dishwasher and hanging out washing. If we find the au pair is very good we increase their wages after a few months, usually to €140."