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Rights of au pairs to be recognised

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 10/07/2014. Rights of au pairs to be recognisedTags: Parenting

With little employment rights or regulations surrounding the service provided by au pairs, today the Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton, announced the Irish government’s decision to ratify new legislation that will help protect the worker rights of domestic workers.

Au pairs in Ireland are often seen as a cheap way for parents to afford childcare, but for some this has lead to terrible conditions and exploitation by ‘host families’ in Ireland.

Jane Xavier of the Au pair Rights Association of Ireland (ARAI) comments that,
“There is a perception that au pairs are not real workers, but au pairs are doing real and essential work: they are caring for children and adults, they have schedules and responsibilities, and they need training and qualifications in order to provide safe childcare. However, simply because they are called ‘au pairs’ they are afforded no rights: no holidays, no sick leave, paid a fraction of the minimum wage.”

There have been numerous reports in the media in the past along with complaints by au pairs to the IRAI who have been grossly mistreated by host families, including allegations of sexual assault and exploitation.

The new Convention will ‘ take measures to ensure that domestic workers, like workers generally, enjoy fair terms of employment as well as decent working conditions and, if they reside in the household, decent living conditions that respect their privacy.’

For more information on au pair conditions please go to Irish National Au Pair Association.

If you are an au pair or parent looking to hire, please read the FAQs about the working conditions in a new publication on domestic worker employment rights.


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