Fees and Terms & Conditions

au-pair-childcare-agencyWe do not charge a fee for registering your Au Pair search with us. We will send you an invoice once your preferred Au Pair candidate has accepted the role with your family. Any work we do for you is subject to our Terms and Conditions.

Summer Au Pair: (June or July start dates)                     £150

Au Pair:  placements less than 5 months                       £295

Au Pair:  placements for 5 months or longer                £450

Should your Au Pair extend their stay with your family, the difference in fee will be payable.

We do not charge VAT. Payment is required to secure your preferred Candidate prior to their arrival. Invoices are payable by direct bank transfer within 5 working days of issue.

 

Cancellations and Replacements

Much care and consideration is taken during the interview and selection process. You will email and interview with a number of Au Pair candidates, and make an offer to your preferred candidate. Most Au Pair placements are a success, however there are occasionally situations when things do not work out. We will always try to find a solution between our Au Pairs and Host Families. Where a solution can not be reached, we will, in accordance with our cancellations and replacements policy, make it a priority to find you a replacement.

 

The Little Au Pair Agency Terms and Conditions

We, us, our, the Agency” refers to The Little Au Pair Agency Limited, 18 The Knoll, Hayes, Bromley, Kent, BR2 7DH

You, your” refers to the Client who engages The Little Au Pair Agency to introduce Au Pair Candidates for an agreed fee

Au Pair, the Candidate” refers to the person introduced by The Little Au Pair Agency to the Client for an Engagement

Engagement” means the Candidate accepting a place offered by the Client

GENERAL

The completion and submission of the registration form by you to us, to submit suitable Candidates for contract or interview, shall constitute acceptance of these terms and conditions.

We act as an agent for introductions and do not employ Candidates. The fees to the agency are for the introduction only.

INTRODUCTION SERVICE

Upon receipt of your completed registration form, we will use all reasonable endeavours to introduce an Au Pair to you that matches the requirements described in the registration form.

It is your responsibility to be satisfied as to the suitability of an Au Pair before agreeing to offer him/her employment. We do not offer any warranty in respect of the suitability of an Au Pair we introduce to you. You accept that your chosen Candidate is chosen by you and not the Agency.

We will support and advise you, but we are unable to micro manage an Engagement and it is the responsibility of you and the Candidate, once engaged, to make the placement a success. The fees charged by the Agency are purely introduction fees and it is up to you and the Candidate to make the arrangement work through good communications. We cannot be held responsible when a placement breaks down as there are too many factors outside of our control.

If you offer the role to one of our Candidates that we have introduced to you, you agree to provide us with proof of your identification, such as a passport, and proof of your address, such as a recent utility bill, together with an invitation letter for the Au Pair setting out the terms of his/her role and a timetable setting out the weekly schedule for the Au Pair.

You confirm that all information supplied to us is honest, correct and complete. You agree that you will notify us of any change in your circumstances or change in your requirements. If the aforesaid changes will affect the Au Pair, then you should also notify the Au Pair.

OFFER OF ENGAGEMENT

If you decide to offer an engagement, then you must send the Candidate a letter of invitation which must incorporate the ‘Client Responsibilities for Au Pair Engagement’ (see below). We will provide an example of a template letter for you to use, but the final terms of that letter are between you and the Candidate so long as they incorporate those matters listed under the ‘Client Responsibilities for Au Pair Engagement’ below.

PAYMENT OF FEES

You agree to notify us immediately an offer of engagement is made by you to the Candidate. Once this offer has been accepted by the Candidate, you agree to pay us the appropriate introduction fee. The introduction fee for a Summer Au Pair (an Au Pair arriving in June or July for the Summer Period) is £150, placements for less than 5 months outside the summer period is £295, and placements for an Au Pair intending to stay for 5 months or longer than 5 months is £450.

The Candidate will only book his/her travel arrangements upon receipt by us of the letter of invitation, proof of your identification, proof of address and the introduction fee in full. Our invoices are payable within 5 working days of the date of issue and before the Candidate arrives in England, whichever is sooner. If any invoice is not paid when due:

  • The Agency reserves the right to charge a surcharge of 25% on all invoices which have not been settled in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
  • You agree that you shall be responsible for any loss of costs we incur in recovering unpaid sums from you under this contract.
  • The Agency will offer the Candidate to an alternative client and there is the risk that the Candidate agrees with another family.
  • You will not be entitled to any replacement or refund which may otherwise subsequently become due.


CANCELLATIONS AND REPLACEMENTS

Before arrival – if you cancel, for whatever reason, after a Candidate has accepted an offer of Engagement and before your Au Pair arrives, once the placement has been confirmed and the Candidate has accepted the position, there will be no refund of the introduction fee.

Before arrival – in the event of cancellation by the Au Pair prior to arrival, or non-arrival of the Au Pair, we will make it a priority to introduce you to a potential replacement Au Pair to match the requirements described in your original registration form. We cannot offer you a refund if, for whatever reason, you decide you no longer require us to find you an Au Pair. Should we be of the opinion that we have been unable to introduce a suitable potential replacement Au Pair within a 4 week timescale, then a refund of fees will be available subject to a minimum deduction of an admin fee of £95. No refund or replacement will be provided if the introduction fee has not been paid in full and within 5 working days of the date of issue of the invoice or before the Candidate was due to arrive in England, whichever is sooner.

After arrival – for Engagements of 3 months or less than 3 months duration: if we introduce an Au Pair to you and after you have engaged the Au Pair and after his/her arrival, the Au Pair does not stay for the requested length of the Engagement for whatever reason, no further introductions, no refund of the introduction fee or replacement will be provided.

After arrival – for Engagements of more than 3 months duration – first 28 days:

If we introduce an Au Pair to you and after you have engaged the Au Pair and after his/her arrival, you consider the Au Pair unsuitable or the Au Pair leaves, then you will need to inform us in writing about the situation within 28 days of the Au Pair’s arrival in your home, then we will at our discretion and your request, endeavour to introduce a maximum of 3 further Candidates, again to match your requirements described in your original registration form. If you reject all of the offered replacement Candidates, no further introductions, no refund of the introduction fee or replacement will be provided to you, and any subsequent placement will incur a new introduction fee.

No refund or replacement will be provided if any of the following has taken place:

  1. If the Introduction Fee has not been paid in full and was not paid within 5 working days of the date of issue of the invoice or before the Candidate arrived in England, whichever was sooner.
  2. If the Candidate complains of abuse, mistreatment or misconduct by you, your family, or your acquaintances.
  3. If we learn information subsequent to placing the Candidate which deems you no longer suitable to engage/employ an Au Pair.
  4. If you have not disclosed information to us and the Candidate which materially changes the search or the Candidate’s decision to accept.
  5. If you have misrepresented the accommodation, position, hours, family circumstances etc.
  6. If the Candidate has been asked to do significant extra duties or hours not stated at the time of engagement or not been paid extra for.
  7. If the Candidate has not been treated fairly and has been asked to perform duties which are unacceptable au pair duties including, but not limited to, gardening, window cleaning, spring cleaning, cleaning the oven (rather than wiping out), washing the carpets, washing the car, weekly shopping, pet training, cleaning up after untrained pets, making parents bed, ironing for parents, cleaning parents en-suite bathroom, polishing silver and brassware, cooking the family meal (unless the au pair enjoys cooking and has chosen to do this for the family.)
  8. If the Candidate has been asked to leave for an unreasonable reason.
  9. If you restrict access to or stop the Candidate using any amenities which they are entitled to use.
  10. If you withhold money (eg. weekly pocket money) due to the Candidate.
  11. If you do not honour the two weeks’ paid notice period, or in the event of gross misconduct on the part of the Au Pair, providing appropriate accommodation for a period of four days from the date of termination.
  12. If the Candidate has not been given sufficient training & support during the first weeks or has not been made to feel welcome.
  13. If the Candidate has not been offered driving lessons and sufficient time to practice, if they are required to drive.
  14. If the Candidate discovers that there are surveillance cameras in the home which he/she has previously not been made aware of in writing.
  15. Furthermore if we are informed or find out that one or more of the above points has occurred then it is unable to work for you as it is bound by the Constitutional terms of its Trade Association BAPAA.

Please note that in the event of serious misconduct or false information being given by you, the Au Pair may terminate his/her employment immediately and no refund or replacement will be due from us.

Once the search for the Replacement has been initiated, you are required to read and assess files of Candidates proposed immediately and feedback to the Agency, within 24 hours. Failure by the Client to respond to the Agency’s emails and calls regarding any potential Free Replacement Candidate within 24 hours, or to general matters within 3 working days, will nullify the Free Replacement. Should you later decide to embark on a new search, that search will incur new fees.

Free replacements must be taken up within 14 days of the offer otherwise we will terminate the contract.

Should we be of the opinion that we have been unable to introduce a suitable potential replacement Au Pair within a 4 week timescale, then a refund of 50% of the introduction fee paid by the Client will be available.

If a replacement Au Pair who we have introduced to you, again leaves or is dismissed, then you accept that we have fulfilled all of our obligations to you and that no further introductions, replacement or refund is due from us.

After arrival – for Engagements of more than 3 months duration – post first 28 days:

If you seek a new Au Pair after 28 days have elapsed this is no longer a Replacement and a new introduction fee would be applicable. You accept that we have fulfilled all of our obligations to you and that no further introductions, replacement or refund is due from us.

CLIENT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AU PAIR ENGAGEMENT

Au Pairs are placed in accordance with the ‘Au Pair Programme’ which was founded approximately 50 years ago. It is a cultural exchange programme, giving a young person the opportunity to learn about British culture and improve language skills through interaction with children. The Au Pair is not a worker, nor an employee, and must be welcomed and treated as a member of the family and given the opportunity to participate in family life.

Furthermore you understand that the Au Pair is fundamentally inexperienced, untrained and has only informal experience with children. The vast majority of Au Pair Candidates are young people taking a 6-12 month gap in their studies, usually 18 or 19 years of age, although some may be older, to improve their knowledge of language and culture.

Hours on Duty: Au Pairs can be on duty up to 30 hours per week to include any evening babysitting that is required. These hours can be spread out over 5 days per week. Keep in mind that an Au Pair is an unqualified child carer. Their on duty hours and duties should reflect this. An Au Pair should not be expected to have sole charge of a child all day unless exceptional circumstances occur.

An Au Pair cannot perform regular night duties and an Au Pair should not regularly babysit or be solely responsible for a child/children overnight, ie parents cannot leave the Au Pair regularly in charge overnight, whilst they are away on business/holiday/working night shifts. Furthermore, when parents are in the home, the Au Pair cannot be given responsibility for looking after a child/children at night (eg given baby monitor etc).

Pocket Monday and Additional Incentives:

  • Au Pairs should be paid weekly in arrears a minimum of £80 per week, or in accordance with the amount agreed on the invitation letter, for 30 hours work to include any evening babysitting requirements, regardless of whether the minimum number of hours are worked.
  • You must contribute at least £20 per week towards language school and/or personal travel expenses on public transport.
  • For Au Pair placements of 6 months or longer, the Au Pair should receive a completion bonus equivalent to at least 1 week’s pocket money on completion of their agreed length of stay with you.
  • If your Au Pair is in agreement, any additional hours, such as in school holidays or extra babysitting, should be paid at a minimum of £5 per hour.
  • All expenses relating to the Au Pair’s role must be paid in full by you.

Babysitting: Additional pocket money should be paid for additional evenings. Au Pairs should not be asked to babysit on either of their two free days. Babysitting hours are evening time only when the parents are out. For extra babysitting, we recommend a minimum of £5 per hour.

Leisure time: The Au Pair’s schedule must provide sufficient time to attend language school, and the Au Pair shall receive at least two free days (2 full 24 hour periods) each week and should be offered one full weekend off per month.

Holidays: You should allow your Au Pair to take 28 days paid holiday per year, including public (bank) holidays, allowing the Au Pair to go home to visit their family if they wish. For placements of less than 12 months, this should be calculated on a pro-rata basis of 1.66 days per month. You should agree with your Au Pair as to when holidays should be taken and whether you need their holiday to coincide with yours and whether you wish them to accompany you on holiday. You should continue to pay them pocket money during their holidays. Please note: If you go on holiday and the Au Pair stays at your home, the Au Pair should still be paid their pocket money.

Care of Young Children: Au Pairs placed by us must not have any sole charge of a child under 2 years of age. If your child is under 2 years of age, you agree that you take full responsibility if you do ask your Au Pair to care for him/her. An au pair is not a qualified childcare provider and some daily formal childcare arrangements are recommended for pre-school children.

House Rules: House rules have to be clear at the beginning of the placement. Families must take time, when the Au Pair arrives, to explain and set out the family expectations when on and off duty.

Room and Board: The Au Pair receives full room and board from the family throughout the stay. The Au Pair must have their own private room with a window and not be required to share with children, and should be given facilities to study. Families are required to send a photo of the Au Pair’s bedroom and accommodation.

Travel and Travelling Costs: The Au Pair is required to pay their own travelling cost to and from the UK, unless you choose to fund this. You should, wherever possible, collect the Au Pair from the airport on arrival. If this is not possible, you must pay for collection by taxi or organize reasonable onward travel and you must be at home in time for their arrival. Long tube journeys with a year’s worth of luggage are not acceptable. You are also responsible for paying reasonable UK travel costs or taking your Au Pair to the airport at the end of the placement period.

Driving: If you require your Au Pair to drive, we will endeavour to find such a Candidate and will ensure they have a current driving licence for their country. We cannot be held responsible or accountable for an Au Pair’s driving ability. We advise you to organise professional driving lessons for the Au Pair and ensure you are satisfied with the Au Pair’s driving ability before they are allowed to drive independently in this country. It is your responsibility to ensure you take out fully comprehensive insurance for an Au Pair, informing your insurance company that the Candidate is a foreign national, as neither us or the Au Pair can be held responsible for any costs incurred due to an accident in any circumstances.

Sickness: If the Au Pair is ill and unable to perform their duties, you will continue to provide them with accommodation, food and pocket money until such time as other arrangements can be made for their care or until they are well enough to continue with their duties.

Tax & NI: The current tax thresholds say: You must register and pay NI on behalf of your employee if you pay them £157 or more per week. You must also register if your Au Pair has another job, even if you pay them below the threshold. If you pay between £113 and £157 and your Au Pair does not have another job you should still register as an employer although no Tax and NI will be due. www.nannytax.co.uk can assist in all Tax and NI matters.

Insurance: You are responsible for ensuring that your home contents insurance policy includes cover for employers and public liability insurance for domestic workers, including Au Pairs. The Au Pair may wish to take out additional health insurance and travel insurance to cover loss of belongings, repatriation in case of accident, death etc

Notice Period: You agree that any terms of engagement between you and an Au Pair will be subject to a minimum two weeks’ notice period by either party. If you wish the Au Pair to leave before the end of the notice period, you agree to pay for their B&B accommodation or flight home, plus the two weeks pocket money. In the event of serious misconduct by either party, the other party shall be entitled to terminate the engagement immediately, however should the misconduct be on the part of the Au Pair, you will be responsible for providing appropriate accommodation for a period of four days from the date of termination.

Light Housework: An Au Pair’s primary role is childcare; light housework should be a lesser part of duties. Acceptable standards of cleanliness must be maintained by the Au Pair and host family. Au Pair’s should spend no more than one hour per day (maximum 5 hours per week) on light housework tasks. A list of suggested light housework duties can be found below:

List of tasks accepted as light housework:

  • Washing dishes, including loading and unloading dishwasher
  • Preparing simple meals for children
  • Keeping kitchen tidy and clean, including sweeping and mopping floors
  • Loading and unloading laundry into washing machine
  • Ironing for children
  • Putting washed clothes away
  • Vacuuming
  • Dusting
  • Making and changing children’s beds
  • Cleaning children’s bathroom
  • Everything to do with keeping their own room/bathroom clean and tidy
  • Light shopping (not the entire household shopping)
  • Walking and feeding pets
  • Emptying bins

List of tasks considered unsuitable for an Au Pair:

  • Gardening
  • Window cleaning
  • Spring cleaning
  • Cleaning the oven, other than simple wiping out
  • Washing carpets
  • Washing the car
  • Weekly shopping
  • Pet training
  • Clearing up after untrained pets
  • Making parents bed
  • Ironing for parents
  • Cleaning parents’ en-suite bathroom
  • Polishing silver and brassware
  • Cooking the family meal, unless the Au Pair enjoys cooking and has chosen to do this for the family

Please note: Au Pairs should not be required to do housework such as ironing, when looking after children of primary school age or toddlers, due to safety reasons.

INDEMNITY / LIABILITY

The Agency offers an introduction service only. Accordingly, the Agency shall not be liable under any circumstances for loss, expense, damage, delay, costs or compensation, whether direct, indirect or consequential, which may be suffered or incurred by the Client arising from or in any way connected with the Agency introducing a Candidate to a Client or from the Introduction to or Engagement of any Candidate by the Client or from the failure of the Agency to introduce any Candidate.

The final decision to employ a Candidate rests with the Client and the Agency can give no warranty, representation or undertaking as to the suitability, honesty or capability of any Candidate nor as to the completeness, truthfulness or accuracy of any information or statement or reference provided by the Agency. Verification of all such information and references shall be the Client’s responsibility.

In no circumstances shall the Agency’s total liability to the Client, whether in respect of goods or services and whether based in negligence, breach of contract, misrepresentation or otherwise, exceed the fee payable by the Client.

To the extent permitted by law, the Agency will not be liable for any indirect or consequential loss or damage whatsoever (including without limitation loss of business, opportunity, data, profits) arising out of or in connection with the use of the Website.

You agree to indemnify and hold the Agency harmless from and against any breach by you of these terms and conditions and any claim or demand brought against the Agency by any third party arising out of your use of the Website, including without limitation all claims, actions, proceedings, losses, liabilities, damages, costs, expenses (including reasonable legal costs and expenses) howsoever suffered or incurred by the Agency in consequence of your breach of the Terms and Conditions.

Whilst the agency will make reasonable efforts to ensure the suitability of the Au Pair, the client is responsible for satisfying him or herself as to the suitability of the Au Pair concerning the Au Pair skills, qualifications, standard of English and general integrity. The agency cannot accept responsibility for any loss, expense, damage or delay caused, howsoever occasioned. The agency cannot accept liability of any kind for any loss or damage to property, or for any injury to persons arising directly or indirectly from any act or omission of any Candidate introduced by the agency. Even if such an act or omission is negligent or fraudulent or reveals dishonesty.

All accidents should be covered by the host family’s own insurance arrangements. Any damage to vehicles should be covered by the host family and under no circumstances should the Candidate’s pocket money be witheld to cover the cost of any accidental loss or damage. The Agency accepts no moral or financial responsibility for any accident that occurs by a Candidate.

CONFIDENTIALITY

All communication, whether written or verbal, shall be confidential. All correspondence and records remain the property of the Agency.

Details of prospective Au Pairs are sent to you in the strictest confidence. If you pass this information to another family resulting in an engagement, you will be responsible for the agency fee, and an invoice will be issued to you for immediate payment.

It is your responsibility to inform us immediately when a Candidate is introduced by us who has already been introduced to you by a third party. If you do not inform us then it will be presumed that the introduction has been made by us and the relevant agency fee will be payable.

PRIVACY

You are aware that in order to fulfil our obligations as an Au Pair agency, it is necessary to work with agencies in Europe and for them to see and be privy to the information offered on our registration form. This of course contains full personal details of a family.

We comply with the Data Protection Act, please see below the guidelines quoted from the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

The Data Protection Act requires all organisations which handle personal information to comply with a number of important principles regarding privacy and disclosure. The Act states that anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles. These state that information must be:

• Fairly and lawfully processed.

• Processed for limited purposes.

• Adequate, relevant and not excessive.

• Accurate and up to date.

• Not kept for longer than is necessary.

• Processed in line with individuals’ rights.

• Secure.

• Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.

Your Information:

We collect personal information from you that is relevant to the introduction process of Au Pairs to families, allowing us to introduce relevant Au Pair candidates to you. The information you provide is only used by us, our European Agents and Au Pair candidates for the sole purpose of the Au Pair search and introduction process pre and post the Au Pair start date. We will not disclose your information to other parties without your permission unless we are legally required to do so. The Little Au Pair Agency website is hosted by a US based organisation who are signed up to the Safe Harbor scheme which is recognised by the European Commission as providing adequate protection for the rights of individuals in connection with the transfer of their personal data to signatories of the scheme in the USA. If you have any questions, please email us at: emma@thelittleaupairagency.co.uk

UPDATES TO TERMS

Fees and Terms and Conditions are subject to change without prior notice.

LAW

These terms and conditions are governed by the law of England and Wales and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.

 

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