A landmark ruling by the Workplace Relations Commision in response to the claim of a Spanish au pair could see thousands of Irish families letting their au pair go in coming weeks.
The monumental ruling ordered a family to pay €9,000 to their au pair and also that they should all be paid the fair minimum wage of €9.15 per hour. The au pair at the centre of the case was previously paid €100 a week by her host family, amounting to less than the minimum wage per week.
As a result of this ruling, an au pair has been established to be an employee like any other and therefore entitled to the minimum wage, holidays, rest periods and employee protection.
Sean Kavanagh, SK Dublin director, says that yesterday’s ruling sets a precedent for future payments for au pairs.
“Families are in a difficult position now in that any au pair could theoretically take a case throught the WRC against the family looking for minimum wage.
“That’s a terrible situation for families to be in and for agencies, etc. If there is a real fear that this would happen, we could see thousands of families letting their au pairs go next week.”