Second Job for Au Pairs
This article treats a very delicate topic for both, Au Pairs as well as Host Families. From time to time, some Au Pairs wish to apply for a second job for several reasons. It might be, that they simply want to earn some extra money or have to work not too many hours for their Host Family and hence, have a lot of free time.
No matter what reason is why the Au Pair wants to have a second job, we can tell you that it is not quite the best idea.
The Au Pair might be a little bit tired when she/ he has to work for the Host Family or devalue the whole Au Pair concept as she earns more money somewhere else. All of a sudden, the Host Family is reduced to be “just somebody paying some money” and au pairing is not that important anymore. Another really good but simple reason why a second job is not always the best idea, is that the Au Pair usually have to work in the leisure time, which is primarily there to relax and not to continue working.
Is applying for a second job as an Au Pair a good idea?
First of all, it should be clear that the main job of an Au Pair is definitely taking care of the Host Children and helping with light household duties. They are paid for this job and are provided free meals and accommodation and consequently, the Host Family is basically considered to be the main employer.
In case the Au Pair wants to start looking for another job in her/his free time, the easiest thing is to find out, why exactly the Au Pair is looking for a second job. If it is because she needs some extra money, the Host Family might think about increasing her salary as it is possible for them (probably for extra help in the household). Trust us, they better spend a little bit more money instead of having an Au Pair which is always on the run and cannot live to the Host Families’ expectations anymore.
In addition, applying for a second job usually is not the best idea for an Au Pair because there are a lot of regulations, restrictions etc which have to be taken into consideration by both, Host Family and Au Pair. It is pretty difficult to figure out what work is allowed and what not because you do not want to allow your Au Pair to work illegal if you are the Host Family and you also should not want to work illegal if you are the Au Pair.
Is it illegal to have a second job as an Au Pair?
Whether it is illegal or not highly depends on the nationality of the Au Pair. As long as the Au Pair was born in an European country or in one of the ESTA- states, applying for work is not the big problem as long as the Au Pair came to the UK without the help of an agency. Many Au Pair agencies have their Au Pairs sign a contract which usually prohibits the Au Pair to work in another job other than the one in the Host Family.
It is getting more difficult when the Au Pair comes from a country outside the European Union. Those Au Pairs certainly need a Working Visa, which means a lot of paperwork and administrative organisation. Or a Working Visa is simply completely impossible to receive.
Which problems might occur when applying for a second job?
Besides the hint, that the Au Pair might not be allowed to look for a second job, the idea to look for another job probably brings along some difficulties.
In case the Au Pair does not earn more money than the Lower Earning Limit (LEL) which is determined for every year by the National Insurance Contributions (NIC/ £221 per week,£958 per month, £11,500 per year for 2017/2018), there apply no extra taxes or documents. As soon as the Au Pair is paid more than 221 / week, he/she immediately is liable for Income Tax as well as National Insurance.
The Host Family as well might have to fill in several official documents because they usually are, as long as the Au Pair does not have a second job at the arrival, the Au Pair’s first employer. Consequently, Host Families have to deduct special taxes (PAYE/ HMRC) as soon as the Au Pair has more than one job.
As a matter of fact, it is always necessary that the Au Pair checks whether she is insured and allowed to apply for a second job other than au pairing.
What kind of second jobs are best for Au Pairs?
We want you to think thoroughly about the whole idea before getting a second job. The Au Pair should definitely check in advance whether the Host Parents are okay with this decision as it may have a negative effect on the Au Pair duties etc.
It is highly recommendable to prefer looking for jobs on the weekend or even better, for jobs which allow to earn some extra money within the family or neighbourhood (walking the dog, babysitting, cleaning etc) which means that the Au Pair is way more flexible when it comes the working hours especially if daily schedules changed in case the Au Pair has to take care of the children off-schedule like in case a child is ill and can’t go to school..
If it is not about money, the Au Pair might think about helping some charity organisations or do some volunteer work because he/she can accept this second job without worrying about taxes and administrative organisation.
We do not want to say that it is impossible to look for a second job as an Au Pair, but we do know by heart that is is not that easy to manage and somehow, there surely will occur a few problems.
If you like to read more, we´ve also got a comprehensive page about what to do in your leisure time.