Readers, there is sadly more to the story of Deflated HostMom. She and her DH are having trouble getting the finances between the family and the au pair, and the family and the Agency, settiled to their saristaction.
As Deflated HostMom describes:
We have already paid our current au pair her full education allowance, and she announced she wants to leave two days after she took her second week of vacation (for which we gave her extra time).
- What are the different agency policies regarding what the au pair should owe us based on the education and vacation credits already given?
- Has anyone successfully fought an agency over these things? Is it possible we could get the money from the agency instead of the au pair?
Our agency seems to know that they cannot give us a replacement au pair since their pool is so weak, and expects us to leave the program. As a result, they have little incentive to help us.
What can we reasonably expect to get back, and from whom?
Whenever an au pair goes into rematch, you need to look closely at the fine print of your agency contract. The details differ with each agency, but in general you should expect to get back a pro-rated refund of some sort from the agency to cover fees you may have paid in advance for months you won’t have an au pair. And, you can either recover or pay a prorated amount for un-earned or un-used vacation days, and for education credits completed or not completed, from the au pair him or herself.
Settling accounts with your AP
Some agencies (such as AuPairInAmerica) have a worksheet that host families and au pairs can use to work out who owes what.
Regarding vacation days, one owes the au pair $ for vacation days she earned but did not take. Your agency contract will spell out how days are earned.
Regarding education payment, if she chooses not to complete her education credits during her time with you, you are only required to pay for [$500 divided by 12 times the number of months she’s been with your family].
If the host family has initiated rematch, or if the rematch is a ‘no-fault’ situation, then the host family usually pays IF the class is not completed. Obviously, the host family pays if the au pair completed her course during her time with the family. I am not sure how it works if she ‘s taken all her credits by having compacted them into her partial time with the (first) Host Family.
The tough part, though, is getting money back from the agency. They may tell you that part of your fee is unrecoverable (i.e., already spent on one-time costs like orientation, plane trips, etc.) I’m sure readers will share some tips below.
But you know what I’d really like back from the Agency? Two things:
- An apology for aiding and abetting the au pair who has shopped for a new family with their help, and
- A promise that they will reassess their priorities and place families’ needs ‘on par’ with those of the au pair.
Maybe you’ll be able to get an apology.