What a conversation we’ve been having about whether (or not) to offer an outstanding extension au pair a raise above the mandated weekly stipend!
This all was prompted by an email from the aptly self-named “Host Mom Who Wants To Be Fair”.
Dear Au Pair Mom,
I’m hoping to get some good advice from other host families!
Let me start with some background – our au pair is 22 and has been with us for 11 months. She has become fairly fluent in English over the course of her (almost) year here. We have one daughter and she is 1 year old. My husband and I both work outside the home and typically our au pair is working right at 45 hours. When we go over, we pay her an extra $10/hr.
Our current au pair is our first and we absolutely love her and so does our daughter. She is very responsible and takes great care of our daughter.
Here is our issue – our au pair decided to extend with us for a second year (and we are very excited).
But when we offered her a $50/week raise in addition to the existing weekly stipend, plus extra pay for any extra hours, she did not seem very happy with this.
In addition to the money, our au pair has her own bedroom, bathroom and private living space; full time access to a car; paid for cell phone; private laptop; several weeks off in addition to her official vacation when we’ve been out of town.
I’m looking for advice on what other HF’s pay their au pairs when they extend, if they’ve offered more money and how much. I just want to make sure we are being fair and any advice on how to broach this subject without sounding like “we give you so much, just be happy with the money”.
As you readers know, we had that conversation about whether or not we’d offer a raise, and how much we’d consider.
But while we were hoping to offer HM2bFair some advice, another shoe dropped:
Since I wrote you, our au pair has come to us with her proposal of what she’d like to get paid…and it is almost double the normal stipend.
I do believe that someone is steering her, but I’m not sure who. My husband and I are now prepared for her to leave, as we are financially unable to provide what she is asking for. But, I’m sad that what was a happy relationship is now strained because we wanted to be generous.
I’d still like to know if we are way off base with our offer.
What would other readers do in this situation?