News

27th July, 2016 – Media Release

Fair Work Fair Pay: Who’s getting ripped off at work?

Last night SBS’ Insight program, Fair Work Fair Pay shone a spotlight on labour exploitation among overseas workers. During the segment the program aired a story about the experience of a 18 year old German Au Pair, Selina Groll who was promised a weekly payment of $250.00 in exchange for child care and room and board. Her payment and experience were unfortunately very different.

“The mum ended up being drunk pretty much every night,”… I had to pay for my food, she didn’t pay for it, she took the car away so I wasn’t feeling comfortable.”

“The arrangement was she pays me every week $250 … Normally I got paid between $180 or under, and then one week I got only $150.”

Wendi Aylward, President of the Cultural Au Pair Association of Australia (CAPAA) was appalled to hear of Ms Groll’s story. “Unfortunately Ms Groll’s placement was not through a reputable au pair agency. It is critical that families and au pairs use the services of a reputable agencies such as those who are members of CAPAA. These agencies adhere to strict screening of both Au pairs and families, and have substantial support in place in the event an Au pair needs assistance”.

CAPAA was established in 2012 with the purpose of protecting and developing the Au pair experience as a rewarding cultural exchange programme. Since its inception CAPAA has actively lobbied for greater transparency in the sector.

In 2014 CAPAA recommended standard compensation for Au Pairs when it presented to the Productivity Commission on the future of Childcare and Early Childhood Learning.  However ultimately the solution lies with the introduction of a regulated Au Pair visa program. “A sponsored visa program with a robust regulatory framework and standard compensation will reduce the likelihood of Au pairs having similar experiences as Ms Groll’s.” says Ms Aylward.

“Au Pairs are part of the childcare landscape in Australia. For many families an au pair is the only option to allow parents to return to the workforce. Steps need to be taken to ensure that it is safe and transparent experience which delivers what is promised.

Insight’s story sheds light on the exploitation of one Au pair however it should be noted that for most Au pairs their experience is a very good one. “The experience for most Au Pairs is life changing. Living with an Australian family, exchanging culture and learning about each other’s way of life are the very roots of cultural exchange. It is an opportunity that should be fostered and protected”. says Ms Aylward.

Media Contact:            Wendi Aylward  / 0402283783 / waylward@aifs.com.au

July 22, 2015: Au pair services in Australia have become even more attractive with a new 12 month visa ruling for au pairs

Au pairs will now be allowed to stay with a family in Australia for up to 12 months – the full term of their Working Holiday Maker visa. Previously Au pairs could stay maximum 6 months with a family due to conditions on the visa.  “Families will be ecstatic about the option for their Au pairs to stay up to one year” says Wendi Aylward, president of the Au pair industry association in Australia (CAPAA).  

“The Au pair option is really growing in Australia, as more families realise how flexible and affordable it is. Longer placements will address seasonal shortage of Au pairs, and cause less disruption for families as the bond formed between children and their Au pair can continue for a longer period.”

Au pairs who have completed 6 months with one family and wish to extend their stay for up to another 6 months with the family will now be able to apply for the extension through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The Department’s decision has been made in response to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare.The new ruling is effective immediately and will also apply to Au pairs already in the country wishing to extend their placements. Click here to read CAPAA’s submission to the Productivity Commission. 

Media enquiries: Wendi Aylward (Managing Director AIFS; President CAPAA)  E: waylward@aifs.com.au; T: 1300 889 067

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Childcare Rebate Should Extend to Au pairs, Commission to Hear - Sydney Morning Herald

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CAPAA meets with the Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrisson to discuss extension of Au pair visa – IAPA