Sunday 30 April 2017

I didn't last long as an au pair in Paris - but it was my university

'Life in a Parisian suburb was so disciplined. Every meal was a three-course palaver. Visits were by appointment. And I was constantly warned that I’d be raped if I walked home alone at night. I had never heard of such an idea'. Photo: PA
'Life in a Parisian suburb was so disciplined. Every meal was a three-course palaver. Visits were by appointment. And I was constantly warned that I’d be raped if I walked home alone at night. I had never heard of such an idea'. Photo: PA
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Au pairs, according to a ruling by the Workplace Relations Commission, (WRC) are employees, should be paid the minimum wage and be awarded all the rights of employees, from social insurance to holiday pay.

Perhaps so. We are in a world now where rights are paramount and there are legal watchdogs against abuse or exploitation - and maybe rightly so.

And yet I'm grateful that au pairing was a much more fluid arrangement - to use a polite word - when I was an au pair back in the day.

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