Friday 23 February 2018

Underpaid, overworked, afraid ... and minding your children

MRCI director Edel McGinley
MRCI director Edel McGinley

Sinéad Moriarty

When I was growing up we had a lovely, and very good-looking, Italian au pair who lived with us for a year. She spent most of her time studying English or going out with Irish men, who queued up to date her. She didn't cook, clean and only occasionally looked after us. Sometimes if my mother needed to pop out, the au pair would keep an eye on us for an hour and she did a bit of babysitting when my parents went out on Saturday nights but that was it.

Nowadays, some au pairs are allegedly being treated like slaves with some reported to be working 70-hour weeks for the grand sum of €100 a week.

These young girls (98pc of the au pairs in Ireland are female) come to Ireland to learn English and experience living in Ireland. They do not come to raise our children for €1.40 an hour when the minimum wage is €9.15 per hour.

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