03/06/2015

Urgent Call For Au Pairs To Be Protected

Urgent action is needed to ensure Ireland protects the safety and welfare of au pairs caring for children, according to a new paper from the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MCRI).

'Childcare in the Domestic Work Sector: Who's Minding the Children?', which launched today, 3 June, draws on Irish and European data and contains an infographic illustrating the long hours worked by 'Jessica', one young au pair who came to the MRCI for help.

More than 20,000 families in Ireland rely on au pairs to provide childcare and household duties. The average au pair is paid €100 for a 40-hour week of childminding, cleaning and cooking.

MRCI's Aoife Smith said: "We have seen a huge growth in the number of women au pairing in Ireland over the last five years. Our centre is providing support and information to over 1,000 au pairs today compared to just 40 in 2013, and Jessica's story is unfortunately not unusual.

"These are extremely vulnerable workers who are being illegally denied basic employment rights, and our research shows that this problem will continue to grow if the Government does not act now."

(CD/JP)

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