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Working as an au-pair in UK and leaving the host family. Is it legal?


Wyspianska  
19 Nov 2008 /  #1
I'm an au pair in UK, I'm wondering if I left the host family I'm living with now and broke a contract with them and my agency, found a new host family by myself, without agency anymore is it legal to stay in UK with a new host family for another 6 months? Do I need any paperwork? Thank you.
Vincent 9 | 806   Moderator
19 Nov 2008 /  #2
without agency anymore is it legal to stay in UK

you will always be able to stay in the UK as as you are a member of the EU

Do I need any paperwork

If you have an NI ( national insurance number ) then I can't see it being a problem
OP Wyspianska  
19 Nov 2008 /  #3
If you have an NI ( national insurance number ) then I can't see it being a problem

I'm not too sure to be honest, where do I have it from? I might do haha. Thanks.
Vincent 9 | 806   Moderator
19 Nov 2008 /  #4
where do I have it from? I might do haha. Thanks

If you are paying tax on your salary then you would have one. NI numbers can be obtained from your local tax office. They would give you a temporary one, then a couple of weeks later would give you a permanent one
OP Wyspianska  
19 Nov 2008 /  #5
Oh but being an au pair is not a real job. I don't pay taxes etc I just ave money straight from the host family, it's like pocket money plus I live with them.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
19 Nov 2008 /  #6
I'm not too sure to be honest, where do I have it from?

You should get a NI number otherwise you are paying emergency tax (the highest possible)
With the number the tax inspectorate will work out what tax bracket you are in and you pay less tax and get more into your hand.

You can also apply for tax back, if you have been on emergency tax.
(If it is still the way it used to be?)

You are an E.U citizen and can legally work in Britain.

Check your current contract, it usually has a part in it where it states you should give one months notice, meaning you give a written statement stating your intentions to leave, it is polite to do this.
OP Wyspianska  
19 Nov 2008 /  #7
Being an au pair is not proper work. I don't need any work permission paper and I don't pay taxes etc. Do I need anything else to stay here or it's already legal?
benszymanski 8 | 465  
19 Nov 2008 /  #8
otherwise you are paying emergency tax

I am going to guess she's not paying any tax - she's just being paid cash in hand directly by the family. Wyspianska - is that correct?

I presume also that the agency were paid a finder's fee at the start by the au pair and also the family and therefore are no longer involved and thus don't particularly care now. That's usually how it works - again Wyspianska, is that the case?

Realistically there is nothing to stop you just leaving and finding a new family. They might try and scare you about the contract but I seriously doubt anyone will try and enforce it, especially if you are unhappy with the current family.

But as SeanBM says, it would be polite to give them some notice to find a replacement. But I don't know what you reason is for wanting to leave the current family - if they are treating you badly then don't feel guilty about just leaving.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
19 Nov 2008 /  #9
eing an au pair is not proper work

she's not paying any tax

I see.

They might try and scare you about the contract but I seriously doubt anyone will try and enforce it,

Agreed

But I don't know what you reason is for wanting to leave the current family

Yep, if you must leave there is nothing stopping you from packing your bags and leaving, nobody owns you (for want of a better phrase)
Vincent 9 | 806   Moderator
19 Nov 2008 /  #10
Do I need anything else to stay here or it's already legal?

you don't need anything else to stay here, just if you wanted to work legally then you would need a NI number.

Not sure how it works with au pairs to be honest, and can't understand where the agency comes into the equation. They must have sorted things out legally for you when you first came over to the Uk.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
19 Nov 2008 /  #11
it's already legal?

Well I think that technically you aren't supposed to work 'cash in hand'. Normally you should apply for a National Insurance number and pay tax. But I don't think anybody will care about that for au pair work so I wouldn't worry about it.

But that aside then because you are an EU citizen you are totally free to stay in the UK and work or don't work where you choose.

Do I need anything else to stay here

No you don't need anything else. There is no 'zameldowanie' or any other crap. The UK is a 'free' country :-)
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
19 Nov 2008 /  #12
Please Wyspianska,
believe it,
you are legally allowed to work in the Britain and Ireland.

Do you get pay slips from your employers?
Do you have a copy of the contract?




It is illegal not to pay tax but you have not stated if you pay tax or not and is your business ;)
jonni 16 | 2,485  
19 Nov 2008 /  #13
These posts are right. If you're a Polish citizen, then you can live and work in the UK. You'll need a National Insurance number (easy to get) but even if you don't have one, you can still start work and sort it out after. There's the Worker Registration Scheme, for people from the 'new' EU countries but all employers know about this and it isn't a problem to arrange.

If you have any questions still, there's a Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB) in almost every town. They are free and are experts in matters like this.
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
19 Nov 2008 /  #14
hungarianaupairagency.com/famfactsheet.htm

Au Pairs - This site may be of some help.
Mister H 11 | 761  
19 Nov 2008 /  #15
Please Wyspianska,
believe it,
you are legally allowed to work in the Britain and Ireland.

There are still some formalities to go through and it doesn't sound like she has done this. It sounds to me like she is working illegally as she is working "cash in hand" without any stoppages being taken off her wages.

She, her employers and her job agency should be reported.

It is illegal not to pay tax but you have not stated if you pay tax or not and is your business ;)

Eh ? She has said that she doesn't know if she has an NI number or not and would have had to fill in some forms to obtain one. Therefore it would seem that she hasn't and her and her employers are taking the mick.

This is basically "cash in hand" and if she is working full-time hours, she must be earning enough to become liable for tax - just like the rest of us.

This is tax evasion.
polishgirltx  
19 Nov 2008 /  #16
It sounds to me like she is working illegally as she is working "cash in hand" without any stoppages being taken off her wages.

She, her employers and her job agency should be reported.

au-pair is a legal job and au-pairs don't pay tax... that's in every country...
Mister H 11 | 761  
19 Nov 2008 /  #17
You're trying to tell me that au-pairs never pay tax regardless of how much they earn ?

What a racket.
Vincent 9 | 806   Moderator
19 Nov 2008 /  #18
There are still some formalities to go through and it doesn't sound like she has done this. It sounds to me like she is working illegally as she is working "cash in hand" without any stoppages being taken off her wages.

She, her employers and her job agency should be reported

If you take a look at the site link that ShelleyS has provided, you will see that she is working legally and all is in order.
polishgirltx  
19 Nov 2008 /  #19
You're trying to tell me that au-pairs never pay tax regardless of how much they earn ?

irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=96420,00.html - America's favorite, IRS

that's about the US and i don't know about the UK.
Mister H 11 | 761  
19 Nov 2008 /  #20
If you take a look at the site link that ShelleyS has provided, you will see that she is working legally and all is in order.

I don't mean to sound rude, but I think that Wyspianska should consider getting a proper job.
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
19 Nov 2008 /  #21
America's favorite, IRS
that's about the US and i don't know about the UK...

Did you read what you had posted? Au pairs are required to file income taxes & pay. The only thing is they are not "required" to withhold income on a weekly basis like normal tax payers, and may be exempt from paying SS & medicare tax. But they still must pay Income Tax like everyone else.

"au pair wages are includible in the gross income of the recipients, and au pairs are required to file U.S. individual income tax returns"

au-pairs don't pay tax... that's in every country...

They don't pay, only if they are cheating the system.

Au pair is a fancy word for nanny to me. Being paid under the table is just that, tax evasion. Whether the person decides to admit it or not is their problem. But this field is not tax-exempt.
sausage 19 | 777  
19 Nov 2008 /  #22
Being paid under the table is just that, tax evasion

In the UK the au pairs "wages" are likely to be so low that they don't reach the threshold for paying taxes anyway.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
19 Nov 2008 /  #23
Tax evasion? Being reported? These girls are normally earning a pittance - £50 a week or so. I think HMRC have got bigger fish to fry...
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
19 Nov 2008 /  #24
There are still some formalities to go through and it doesn't sound like she has done this. It sounds to me like she is working illegally as she is working "cash in hand" without any stoppages being taken off her wages.

She, her employers and her job agency should be reported.

I think WE are putting words into her mouth.

She does not remember, PROVES nothing.

You should be reported for "defamation of character".

:)
loco polaco 3 | 353  
19 Nov 2008 /  #25
au-pair is a legal job and au-pairs don't pay tax... that's in every country...

ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT? DON'T MESS WITH THE IRS, THEY'LL EFF YOU UP.
Krakowianka 1 | 243  
19 Nov 2008 /  #26
No, its not true. Even in the IRS link that Polishgirl provided it stated that au-pairs must file & pay income taxes.

I think what she may be referring to, is that in every country there are those au-pairs who feel they that since they are paid on the side, they shouldn't pay tax. Which is wrong.
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
19 Nov 2008 /  #27
If you take a look at the site link that ShelleyS has provided, you will see that she is working legally and all is in order.

As usual they just get all carried away!

Applicants from the EU have no restrictions imposed on them and are allowed to undertake any work, including Au Pair placements. As Au Pairs, they do not need to register under the Workers Registration scheme, but, if they are undertake any extra work other than au pair work (including cleaning, bar work etc.) they will need to register with the Home Office.

The family is not required to pay National Insurance contributions or Council Tax for the Au Pair. No claims for any benefits can be made from the DSS but treatment under the National Health Service is available in cases of accident or illness. The family should register the Au Pair with their own doctor or medical practice as soon as convenient. The Au Pair remains responsible for the cost of dental or eye treatment and prescriptions

In short Wyspi, you can leave them with no problems whatsoever, but i would give them 1 weeks notice in order for them to get child care sorted out.
Shawn_H  
19 Nov 2008 /  #28
give them 1 weeks notice in order for them to get child care sorted out.

Also, if you leave the family on relatively good terms, they may offer you references going forward. There's nothing wrong with having a former employer that speaks highly of you.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
19 Nov 2008 /  #29
being an au pair is not a real job

It's probably one of the easiest jobs to walk away from, considering that it is based on a "friendly agreement" rather than a proper contract.

I've seen plenty of people just walk away from their jobs without handing in their required notice (usually a month or so). There are no problems with you working and living in the UK as you are an EU citizen and we all love Poles in Britain!

The only probelm I can think of would be obtaining a reference if you wanted to continue au-pair work in the future. However, many people use au-pair work as a way of visiting another country and getting a bit of experience of life abroad, not as a serious career option. I think you're too intelligent for this line of work (just as I am too intelligent for the job that I do!)

So my advice would be to give them notice that you wish to move on. If they pay you weekly, then I would say you should probably give them at least a week's notice.
Vincent 9 | 806   Moderator
19 Nov 2008 /  #30
that in every country there are those au-pairs who feel they that since they are paid on the side, they shouldn't pay tax. Which is wrong.

I used to think that they were well paid until I seen that they get paid about £70 per week. In fact it is so low that it is termed " pocket money" in the eyes of the Inland Revenue here in the Uk. I would not hold a grudge against anyone, not paying tax on income that low. If they were to use your theory then children all over the world would have to pay tax on their pocket money too.

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