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Working in Finland Questions & Answers about Working & Studying in Finland


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Old 20th-August-2008   #1
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Regulations for Au Pairs in Finland


Ok, so...

I have been working as an "au pair" now for nearly a month and to put it bluntly-I HATE IT!

I feel like a maid...I mean I am doing all the housework, and I mean all of it, I thought the whole point of being an au pair was to be part of the family and feel equal to them.

Like I stayed in Helsinki this weekend and when I got back every knife, fork, plate, spoon and cup had been used and was all there dirty ready for me to clean..and the floors were filthy, the washing was piled up sky high so they didnt clean at all on the weekend just left it for me to do.

And yesterday I changed the childrens bed sheets and this morning I get a note saying can you change our sheets too...what?they wern't doing anything when they came home from work yesterday so they couldnt take 5 minutes to change their own sheets?

I wouldn't mind doing all this work if I was being paid more because quite frankly I am doing a maids job and they get paid a hell of a lot more then I do...

I feel so down right now because I feel like I am better then this you know?

Anyways so the point is I need to sort this out because I can't live like this for 9 whole months...I have been searching online about rules and regulations of being an au pair but I couldn't find that much information....But I found out I should only be working 30 hours a week by law but I the parents leave the house at 7 and come back at 5.30 so doesnt that technically mean I'm working 10 and a half hours a day because I have to be here all the time for when the girl comes home from school?I just dont know

I was wondering if anyone knows any more information or someone I can contact it would really help me out

Thankyou

Last edited by Snow; 3 Days Ago at 08:32 AM.
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Old 20th-August-2008   #2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylie View Post
Ok, so...

I have been working as an "au pair" now for nearly a month and to put it bluntly-I HATE IT!

I feel like a maid...I mean I am doing all the housework, and I mean all of it, I thought the whole point of being an au pair was to be part of the family and feel equal to them.

Like I stayed in Helsinki this weekend and when I got back every knife, fork, plate, spoon and cup had been used and was all there dirty ready for me to clean..and the floors were filthy, the washing was piled up sky high so they didnt clean at all on the weekend just left it for me to do.

And yesterday I changed the childrens bed sheets and this morning I get a note saying can you change our sheets too...what?they wern't doing anything when they came home from work yesterday so they couldnt take 5 minutes to change their own sheets?

I wouldn't mind doing all this work if I was being paid more because quite frankly I am doing a maids job and they get paid a hell of a lot more then I do...

I feel so down right now because I feel like I am better then this you know?

Anyways so the point is I need to sort this out because I can't live like this for 9 whole months...I have been searching online about rules and regulations of being an au pair but I couldn't find that much information....But I found out I should only be working 30 hours a week by law but I the parents leave the house at 7 and come back at 5.30 so doesnt that technically mean I'm working 10 and a half hours a day because I have to be here all the time for when the girl comes home from school?I just dont know

I was wondering if anyone knows any more information or someone I can contact it would really help me out

Thankyou
that sucks but by definition, au pair is a low paying job i.e. getting only small allowances plus staying in a host family. sorry couldn't help with laws guiding such profession
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Old 20th-August-2008   #3
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All the information about au pair is here. Check it out

Aupair World - Finland
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Old 20th-August-2008   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylie View Post
Ok, so...

I have been working as an "au pair" now for nearly a month and to put it bluntly-I HATE IT!

I feel like a maid...I mean I am doing all the housework, and I mean all of it, I thought the whole point of being an au pair was to be part of the family and feel equal to them.

Like I stayed in Helsinki this weekend and when I got back every knife, fork, plate, spoon and cup had been used and was all there dirty ready for me to clean..and the floors were filthy, the washing was piled up sky high so they didnt clean at all on the weekend just left it for me to do.

And yesterday I changed the childrens bed sheets and this morning I get a note saying can you change our sheets too...what?they wern't doing anything when they came home from work yesterday so they couldnt take 5 minutes to change their own sheets?

I wouldn't mind doing all this work if I was being paid more because quite frankly I am doing a maids job and they get paid a hell of a lot more then I do...

I feel so down right now because I feel like I am better then this you know?

Anyways so the point is I need to sort this out because I can't live like this for 9 whole months...I have been searching online about rules and regulations of being an au pair but I couldn't find that much information....But I found out I should only be working 30 hours a week by law but I the parents leave the house at 7 and come back at 5.30 so doesnt that technically mean I'm working 10 and a half hours a day because I have to be here all the time for when the girl comes home from school?I just dont know

I was wondering if anyone knows any more information or someone I can contact it would really help me out

Thankyou
I am sorry to hear that, maybe you can contact the agency that found you the job, or just tell your employer of your problems. It sounds like they are deferring all the weekends work until Monday. So you are not really getting the weekend off at all. If they are reasonable they will more than likely help you out. If not then you are ready to move on.

You know maybe a nice chat with your employer will help alot, maybe they just are too busy to see your problem.

You sound like a very consciencious employee, and to work in somebodys home alone means that you are also very trustworthy. These attributes should stand to you when you search for another job.

Good luck to you Kylie!
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Old 20th-August-2008   #5
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Thankyou Ali that was very useful thankyou

and drummerac thankyou too...the thing is I didnt go through an agency I found it from a european job search site...so thats a problem right there cause I have no one to talk to...and you said I should talk to them but...I'm not so good with confrontation but I'm kinda getting to the point where I am gonna snap any day now haha so maybe it will just all come out but by the time they get home I have calmed down by then haha...
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Old 20th-August-2008   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylie View Post
Thankyou Ali that was very useful thankyou

and drummerac thankyou too...the thing is I didnt go through an agency I found it from a european job search site...so thats a problem right there cause I have no one to talk to...and you said I should talk to them but...I'm not so good with confrontation but I'm kinda getting to the point where I am gonna snap any day now haha so maybe it will just all come out but by the time they get home I have calmed down by then haha...
You dont need to be confrontational or aggressive, just tell them how you feel, behonest, but not cruel.

Maybe you should apply for another aupair job (but with an agency) today and see what happens What have you got to lose?
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Old 20th-August-2008   #7
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Kylie is getting ready to buckle down and do some studying for the first time in 4 years eww...
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but I can't just leave here can I?I have some sort of "oral contract"

man this is stressing me out

LONKERO PLEASE!
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Old 20th-August-2008   #8
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Well I think your employers have broken the oral contract by breaking the 30 hours per week rule, they have also broken the rule that prevents you working more hours than any other member of the family.

Look at Alis link above, it looks like a good link.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali View Post
All the information about au pair is here. Check it out

Aupair World - Finland
Great post Ali

Last edited by drummerac; 20th-August-2008 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 21st-August-2008   #9
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Do NOT accept oral job contracts!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylie View Post
but I can't just leave here can I?I have some sort of "oral contract"
Sorry Kylie but you've made that mistake which, for example, most summer workers in Finland do - ORAL CONTRACT!

It's emphasized all the time that no matter what job and for how long one takes, the job contract has to be made in writing. It is everybody's right to get that and should the the employer not be willing to act according, kiss them goodbye - that employer is not reliable!!! It might mean losing the job but at least you won't be exploited - like in your case.

If that's really all you have, you can leave the same day!

Good luck with finding a better employer!
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Old 22nd-August-2008   #10
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Kylie is getting ready to buckle down and do some studying for the first time in 4 years eww...
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Wow I didn't know that...

but...at the same time I would feel awful if I just left...because they both have good jobs and I'm sure it takes a while to find another au pair...

and plus they are organising finnish language courses for me that would all be out of the window...man this is hard
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