Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Government lifts ban on deployment of au pairs

After 13-years, the ban on recruitment and deployment of au pairs to selected European countries is finally lifted.

POEA Administrator Jennifer Jardin-Manalili said the Department of Foreign Affairs imposed a ban on the deployment of Filipina au pairs to Europe in 1997 because of the reported maltreatment of au pairs such as unfair compensation, excessive working hours, discrimination and sexual assault.

Manalili said the POEA Governing Board has issued three separate resolutions this year, allowing the deployment of au pairs to Switzerland, Norway and Denmark after these countries have guaranteed protection for them and agreed to observe the requirements of the Philippine government on the deployment of au pairs.

Au pair is a French term which means “on par” or “equal to”, denoting living on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship with the host family and the children.

Under the POEA guidelines, a Filipino au pair should be between 18 and 30 years of age, unmarried and without any children, placed under a cultural exchange agreement with the host family for a maximum stay of two years for the purpose of immersion in cultural and language training.

During the employment, the au pair should be enrolled in a school to learn the language of the host country and shall live with the host family and treated on an equal basis with the members of the family.

“The Filipino au pair should be given pocket money, and share in child care or light household chores and other responsibilities previously agreed upon in a contract between the au pair and the host family,” Manalili emphasized.

Manalili said the employer shall pay the cost of hiring a Filipino au pair which consists of visa fee, air fare, POEA processing fee, OWWA membership contribution, and cost of training if required by the employer. The au pair shall pay for her passport, NBI clearance, birth certificate, medical tests, Philhealth insurance, and other personal documents.

Manalili added that deployment of au pairs to Switzerland can only be through recruitment entities authorized by the Swiss Federal Office of Migration. Filipino au pairs bound for Norway and Denmark shall be documented by the POEA as name hires.


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