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Temporary Au Pairs

Temporary Au Pairs are au pairs that are employed by a family for a set, fixed term contract period typically lasting from 3 to 6 months. Please note however that any employment beyond 3 months, even on a fixed-term contract, is considered to be governed by full term employment regulations as per the Labour Relations Act.

This type of employment cannot be used by a family if the intention is simply to “see if this will work out” as this is in contravention of the Labour Relations Act. Employment is governed by the Labour Relations Act and all laws in terms of dismissal apply.

Please note the following in terms of the Labour Relations Act in relation to fixed term contracts:

  • The main purpose of a fixed-term contract is supposed to be the filling of a temporary job. That is, the most appropriate time to hire an employee on a fixed-term contract is when the job itself is expected to come to an end at a specific time. It can be very dangerous to employ an employee on a fixed-term contract when the job itself is permanent (unless the temporary employee is merely standing for the permanent incumbent who is away on leave or who has temporarily been deployed elsewhere). The reason for this danger is that, according to the LRA, if the employer (even inadvertently) gives the employee a “reasonable expectation” that the contract will be renewed on expiry, the CCMA or bargaining council could force the employer to renew the contract.

At the outset, one needs to understand the nature and purpose of a fixed-term contract. And perhaps the easiest way of explaining this, is to consider what the fixed-term contract is NOT:

  • It is NOT an alternative means of getting around the probation period – “Let’s put this person on a fixed term contract and if they work out, we’ll employ them permanently”; and
  • It is NOT a solution to avoiding retrenchment in the future – “Let’s put this person on a fixed term contract and see whether or not we need this role on an on-going basis” 

Typical Cases Where a Fixed Term Contract Would Apply Are:

  • if the family’s current au pair is on a leave of absence and a temporary au pair is required
  • if the family is emigrating and therefore only requires an au pair until such time as they emigrate
  • if the family is going on holiday and they require an au pair to travel with them
  • if the parents are going away and require the assistance of an au pair during their absence
  • if the family is in Johannesburg for a set period and they require an au pair during this time
  • if the main caretaker of the children i.e. mom / dad / granny etc. has fallen ill / has had surgery and an au pair is required during the recovery period

The Following Applies for Temporary Employment:

  • A formal contract of employment is required to be completed and agreed upon by both parties
  • If an au pair elects to resign the standard notice period is 1 week.
  • The au pair is entitled to 1.25 day off for every 15 days worked.
  • Dismissal of an au pair is governed by the Labour Relations Act

Little Sunshines Au Pair Agency will make contact with the au pair and family a few weeks prior to the fixed term contract coming to an end to assist her in finding another position, or to facilitate the renewal of the fixed term contract period based on the circumstances at the time of renewal.

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We assist with the following types of positions:

In the Home:

“Upon Registration…”

Upon registering with Little Sunshines Au Pair Agency, we will send you an Interview & Information Guide which contains the following information:

  • Proposed questions for your interviews with prospective au pairs, tutors, governesses, home school teachers or school facilitators
  • Guidelines on employing a candidate in terms of South African labour law
  • Guidelines on dealing with employee performance related issues in terms of South African labour law
  • Tips on how to maintain a long-lasting relationship with your new au pair, tutor, governess, home school teacher or school facilitator

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