It was great to be placed in London and I enjoyed my stay, the agency was efficient and the family made me feel welcome
Oaktree Care Agency Terms & Conditions
These terms and conditions of business are between Oaktree Care Agency Ltd (hereinafter called the Agency) and the Client. The Agency will only undertake business on the terms and conditions contained herein. No variation of the terms will be valid unless confirmed in writing by the Agency. The Client shall be the person who has signed the agreement on the application form.
Agency, We, Us, Our, Ourselves:
Oaktree Care Agency Ltd
Client, You, Your, Yourself:
Au Pair/ Au Pair Plus/ Nanny/ Junior Nanny/ Mother’s Help/ Child Carer/ Elderly Companion/ Home Help/ Housekeeper/ Pet Nanny / Nanny Housekeeper / Nanny PA / Maternity Nurse / Tutor / Governess
Organisation/People who support the Agency in its work.
The Agency acts as agents for the purpose of effecting introductions between Clients and the Candidate and the fees to the Agency are for introduction only. The Agency cannot be held responsible should the Au Pair stay for a shorter time than that agreed with the Client.
The terms and conditions within this document shall apply to any contract between the Client and the Agency and such a contract shall come into force upon the Client submitting an Online Registration to the Agency.
- These terms and conditions supersede all previous terms of business.
Although the Agency takes every care to check the applicant’s details, the Client is strongly advised to satisfy himself/herself as to the suitability of the applicant and not the Agency prior to offering the Candidate a placement.
- The Agency will send a “Waiver” by Docusign in case you would like us to start the search immediately for the most suitable Candidates for Your family, rather than wait for 14 days to elapse in accordance with the Consumer Contract regulations 2013. If you do not sign the waiver, this is no problem, and we will begin the search for you as soon as the 14 days have elapsed.
- Thereafter, each time a suitable Candidate has been identified and that Candidate confirms interest in applying for your role Oaktree Care Agency Ltd will send You the candidate’s files so that You/the Client can begin to determine this Candidate’s suitability for the position you are offering.
The Agency will support and advise the Client, but is unable to micro manage a Placement and it is the responsibility of the Client and Candidate, once engaged, to make the Placement a success. The Agency cannot be held responsible should the Candidate stay for a shorter time than that agreed with the Client, or if there is a breakdown in communication. The ‘Fee for Introduction’ relates solely to the search for and ultimate engagement of Candidate by the Client, not to the length of placement.
The Client accepts and agrees that, in order for the Agency to provide the Client with services, the Agency can share the personal details of the Family, as provided to the Agency by the Client, with Our carefully selected Candidates and Partners.
- Where the Agency advertises on the Client’s behalf, NO Photos, NO Family Names and NO contact details (address or other) shall be used, to protect privacy.
Our Fees for Introduction outlined below are for introduction only.
- The currency payable will be determined by the Agency and is applicable to the Placement fee and all other fees.
- If at any time after invoicing or payment the Candidate and Client subsequently agree to extend the length of the Placement, or scope of the duties, thus making the placement fall into a higher Fee category then the Client must inform the Agency immediately. The difference in Fee will be payable to the Agency immediately.
- The Client must pay the applicable Agency Fees upon the Candidate’s acceptance of the family’s offer and ALWAYS before ARRIVAL/START DATE. We will issue the invoice at this point and send it to you by email.
- Please Note, the Agency cannot remove your Selected Candidate from the ‘books’ until the Fees have been received by the Agency, in full. Furthermore the Candidate may not make travel arrangements until the applicable fee/fees have been paid by the Client/Family in full.
- If any invoice is not paid when due, the Agency is entitled (at its sole discretion) to charge a surcharge of 10% on all invoices which have not been settled in accordance with these Conditions. There is also a risk that a Candidate agrees to be placed with another family, and Your placement has not been booked (paid for) you will loss that Candidate. The Client must ensure sufficient funds are available. Any related charges are payable by the Client.
Oaktree Care Agency Ltd, introduces Au Pairs (not classed as employee). Au Pairs are placed in accordance with the ‘Au Pair Programme’ which was founded approximately 50 years ago. It is a form of Cultural Exchange based around Childcare whereby the au pair is not a worker, nor an employee and must be treated as having the same ‘status’ as a family member.
- Furthermore The Client understands that the Au Pair is fundamentally inexperienced, untrained and has only informal experience with children. Au Pair candidates are usually 18 or 19 years of age, although some may be older.
- The Client and the Candidate will agree on the basic duties, hours, conditions and weekly pocket money, set out in a Letter of Invitation (prepared by the Agency, checked & signed by the Family) but this will not constitute a contract of work.
- If and when the Client agrees to engage an Au Pair Candidate, the Client accepts that this is based on the Letter of Invitation (drafted for You by Oaktree Care Agency Ltd.) and other information provided by the Client to the Candidate and in accordance with the Agency’s Terms & Conditions.
- Au Pairs have a special legal status. They are not Employees and need to be treated and welcomed like a family member and paid a fair weekly pocket money. Oaktree Care Agency Ltd recognises that many families prefer to engage an employee (instead of an au pair) who will be treated well, but will not be included as part of the family. We can introduce You to our Nannies, Junior Nannies, Mother’s Help, Housekeeper, Nanny PA, Nanny-housekeeper etc
Oaktree Care Ltd introduces Employees (Housekeeper, Elderly Companion, Junior Nanny, Nanny, Nanny-housekeeper, Nanny PA, Maternity Nurse, some Mother’s Helps etc.) In these cases You will be their Employer. The Client agrees to present the Employee with a Contract of Employment, before they commence working for You.
The Client will inform themselves of and is responsible for adhering to all relevant Employment Law Regulation and Tax Regulations applying thereto, including PAYE & National Insurance.
Oaktree Care Agency Ltd, puts Clients in touch with Payroll specialists who can advise and offer complete payroll service for domestic staff.
As a courtesy the Agency can send You/the Employer a draft standard Contract for the employment of Your Nanny, Elderly Companion, Housekeeper etc. However Oaktree Care Agency Ltd is not an Employment Law specialist or Tax Advisor and you are advised to seek your own independent advice. It is Your responsibility to check this before signing it.
- The Client understands that it is the Employer’s (Your) responsibility to ask for and check the validity of the Employee’s Original documents and Right to Work in the UK (passport/ ID card, driving licence, visa, DBS/police check, qualifications, ) This must be done in the presence of the Employee. If the Candidate is abroad or living far from Your home and the original documents cannot be checked prior to starting work, this must take place at the first opportunity. See here for more guidance https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-work-uk and https://www.gov.uk/check-job-applicant-right-to-work We also require our Clients to also check and be satisfied with the Candidate’s references before commencing work for you.
- By law, all employees (Not Au Pairs) must be covered under an Employers’ Liability policy. These policies provide protection for damages and legal costs that arise as a result of claims from your domestic staff suffering an injury or disease due to their employment. Please ensure you comply.
- The Client agrees to check with the employee – Nanny / Housekeeper / Elderly Companion, that they are covered by their own Insurance (A Public Liability Insurance policy that provides specialist cover for nannies or carers while they are carrying out their professional duties. Also known as ‘Nanny Insurance’ and ‘Adultcare’ for elderly) The policy should include full cover for administering medicine and also for overseas travel (if applicable).
The Host family will ensure that their home provides the following:-
- A bedroom which will not be accessed/ used by other people; or used for storage or other purposes for the duration of their stay.
- A bedroom which is clean, well maintained and adequately furnished. Furnishing must include a bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, storage space etc
- Access to fully functioning wi fi
- A Host family home that is clean, tidy, well maintained and equipped.
- A Host family home where there is access to food, drink (Tea, coffee).
The Host family will ensure the following:-
- That the Au Pair is paid the amount of pocket money agreed prior to placement, on a specified day of the week, in cash.
- That no changes are made to the days/hours (or duties) that the Au Pair works; or to their payments (or payment arrangements) without prior consultation with the Agency.
- That the agency is informed of any relevant changes to the Host family’s circumstances in a timely fashion.
In the event of illness on the part of the Au Pair the Host family will ensure:-
- That the Au Pair is supported to access NHS medical treatment. Please register the Au pair /Mothers Help with your general practioner on arrival as a temporary patient /member of your family.
- That the Agency is informed of any health concerns in relation to the Au Pair.
- That reasonable support is provided for the Au Pair in terms of being able to remain in the Host family’s home
If they are unable to work, and prior to them returning home.
If the Client makes an offer of engagement directly to the Candidate (verbally or in writing/email) then the Client agrees to notify the Agency of this immediately. Once an offer has been accepted by the Candidate, the Client is liable to pay the Agency’s Fee for Introduction and any applicable surcharges in full.
- If the Agency has reason to believe that the Client is attempting to circumvent the Agency by engaging a Candidate without informing the Agency the Agency reserves the right to terminate the Contract with the Client with immediate effect.
- Should the Client be found to have engaged a Candidate who had been introduced to them by Oaktree Care Agency Ltd. The Client agrees to be liable to pay the applicable Oaktree Care Agency Ltd Fees in Full and within 7 days.
If the Client decides not to accept the Candidate after an invoice has been raised, no refund will be made. Once a Client has accepted a Candidate and an invoice has been raised following this acceptance, the Client is liable to pay the full amount stated on the invoice, regardless of whether or not You ultimately decide to continue with any placement.
The Client agrees to inform Us immediately if the Agency introduces a Candidate to You who has already been introduced to You by a third party. If the Client does not inform the Agency immediately, and engages the candidate then We will presume the engagement is a consequence of Our introduction and Our Placement Fee will be payable. The Client also agrees not to engage a Candidate who has been introduced to You by a third party if we have already introduced the same Candidate to You; in the event that such a candidate is nonetheless engaged then Our Fees will be payable.
The Fee for Introduction includes a FREE 14 day Replacement facility.
- Should the Client find the Candidate to be unacceptable (for a reasonable reason ie a child safety concern of leaving prescribed drugs on the floor) the Client must inform the Agency in writing/email within 14 days of the Candidate’s arrival (for live-in) or start date (for live-out) and the Agency shall offer the Client a Replacement (one free replacement per fully paid fee). The criteria for the replacement search may be equal to or less than the criteria than for the first, paid for, search. For clarity, the Client cannot impose new criteria for a free search. If the Client wishes to impose new search criteria (be it age/ experience, driver etc) a new fee will need to be paid. The Agency will offer a reduction in Fee for Introduction for the new search. If the Client seeks a new Candidate after 28 days have elapsed this is no longer a Replacement and a new Fee for Introduction would be applicable. Depending on the circumstances the Agency may offer a reduction in fee, please see point 16.
- If the Candidate fails to arrive or leaves within the first 14 days, the Agency will find a Replacement.
- Should the Client decide, for whatever reason, not to accept the Replacement Candidate put forward, or to terminate the search, no refund shall be due to the Client and any subsequent placement will incur new Fees. Once the search for the Replacement has been initiated, the Client is required to read and assess files of Candidates proposed immediately and feedback to the Agency, by latest 48 hours. At peak times there are limited ‘top’ candidates immediately available and a slow response can lead to loss of the candidate’s availability. Failure by the Client to respond to the Agency’s emails and calls regarding any potential Free Replacement Candidate within 48 hours, or to General matters within 5 working days will nullify the Free Replacement. Should you later decide to embark on a new search, that search will incur new fees, although a discount may be offered.
The Agency will put forward to the Client a maximum number of 3 replacement candidates, matching the Client’s original search, or as close thereto as possible.
No Replacement will be provided (and no refund) if any the following has taken place:
- If the Fee for Introduction has not been paid in full.
- Where the Client has/had failed to complete full payment of the invoice PRIOR to the Candidate starting work for You.
- On Placements shorter than 3 months.
- If the Candidate complains of abuse (verbal or other), mistreatment or misconduct by the Client, Client’s family, or acquaintances.
- If the agency learns information subsequent to placing the Candidate which deems the Client no longer suitable to engage/employ a Candidate or the chosen category of candidate
- If the Client restricts access to or stops the Candidate using any amenities which they are entitled to use.
- If the Client withholds money (eg. weekly money) due to the Candidate.
- If the Client has not disclosed information to the Agency and Candidate which materially changes the search or Candidate’s decision to accept.
- If the Client has mis-represented the accommodation, position, hours, family circumstances etc.
- If the Candidate has been asked to leave for an unreasonable reason.
- If the Candidate has been asked to do significant extra duties or hours not stated in writing at the time of engagement or not paid extra for.
- If the Candidate has not been given sufficient training & support during the first weeks or has not been made to feel welcome.
- If an Au Pair has been put in sole charge of children more than 12 hours or overnight.
- If the Candidate has not been offered driving lessons and sufficient time to practise, if they are required to drive.
- If the Candidate discovers that there are surveillance cameras in the home which he/she has previously not been made aware of in writing.
- If the search for a replacement is not taken up immediately, involving the Client’s active / immediate interviewing of proposed Candidate/s.
- Furthermore if the Agency is informed or finds out that one or more of the above points has been contravened then it is unable to work for the Client as It is bound by the Constitutional terms of Its Trade Associations APNA, BAPAA & IAPA.
We regret that We are unable to offer refunds for Our service, except in situation 17.a. The service We provide is for Introduction (fundamentally to search for a Candidate who is, as far as We together with the Client can ascertain is suitable.)
- In the extremely unlikely event that the Agency cannot put forward a replacement Candidate, whom We consider to be suitable, within 3 weeks of beginning the search for the replacement, a refund of the fee for introduction may be offered, minus an administration charge of 30% of the fee (minimum £200 administration charge regardless of fee paid). In the unlikely case that the replacement Candidate withdraws after an offer has been made, the search for a free candidate will be recommence for a further 3 weeks, at the end of which time, if no candidate has been put forward a part refund may be offered.
According to BAPAA guidelines, it is recommended that Au Pairs ought to be paid a minimum of £80 per week Pocket Money. (Please note, that is the minimum, factors which may affect the rate of weekly pay are an Au Pair’s older age, experience, level of English, number of host children to be cared for).
A family hosting any live-in Candidate must ensure that she/he is provided with their own private, clean & comfortable room with window and has sufficient access to toilet & bathing facilities and sufficient food.
- If there are surveillance cameras in the home, the Candidate and Agency must be informed in writing, either on the Client’s registration forms or on the Offer documentation given to the Candidate. It must be worded clearly. The Client is NOT permitted to use surveillance cameras in the Candidate’s private bedroom or any bathrooms and w.c.
- Furthermore all Au Pairs must be given the opportunity to attend some hours of language (or other) course each week if they so choose.
- The Client will ensure that the Au Pair is treated as part of the family (with dignity, respect & warmth) and is invited to share in some of the leisure activities of the Family.
- The Client will ensure that any Candidate is given sufficient support and training during the first 4-6 weeks, with continuing support and is made to feel welcome.
- The Client will provide a minimum of 4 week’s paid holiday (& all/ equivalent of 8 UK bank holidays) for every 12 months (pro rata) for Au Pairs and other Candidates.
- If the Family requires any Candidate to drive then the Client must offer the Candidate several driving lessons (Driving School or from family if sufficiently experienced) for candidates who have previously only driven a car overseas and sufficient time to practise in order for them to become confident and secure enough to drive in the UK.
- The Client must ensure that the vehicle to be used by any Candidate is safe and roadworthy
- The Client must add the Candidate as a named driver on their car insurance policy and must be comprehensively insured.
iii. The Candidate should not be liable to pay any excess charges.
- The Client must ensure that the correct child seat is used in the vehicle and the candidate has been given full training on how to use it.
- The Client must ensure that they will be able to insure the Candidate before inviting the Candidate (through current or new insurer if necessary – shop around for the best quotes!).
- The Agency cannot be held responsible for any act, parking ticket, speeding ticket, accident or other involving the Candidate.
- The Client can offer any number of benefits to their Candidate to help ensure a long and successful placement.
- Mobile phone and or top ups
- Financial contribution towards cost of Language classes (requirement of BAPAA)
- Contribution towards flight/s home (requirement of BAPAA)
- Payment of a completion bonus when the au pair stays til the end of the agreed placement (1 week’s pay, requirement of BAPAA)
- Travel Card (for personal use)
- Local gym membership
- Use of a car for personal use (please consider the cost and indeed viability of this vis-a-vis car insurance expense which is borne by family)
All Candidates are entitled to a minimum of 2 weeks notice of termination of Placement/Employment, after the 1st month. However, in the event of serious misconduct by the Candidate or the Client Family, either party shall be entitled to terminate the Placement/Employment immediately. If the Candidate’s departure is as a result of misconduct on the part of the Client then the Agency has no obligation to replace the Candidate or offer any refund of fees.
- During the first 4 weeks of the placement, the Notice period for termination of Placement/Employment will be 1 week, except for Candidates of STS where it will always be 2 weeks. (A candidate from STS will have the letters STS, in large, on the Application forms)
The Client must recognise that despite having some previous experience of caring for children, an Au Pair is not a qualified child carer. An Au Pair should not be left in on-going sole charge of children pre-school children and never in sole charge of a baby under the age of 2 years. Should you need this, please speak to us about our Heavenly Nannies and Junior Nannies.
If a member of your household has a serious allergy or intolerance to something, for example peanuts, please consider carefully whether an au pair will be appropriate in the circumstances. Oaktree Care Agency Ltd considers most au pairs to be unsuitable in these circumstances as au pairs are very young and inexperienced and may have no experience of food allergies/intolerances and therefore do not have the necessary understanding for the seriousness of this condition. This coupled with the unfamiliarity of British foods could lead to serious mistakes unintentionally being made. The Agency cannot be held accountable in any way should any candidate mistakenly bring a ‘banned’ food into the home/ kitchen/ meal. Any candidate which You select must be fully informed by You, prior to accepting the position, about any condition and any necessary precautions and this must be made clear and re-iterated on a regular basis if and after the candidate is engaged by You. Furthermore Most au pairs do not have any experience with anaphylaxis or epi-pens and do not wish to take on this level of responsibility. This also applies to other serious conditions, such as type 1 diabetes. An au pair cannot be relied upon to administer medicines or injections.
The Agency does not accept responsibility and the Client hereby fully indemnifies Oaktree Care Agency Ltd for any loss, damage, expense, injury or inconvenience to the Client Family and Candidate or its property, resulting from the Agency’s introduction or provision of services or from any acts, omissions or conduct of Candidates introduced by the Agency, its employees or Partners to the Client. The Agency advises Clients and Candidates to consider taking out appropriate insurance and medical insurance for the Candidate if the Host family deems it appropriate it. Clients are required to satisfy themselves as to the suitability of the Candidate. The Client accepts that their chosen Candidate is selected solely by them and that the responsibility for the success or failure of the placement rests solely between the Client and the Candidate. It is the responsibility of the Client and the Candidate, once the Candidate is engaged, to make the Placement a success. The Client agrees that Oaktree Care Agency Ltd responsibility ceases immediately following the Candidate’s arrival.
Oaktree Care Agency Ltd values transparency. From the time of Registration the Agency will work hard on Your behalf. We rely on Your integrity not to appoint a Candidate through other means. Kindly inform us if you are also registered with other Agencies or exploring other ways of finding an au pair/ nanny/ housekeeper/ mother’s help/ elderly help etc. Thank you.
The Client accepts that all information and introductions of Candidates by the Agency to the Client are confidential, and should the Client directly, or indirectly introduce a Candidate to any other party within a year of the Agency providing such information, then the Client will be liable to pay the Agency’s Fee for Introduction as if the Candidate had been engaged directly by the Client. The Client will be liable for Our Fee for Introduction for any Candidate engaged as a consequence of, or resulting from, a registration to the Agency even though the introduction is made indirectly.
Although every effort is made to ensure that any information given to a Client is correct, the Agency cannot be held responsible for any incorrect information. The Agency cannot be held responsible for any actions or inactions of the Candidate or Client and both the Client and the Candidate agree to indemnify Oaktree Care Agency Ltd fully in respect thereto. The Client and Candidate further agree to fully indemnify Oaktree Care Agency Ltd, its Employees and Partners for any inaccuracies or oversights relating to any information or guidance provided. Furthermore the Client and Candidate further agree to fully indemnify Oaktree Care Agency Ltd, its Employees and Partners in relation to any guidance or advice provided by Us in relation to legal matters, taxation, employment law, health and safety and insurance. The Client and Candidate are responsible for evaluating the suitability of any guidance provided by us and seek specialist advice where necessary.
The Client and Candidate will warrant that the information provided to the Agency at the time of Registration is correct. The Client agrees to notify the Agency of any change in circumstances or change in the Client’s requirements. If these changes might affect the Candidate, then the Client should also notify them.
By registering with Us to engage a Candidate within a childcare capacity you agree that you have the parental responsibility / legal guardianship and custody of the children.
The Agency reserves the right update these terms and conditions from time to time.
The Agency reserves the right to decline to work for a client before any payments have been made or after the free replacement period has expired.
These terms and conditions are subject to the laws of England & Wales.