On International Women’s Day, a Spanish au pair has been awarded €9,229 by the Workplace Relations Commission after the family she worked for was found to have breached employment laws. MRCI, which supported the au pair to take the case, has welcomed the landmark decision.
Here are the inspiring words of the au pair:
“When I arrived at the Migrant Rights Centre I was exhausted, depressed and weak. It has been a long process, and many people there worked on my case; finally I have found the reward and respect that I needed. Without all those people, this would be impossible.
And that is why I want to say to all au pairs: you deserve to be respected, because you have in your care the most precious part of a family, the children. And that is a huge responsibility. I felt as though the children were my family, and it is very hard to leave a situation of exploitation when you feel such an enormous love for them. But at last I had to start this process.
With this judgment I feel respected for my work at last. That’s what through the Migrant Rights Centre and the decision of the Workplace Commission I have been able to obtain: respect and credibility. And it is proof of the important work being done by au pairs and domestic workers to get our rights.
I would say that it is very important for everyone to become aware of this situation, and I hope that au pairs will no longer be exploited as cheap labour.”
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