Switzerland, Norway and Denmark open doors to OFWs

October 29, 2010 12:49 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 28 — Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Jennifer Jardin-Manalili said Filipinos who want to work in Switzerland, Norway and Denmark may now apply for employment after these countries have guaranteed protection for OFWs and agreed to observe the requirements of the Philippine government on the deployment of au pairs.

“The Filipino au (on par or equal) 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 said.

Manalili said that deployment of au pairs to Switzerland could 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.

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.

She said the POEA Governing Board has issued three separate resolutions this year, allowing the deployment of au pairs to European countries, which were banned 13 years ago by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The ban stemmed from reported maltreatment of au pairs such as unfair compensation, excessive working hours, discrimination and sexual assault.

She said 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.

Manalili said the employer should 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 shouyld pay for her passport, NBI clearance, birth certificate, medical tests, Philhealth insurance, and other personal documents. (PNA) RMA/MPC

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