This document serves as the official legal framework for ensuring the safety and security of AuPair.com's online platform, hereinafter referred to as "the Website". The primary objective of this Protocol is to establish comprehensive measures that protect the interests of all users and visitors while promoting a safe and inclusive digital environment.
At AuPair.com, we recognize the paramount importance of user safety, privacy, and adherence to the principles of justice. Therefore, in keeping with our commitment to maintaining a fair and transparent platform, we emphasize that every user is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The site's security protocols are designed to protect users from potential harm, harassment, or misconduct while using our services. We have implemented strict security measures to protect personal information, ensure secure transactions, and maintain a respectful online community.
In this section, we outline the various security measures that AuPair.com has put in place to mitigate potential risks and create a safe digital space for all users. This includes but is not limited to:
Data Encryption: Use industry-standard encryption techniques to secure user data and maintain confidentiality.
Monitoring and moderation: Use advanced monitoring tools and human moderators to ensure compliance with community guidelines and to address inappropriate content or behavior promptly.
Reporting Mechanism: Providing users with a clear and accessible process to report incidents or complaints related to safety or misconduct.
This section sets out the detailed procedure that AuPair.com will follow when dealing with user complaints or reports of safety concerns. Our complaint-handling process will prioritize the following principles:
Confidentiality: Respect the privacy of the complainant and ensure that sensitive information remains confidential during the investigation. AuPair.com will not disclose the name of the complainant unless the complainant gives permission to do so.
Fairness and Impartiality: Conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation of the complaint to determine the facts and reach a fair resolution.
Timeliness: Strive to resolve complaints promptly and efficiently to minimize any potential harm or inconvenience to the parties involved.
The procedure adopted by AuPair.com for the most common types of complaints is described in detail in the second part of this document. In the event of a complaint not described in this document, the measures taken by AuPair.com to resolve such a case will always be in compliance with the three points cycled above.
Presumption of Innocence
At the heart of our security and complaint handling protocol is the fundamental principle that every user is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This means that any allegations or complaints made against a user will be thoroughly investigated and adjudicated, giving all parties involved a fair opportunity to present their case.
AuPair.com remains committed to upholding this principle and ensuring that due process is followed in all cases. Our commitment to justice and fairness reinforces our dedication to maintaining a trustworthy and reliable online platform for all users.
However, please note that AuPair.com cannot contact the relevant authorities or act on their behalf. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you contact the appropriate authorities in case of any legal issues.
In addition, AuPair.com reserves the right to immediately prevent the defending party from using the platform if there is clear evidence that the defendant does not comply with AuPair.com's Terms and Conditions. In such a case, the defendant will be blocked from the platform and informed of the incident. It will be possible to reactivate such an account if the defendant can prove that the evidence provided by the victim is false or the result of manipulation. At the same time, in the absence of clear evidence to support the victim's accusation, AuPair.com will not be able to block the accused user. In such a case, the profile of the defendant will be marked with one of the icons described on this page.
This part of the document defines three types of violations of the AuPair.com Terms and Conditions.
The following describes the procedure adopted by AuPair.com in the event that a user reports one of these incidents.
Depending on the case, the AuPair.com team may ask the person who filed the complaint to fill out a questionnaire to make the resolution of the case as smooth as possible.
AuPair.com considers sexual harassment any behavior related to the sexual sphere both before the stay (during the selection or preparation of the stay) and during the cultural exchange or the stay of the applicant with the host family.
A victim of sexual harassment is any AuPair.com user who has experienced any of the following violations by another AuPair.com registered user: Receiving comments that objectify their body; receiving requests to send photos of their body; receiving photos that are explicitly or implicitly intended to show their physical presence; receiving sexual attention; receiving sexual solicitations of any kind; being asked to perform sexual acts; being forced to perform sexual acts.
AuPair.com’s protocol for sexual harassment-related complaints before the stay
After being informed of any misconduct in this area, AuPair.com will send a request to the victim to investigate further and send screenshots to support the allegation made.
If the victim has received photos through messaging platforms, the victim must send a screenshot of the conversation where the receipt of such photos is visible.
If the victim has received inappropriate text messages, the victim must send screenshots of such conversations.
Along with these attachments, the victim must inform the AuPair.com team if he or she is willing to reveal his or her name to the offender. If the victim agrees, the AuPair.com team will only reveal the identity of the person who filed the complaint if the offender requests clarification. If the victim wishes to remain anonymous, AuPair.com will inform the offender that the complaint was made anonymously.
Once the AuPair.com team receives evidence, the following actions will be taken:
Block the profile of the offender
Send an email to the offender informing them of the reason for the block
Informing the victim that the offender has been informed according to their wishes
Send an email to all the other users the offender was in contact with, informing them that this profile was blocked
AuPair.com’s protocol for sexual harassment-related complaints during the stay
After being informed of any misconduct in this area, AuPair.com will send a request to the victim to investigate further and send screenshots to support the allegation made. Just as when dealing with the pre-stay sexual harassment complaints, the AuPair.com team will ask for the victim's consent to disclose his/her identity, as this is relevant in the protocol for in-stay complaints. The victim must also inform the AuPair.com team if he/she is still living in the same household as the defendant.
Based on the victim's answers, one of the following scenarios will arise and the AuPair.com team will adopt one of the protocols described below:
If the victim provides evidence and the placement has already ended, the AuPair.com team is able to block the offender immediately. The perpetrator will be informed of the reason why his profile has been blocked in accordance with the victim's privacy wishes. The offender has the right to contact the authorities if he/she feels that the accusation is unjustified.
If the victim provides evidence, but the placement has not yet ended, the AuPair.com team will advise the victim to go to the police and file a complaint. Meanwhile, the victim will be offered assistance to find a solution within two weeks. AuPair.com cannot guarantee that these two weeks will be enough time to find new accommodation/child or elderly care solutions. The victim does not have to comply with the two-week notice period stipulated in the standard contract. As soon as the placement ends, AuPair.com may block the profile of the offender and inform him/her of the reasons for the block.
If the victim does not have any evidence and the placement with the defendant has already ended, the AuPair.com team will advise them to go to the police and file a complaint. In the meantime, the AuPair.com team will block the profile of the defendant as a preventive measure and inform him/her. The defendant will be asked to tell his/her side of the story and if he/she can explain a different version, the AuPair.com team will have to unblock him/her and mark the profile as having received such a complaint. The victim will be informed of any action taken.
In case the victim does not have any evidence and the placement is still going on, the AuPair.com team needs an official complaint from the victim to the police in order to take any action. Alternatively, if the victim agrees, the AuPair.com team can contact the defendant and ask for their side of the story. The AuPair.com team will be able to block the defendant and start the procedure as in point 3 above as soon as the victim goes to the police and ends the placement. If the victim does not wish to report the incident to the authorities due to a lack of evidence, the AuPair.com team will flag the defendant’s profile and inform them of the complaint received as soon as the placement ends.
AuPair.com’s protocol for sexual harassment-related complaints against a minor
In the event that the sexual abuse is directed against a minor (presumably by the applicant against the host kid), AuPair.com will follow a different procedure.
The steps are as follows and in this order:
The AuPair.com team will block the defendant immediately.
The AuPair.com team will ask the adults responsible for the child to provide the police report or a judicial letter.
As soon as the AuPair.com team has received these documents, it will send an email to all families with whom the defendant has been in contact, informing them that this user has been permanently banned from the site and that they are requested to cease all contact with this person.
AuPair.com considers a scammer profile any profile created by a person whose intention is to make money by defrauding other users on the platform or by stealing items and/or money during the stay.
AuPair.com’s protocol for scammer profile-related complaints before the stay
Two typical scenarios (a & b) are illustrated below.
a. If a candidate informs the AuPair.com team that he/she has received requests for money from a host family, the AuPair.com team will implement the following protocol:
Check the defendant’s profile
Following the examination of the profile, AuPair.com’s team might ask the candidate to provide a screenshot of such a request
Review the profile and messages sent by the family
As soon as it receives the screenshot with the fraudulent request, it will block the family's profile
Notify all candidates with whom this profile has been in contact and ask them to stop all communication with this user
b. If a host family has paid for a candidate's travel expenses and the candidate breaks off all contact with the family and does not show up at the host family, the AuPair.com team will immediately block the candidate's profile.
The AuPair.com team is not obliged to inform the offender that his/her profile has been blocked in any of the above cases (a & b). It can provide explanations for the blocking if the offender contacts the team and asks for explanations.
AuPair.com’s protocol for scammer profile-related complaints during the stay
In the event that an applicant is accused by a family of stealing money or property belonging to the family (e.g. jewelry, electronics, etc.), the AuPair.com team will immediately block the defendant's profile after receiving proof via email that the family has filed an official complaint with the authorities.
In the event of a complaint from an applicant accusing the host family of not paying him/her and refusing to settle their financial agreement, the AuPair.com team will contact the host family and ask for an explanation of what happened. If the family refuses to pay even after the AuPair.com team has established that it is the family that is in default and must pay its debt to the applicant, the AuPair.com team will block the family's profile.
The AuPair.com team considers any offensive, inappropriate, or not in accordance with the rules of AuPair.com and/or the Au Pair program to be misconduct.
This includes but is not limited to, discriminatory, racist, or abusive language or behavior.
In addition, all complaints regarding housework and non-compliance with the Au Pair program rules are part of this category.
AuPair.com’s protocol for users’ misconduct before the stay
If either party is offended by a message received from an AuPair.com user, they may send one or more screenshots as an attachment to their complaint. The AuPair.com team will review the evidence provided and, after discussion, decide what action to take.
Depending on the situation, the team may decide to mediate, send a warning or permanently block the defendant's profile.
Under no circumstances will the AuPair.com team tolerate any form of racist behavior.
AuPair.com’s protocol for users’ misconduct during the stay
Two typical scenarios (c & d) are illustrated below.
c. In case of a complaint from a candidate informing that his/her host family is not respecting the agreements made regarding housework or, in general, his/her au pair duties, the AuPair.com team needs to see evidence in order for them to take action. In order to prove the accuser's claim, it is sufficient for him/her to send his/her weekly schedule with the tasks to be done and a message from the host family asking for tasks that do not correspond to the schedule.
If the Au Pair is still with the host family, the AuPair.com team can contact the family and mediate.
If the Au Pair has already left the host family, the AuPair.com team will inform the host family that we have received this complaint and will flag the profile of the host family.
If the family feels that the allegation is unfounded, they can contact the AuPair.com team and tell their side of the story.
Note: This procedure will also be followed if a family is accused of not having enough space to accommodate an applicant. In such a case, the family can send a video of their home to the AuPair.com team, clearly showing that the room used to host the candidate is a private room. It is important that the video also shows the other rooms in the home and that the person filming the video also films his or her own face.
d. If the complaint received is about one of the parties being rude and/or disrespectful during the stay, and showing serious anger problems, it is important for the victim to understand that the AuPair.com team cannot physically intervene. The victim will be asked to go to the authorities and adopt the same behavior as described in our protocol for complaints related to sexual harassment during the stay. The AuPair.com team will also offer support as described in the same paragraph.