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75 days in prison for exploitation of au pairs

Prison, au pairsPrison: Photo: pixabay.com

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Business leader, Ragnar Horn and his wife were sentenced to 75 days in prison for violations related to the employment and utilization of four Filipinoau pairs.

The prison sentence, which was established by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, is 15 days shorter than the couple received from the court of law.

Horn and his wife were convicted of giving false information to the immigration administration.

Among other things, they have not reported that the family – contrary to the regulations – would have more than one au pair at a time. They also did not inform authorities that the au pairs would work more hours than allowed.

“The couple were also convicted of giving the women help with illegal residence in this country.

The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s legal application” wrote the Supreme Court in the summary.

NOK 41 per hour

The couple had, for two years, even more au pairs.

Among them were the Filipino sisters. Since it is only allowed to have one pair at the time, a friend had stated to the Immigration Directorate that one
sister would be with them.

According to the au pair’s assistance lawyer, Gunhild Vehusheia, the sisters must have been fooled into thinking that they would work as au pairs in Norway, but ended up as grossly underpaid housekeepers. The au pairs worked eleven hours of their daily lives, four hours every Sunday, and for hours every Sunday for the family. This at 41 kroner an hour.

The court found it proved by three of the au pairs that they worked at least 40 hours a week.

‘’The purpose of the au pair scheme is cultural exchange.

It should not primarily include work, but should have an educational and cultural purpose. Work should not exceed five hours per day and a maximum of 30 hours per week” it said in the judgment.

Help for illegal residence

In Oslo District Court, Horn and his wife were sentenced to five months in prison. The couple appealed to the Borgarting Court of Appeal, who sentenced them to 90 days imprisonment in addition to withdrawal of 186,000 kroner.

When the case was up in the district court, Horn claimed that he was used as a “posterboy” for anything wrong with the au pair scheme. Both he and his wife acknowledged guilt, but disagreed with the sentencing.

The other couples were sentenced to conditional prison for 30 and 18 days, respectively, because they gave incorrect information to the immigration administration, which allowed Horn and his wife to have more than one au pair at a time.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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