Tips for gathering documentary evidence

Documentary evidence of your employment is very important. If any problems do occur, you have to be able to prove that you’re telling the truth. The following tips can help you gather good evidence.

If you have a smartphone, use it to gather evidence. To make sure you don’t lose the evidence if your smartphone is lost or stolen, store this information in the cloud.

Save all documents

  • Save everything you have on paper carefully or make a copy or clearly legible photo of: your contract, work schedules, all the documents drawn up by the host family or an au pair agency (for example ‘family guidelines’, ‘code of conduct’, ‘termination of contract’), bills for medical expenses, etc.
  • Keep any notes with instructions that you receive from your host family. When you make a note of something, write down the exact date (day/month/year) where possible. The more precise your story, the stronger it is.
  • If an accident occurs while you are at work, keep all the papers from the hospital and from the doctors you visited. Tell them you have had an accident at work. Also ask them to note this down in their reports. Also ask for a certificate of occupational disability (to say you are unable to work).

Gather information about the host family

  • Make a note of the full and correct names of all family members, collate telephone numbers, car registration numbers, and the name and address of the children’s school/crèche too.
  • Keep any emails you have received from the host family and the au pair agency.
  • If you found the family through a website for au pairs, make a copy of the family’s profile on that website.
  • Keep all the messages from your host family (and the au pair agency) both on your phone and WhatsApp or Facebook. Take a screenshot like this and save it. This means the information won’t be lost if your employer deletes the conversation.

Here is the link to the instruction video for iPhones.

Collect information about your workplace(s)

  • Write down where (addresses) and when (dates and times) you worked in as much detail as possible.
  • Take recognisable photos and videos of your workplace and yourself while you’re working. Make sure that the place you’re working is also recognisable. There are a number of apps you can use to take photos and videos with the date, time and even location.
  • Write a description of where you work (for example, the interior of a house, a second home or a hotel if you have to travel with the host family). This proves you were really there.

How to pass on documentary evidence

If you have a case with FAIRWORK Belgium, you can pass the photos and videos on to us. This video will show you how.

Here is the link to the instruction video for iPhones.

Important: Always save as much information as you can. That way, if there are ever any problems, you will at least be prepared. If you only start thinking about gathering evidence after your host family has dismissed you, it’s often difficult to find the documentary evidence once more.