Working for Oxford Aunts Care: Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of the questions that we are asked most often. If your question isn’t on the list, don’t hesitate to email us at enquiries@oxfordaunts.co.uk and we’ll be happy to answer your query.

Q. Am I eligible to work for you in the UK?

A. You will be eligible to work for us in the UK if you have, or can obtain, one of the following: 

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa: This scheme is for young people from participating countries who would like to experience life in the UK. The countries in the scheme now are Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan. Under the scheme, your national government is your sponsor. British overseas citizens, British overseas territories citizens and British nationals (overseas) can also apply under the scheme and do not need a sponsor. Visas are usually issued for two years. For more information go to the UK Visas and Immigration page.

Ancestry Visa or Certificate of Entitlement/Right of Abode: If your parents or grandparents were born in the UK, depending on certain rules, you can apply for either an ancestry visa, which is usually valid for five years, or a certificate of entitlement/right of abode which entitles you to work in the UK without restriction. You might need a letter confirming you are looking for work here in support of your application for an ancestry visa. If applicable we could provide this, but please note any such letter does not constitute a job offer from Oxford Aunts Care. For more information go to the UK Visas and Immigration page

EU Passport: If you hold an EU passport then you are usually able to work in the UK without restriction. For further details go to the UK Visas and Immigration page

Indefinite Leave to Remain:  This also makes you eligible to work for us in the UK.

Q. Can I work for you if I have a student visa?

A. No. Student visas limit you to working a maximum of 40 hours per week in the UK, which unfortunately would not allow you to work for us (our jobs require more than 40 hours per week). You are probably best contacting agencies that provide daily work as this is more likely to fit in with your visa. For more information go to the UK Visas and Immigration page.

Q. Can you arrange visas?

A. No. You need to contact your local embassy to find out whether you are entitled to a visa and you are responsible for making the application yourself. The most we can do is provide a letter of support for an ancestry visa, although this is at our discretion and is not given to everyone – we take into account the number of applicants we have at any particular time before saying whether we can issue a letter. But, please note, any such letter does not constitute a job offer from Oxford Aunts Care. For more information go to the UK Visas and Immigration page.

Q. What kind of experience do I need?

A. Trained nurses will have the necessary experience. Other suitable experience includes work in rest homes, residential or nursing homes or for care agencies. Or you might have done some voluntary work with local charities, involving disabled or older people. Whatever your experience, we will need you to meet at least level two personal care experience as set out in our job descriptions. If you do not have ‘hands on’ experience then we recommend you undertake it in a formal setting beforehand to increase your chances of obtaining work with us. Generally, we recommend 100 hours in a rest or nursing home (either paid or on a voluntary basis) and that, if possible, the experience gained be signed off as competent by a nurse or manager in charge. You will also need to be able to cook to a reasonable standard, be a driver and have a good command of spoken and written English.

Q. Is there an age limit?

A. You must be over 18 to work as a carer for us and we do not have an upper age limit. However, most of our carers are aged between 25 and 68. It can be difficult to obtain client car insurance for people aged under 25.

Q. How soon can I start work after arriving in the UK?

A. You need to undergo a successful interview and we need to receive three satisfactory references before we offer you a place on our induction training. You will also need to successfully complete our one-week induction training and we will need to receive your police checks before we make you a job offer. Our current induction training dates are available upon request. When you have been accepted for our induction training, please contact us before you book your flight over if you are applying from overseas, so that we can secure you a place.

Q. When do you hold interviews?

A. We hold interviews by appointment in various locations throughout New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. Otherwise, we hold interviews on most days here in the UK.

Q. How long do I need to work for?

A. At present we ask that applicants are available for a minimum of 12 weeks. You do not have to work the 12 weeks all in one go. However, shorter periods of work are sometimes available for registered nurses. We do accept eight weeks' minimum for carers applying from Europe.

Q. Do I need a driving licence?

A. Not essential but desirable.

Q. Can you guarantee work for me?

A. It’s important to think about whether an Oxford Aunts contract is right for you. We offer a flexible working pattern, which is reflected in our contract. Our type of contract is very suitable for people who want to work from time-to-time or who want to combine working with travel and/or spending time with family. It gives people the freedom to dictate to us when - and for how long - they want to work. It is not suitable for people who need to be in continuous work, or who do not have a base address or means of providing for themselves as and when there may be gaps between assignments. Having said this, we will always do our utmost to place you in suitable assignments without undue delay and fit in with your availability. 

We are often very short of staff in our autumn, winter and early spring months – September to March. Double rates are paid for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter plus spring and autumn public holidays. In addition, most agencies have a lot of staff looking to work in our summer months.

Q. Do you offer any incentives?

A. We offer accommodation in our dedicated Oxford Aunts house all year round while carers complete their induction or update training.

New carers receive up to five nights’ free accommodation plus £15 towards travel costs from London to Oxford, plus we pay for your UK police check (DBS). 

Returning carers receive up to three nights’ free accommodation plus £15 towards travel costs from London to Oxford, plus we pay for your UK police check (DBS) if needed.

In addition we offer double pay rates for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Easter plus spring and autumn public holidays. 

Q. Do I need a bank account in the UK?

A. Yes. Your weekly pay will be paid straight into your account by the BACS system. However, it can be very difficult for someone newly arrived from overseas to open a bank account until they have a UK address. If possible it is best to open an account through your own bank at home. 

Or, you can look into opening an HSBC Passport Account or a Lloyds TSB Account in the UK. Alternatively, we can supply you with a letter of introduction to the bank of your choice as soon as you start work on assignment with us. 

In some circumstances you may need to open a UK bank account with a UK address in order to apply for your UK police check (known as a DBS) - please contact us for further advice.

Q. Do I need a police check?

A. Yes. You must complete a UK enhanced police check (known as a DBS). We pay the necessary fee.   

Everyone who works on assignment must complete a DBS. The identification documents you will need for your DBS application will vary depending on your particular circumstances. We will tell you what documents you can use but please contact us if you need clarification or further advice. 

DBS checks are now completed online. If you are from New Zealand or Australia then it is often possible to apply for your DBS online either before or at the same time as you attend for interview.

However, it is not possible for all applicants to apply for a DBS before leaving home. In this case, you will need a UK address. You will then need to obtain a document that is acceptable to the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) and that shows your UK address for identification purposes. Please email us for more information: enquiries@oxfordaunts.co.uk

Please Note: There is a slight risk (1 in 250) that your DBS will be held up and prevent you from obtaining work until it is issued.

In addition, overseas applicants are also required to bring a full police check from home dated within three months of arriving in the UK. Please note: South African applicants must obtain a National Police Clearance Certificate based on fingerprints and name check. Local South African police clearances are not acceptable. 

Obtaining a police check from your home country:

Australia: We will require a National Police Clearance Certificate. For further information contact:-

Australian Federal Police, Criminal Records Branch, Locked Bag 1, Weston ACT 2611, Australia Tel: (0) 2 6256 7777 or Fax: (0) 2 6287 0603 or www.afp.gov.au then go to Employment & Services then go to Services.

New Zealand: >All the information and application forms are provided on www.justice.govt.nz. Click on ‘Services’ and then select ‘Get a Copy of Your Criminal Record’ from the drop down menu. You must apply to the Ministry of Justice in writing by completing the appropriate form. You can download the form from the website or have it sent to you by writing to:

The Privacy Unit, Ministry of Justice, National Office, PO BOX 2750, Wellington, New Zealand Or by calling + 64 (4) 918 8800 or fax +64 (4) 918 8974.

South Africa: Police clearance certificates can be applied for at any police station. Fingerprints will also be taken there. These, along with the application form, will then be forwarded to the Central Registry for processing. Contact your local police station for more information.

However, due to the length of time the police clearances can take in SA, we will also accept the 48 hour checks that are available via http://www.nevetecpoliceclearance.co.za. These have to be dated within two weeks of your arrival at Oxford Aunts, whereas the standard police clearance would have to be dated within three months of your arrival.

For other countries contact us or conduct a Google Search for information.

Q. Is there a good time to apply for work?

A. We always need to recruit experienced carers and nurses at any time of the year but we are often very short of staff in our autumn, winter and early spring months – September to March. Double rates are paid for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, new year’s eve, new year’s day, Easter plus spring and autumn public holidays. We also offer other incentives.

Q. How do I find you in Oxford?

A. Coming to Oxford from Heathrow or Gatwick Airports, the Oxford Bus Company runs a 30 minute service from Heathrow and an hourly service from Gatwick. Telephone +44 1865 785400 or go to www.oxfordbus.co.uk for current timetables. Coming to Oxford from London (a) find your way to Victoria Coach Station and catch the Oxford City Link X90 or (b) find your way to Grosvenor Gardens in Victoria and catch the Oxford Tube (confusingly this is a coach and not the London Underground). Both coaches run very frequent services (approx every 15 minutes) and it takes about 90 minutes to reach Oxford, depending on the traffic. Stay on the bus all the way until the last stop in Gloucester Green bus station. Come out of the bus station on to George Street and cross over and you will find a bus stop for the S1 bus going towards Witney/Carterton. Take the bus and ask for Elms Parade, Botley. Get off here and you will see a red brick, two storey building at right angles to the row of shops on your left (Elms Parade). We are located on the second floor and our doorway is at the opposite end to that of Barclays Bank. If you come to Oxford by train then come out of the station and cross the road to Frideswide Square. From there you can get several buses to Elms Parade: numbers 4, 4B or the S1.