Au-Pairs and host families should discuss the most important aspects of the Au-Pair placement well in advance and come to an agreement that is suitable and acceptable for everyone. This particularly applies to the pocket money, working hours, tasks, recreational activities and holidays. These topics should ideally be clarified in writing prior to the Au-Pair's arrival. The Au-Pair contract is signed to avoid possible misunderstandings and problems during the stay abroad. Nevertheless, there might occur emergencies or situations where either party will need to terminate the contract. As a rule, there is an official two-week notice period before the termination. This term should also be written down in the contract before both parties sign.
The duration of the stay depends on Au-Pair, host family, and host country’s program regulations. Some countries have set a minimum and a maximum time for an Au-Pair stay, which usually varies from 3 up to 12 or 24 months. The program duration is flexible for Au-Pairs within the European Union since there are no visa requirements.
The number of working hours of an Au-Pair can vary. In most countries, Au-Pairs should work maximum 30 hours per week. In the USA, Au-Pairs can work up to 45 hours per week. Both Au-Pair and host family should agree on a schedule and the way those hours will be split. Host families should not forget to check the maximum hours per day an Au-Pair is entitled to work in their country.
The official Au-Pair program of each country establishes the minimum pocket money amount an Au-Pair should earn when working the maximum hours permitted. We recommend host families and Au-Pairs to agree on the pocket money before candidate’s arrival. Au-Pairs will use their pocket money to cover their own expenses. An Au-Pair is not in any case supposed to buy her own food or pay for rent.
Au-Pairs are usually entitled to 1-2 free days per week (in some countries at least one free day must be on Sunday) and in some cases, they will also have the right to enjoy at least a free weekend per month. In most countries, Au-Pairs have up to 4 weeks paid holidays for a 12-month stay.
Although this is not a must in most countries, we recommend host families to provide their Au-Pair with a car or bear the ticket costs for the public transport. This way an Au-Pair can take the children to school or any other activities and attend a language school.