An Au Pair is an amazing opportunity for intercultural exchange and getting experience in the field of child care. As an Au Pair you become a family member who lives in the Host Family’s house. However the Host Family shouldn’t take you for granted.
After all, caring for the family’s children is your job, not your hobby. Host Families are not only obliged to pay you a weekly or monthly pocket money, they also appreciate your work this way. Needless to say, you should set up an Au Pair contract before your arrival which should be signed by both parties - you and the Host Family. This contract is the basis of your Au Pair stay. Of course your Host Family should behave accordingly to the Au Pair contract and pay you regularly.
But what if your Host Family doesn't pay you on time? What are your options? Everyone can be busy and sometimes forget about something. But paying the Au Pair is crucial for the relationship between Au Pair and Host Family. In case you haven’t received your pocket money there are two steps you can take:
Raise the issue: Maybe your Host Parents are so stressed with work that they simply forgot to send you the money.
However Host Families should always care about a punctual payment because it’s obviously an awkward and uncomfortable situation if you have to ask to get paid. It goes without saying that the Host Family should remember the payment without a reminder. But maybe it will help if you mention it once in awhile.
When it becomes clear that your Host Family won’t pay and that there is no way to receive your money you are in a very uncomfortable situation. But don’t forget that you have rights, too!
You and your Host Family signed a contract which is valid for both sides. So if you’re sure that they won’t pay you the trust in your Host Family is gone and a cooperation isn’t possible anymore. In this case you should stop working and leave the Host Family since an Au Pair stay is based on mutual respect. But don’t worry: You can find another Host Family quickly on AuPair.com.