an Au Pair can be a fantastic 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, shares the family's routine, treats their kids as little brothers or sisters. However, the Host Family shouldn’t take you for granted
. After all, caring for the family’s children is your job
, not your hobby. Of course, the Host family is not a traditional employer, but remember, you signed a contract
and discussed your duties and expectations before you arrived. You both did it to protect yourselves from possible misunderstandings and problems
. Thus this contract is the basis of your Au Pair stay.
According to the Au Pair program rules,
Host Families are not only obliged to pay you a weekly or monthly pocket money
. Although it’s not only a program’s requirement, they also appreciate your work this way. 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 a few 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. Or maybe there is another issue, but you won’t know about it unless you ask.
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 about the payment without a reminder. But maybe it will help if you mention it once in a while.
Even though there are Host Families who prefer to pay Au Pair in cash, try to talk with your Host Parents about opening a bank account to transfer you the money. They can even set up an automatic transfer so the payment will always come on time. This way, it’s also easier to prove if they already
paid you or not. Of course, it’s better if you discuss it before signing a contract.
It’s not a cheap option but a good one.
With an agency
checking Host Family's background and compliance with regulations, there is a good chance that there will be less conflicts during your Au Pair stay. They also offer accomodation with problems during the stay,
and if anything happens, they’ll help you with replacement.
When it becomes clear that your Host Family won’t pay and that there is no way to receive your pocket money, you are in a very uncomfortable situation. Imagine: you’re doing your job,
but the employer doesn’t pay you - sounds quite frustrating, right? Of course, Au Pair’s job is not a “real job”, but your work and the time you spend with a family are real! So never 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.