Although the Au Pair program is more a win-win cooperation between the Au Pair and the Host Family, there are rules that both sides should respect. In this post we have gathered the most important information about being an Au Pair in the United Kingdom.
Au Pair duties
The participant will be in charge of taking care of the Host Family's children. To the Au Pair’s duties belong also all the tasks related to childcare - like cleaning the kids' room or preparing some little snacks for the kids.
It’s important to understand that the Au Pair is not a cleaning lady, but should contribute to general household chores as every other family member. The participant should discuss with the Host Family the exact scope of responsibilities.
Host Family responsibilities
In the United Kingdom the Host Family needs to provide the Au Pair with:
The Host Family should also respect the work time of the participant. In case of the UK, it’s 30 hours per week. The family can arrange the schedule with tasks in a way that allows her/him to attend a language course.
The participant becomes a family member! It’s important to keep this in mind.
Would you like to join the Au Pair program and find out how it works in practice?
The participant should spend 30 hours per week on the Au Pair duties including babysitting!
Although it is not recommended, the participant can also work part-time; as an EU citizen the applicant can work in the UK, and the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa allows non-EU Au Pairs in the UK to work up to 20 hours per week in addition to the participant’s responsibilities. The Host Family should always be a priority, though.
Still, if the participant happens to work more than 30 hours per week (only upon the mutual agreement!) she/he can negotiate some extra salary.
Time off and holidays
The participant in the United Kingdom will have at least 1 free day a week. This day should be a Sunday at least once in a month.
The participant will also have right to holidays, although in the United Kingdom there are no clear requirements regarding this case.
It is recommended to grant 4 weeks of holiday per 12 months of the program, though the participant needs to discuss the details with the Host Family. Make sure to note this in your contract as well!
Full board and lodging are the main responsibilities of every Host Family. The participant should not pay neither for the food nor for the accommodation. These are the main foundations of the Au Pair program.
The Au Pair can stay at the Host Family's place and enjoy full board and lodging also during his/her holidays or sick days.
The Au Pair has to cover the cost of the language course and the Host Family doesn't have to participate. The participant can always ask the Host Family to take it into consideration!
The participant should keep the income tax in mind. The pocket money, in most of the cases, is not high enough and the income does not have to be taxed. To pay taxes and National Insurance contributions, the participant has to receive more than 140 GBP per week.