An au pair lives with the family, is up until late if she or he has to babysit and gets up really early again to get the kids ready for school. That does not mean that she or he is available 24 hours a day, though. Although most of the countries establish a maximum of work hours per week, this fact is easily forgotten when the au pair is at home after her time of duties and the parents need some help with anything. All of a sudden the free time turns into work time.
According to official regulations au pairs in Austria should work 18 hours per Week. Canada and Sweden set 25 hours. This number increases to 30 in Germany and France. In the USA an au pair works up to 45 each week. Nevertheless this work schedules are not always respected by host families. Most of the time they don't even realize it.
"Could you please just check on the kids for 15 minutes while I bring this to the mail?"
"Please get the laundry on your way home?"
"Could you please check on the oven while I am on the phone?"
Questions like that might sound like small things to the host family. In reality they could lead to some problems in the relationship with their au pair.
In order to have a great experience, the family has to respect the number of hours an au pair is allowed to work. We all need some alone time, privacy and freedom after all.
Here is a list of working hours per week by country.
|Germany||30||310 € (260 + 50)|
|New Zealand||40||600-800 NZ $|
For more information about the au pair contract you can click here.