An Au Pair stay could be the best time of your life! Not only do you have the chance for an intercultural exchange – you also get some experience in the field of child care and become the member of your Host Family. You try to help the Host Family in their daily life, but they shouldn’t take you for granted and forget that this is mainly your job and not a free time activity.
The Au Pair contract contains the amount of money you will receive from your family. However, it’s not just an obligation to pay you. This way they appreciate what you are doing for them. Needless to say that both parties – you and the Host Family – should behave accordingly. For the family, this means to pay you on a regular basis.
It’s obvious that everybody can be busy sometimes and maybe forget about some important issues. But since a regular payment is essential for a good relationship between the Au Pair and Host Family, they should take the subject seriously. So, what to do if the Host Family forgot to pay you on time? In case you’re still waiting for your pocket money, you have two options.
The first one is of course communication. Even if it’s an uncomfortable and awkward situation, try to talk to your Host Parents. Maybe they really forgot about it and need a little reminder. They should apologize for the delay and make sure that they pay you immediately. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be their reminder but there might be some exceptions to this. If they want to keep the good relationship they will remember the next time.
An even more uncomfortable situation: You notice that the Host Family doesn’t want to pay you for any reason. In this case, communication might not help you anymore. You might be afraid in this situation, but don’t forget that you have rights, too! The conditions of the contract apply to both you and the Host Family. So if the cooperation is not possible anymore, you should prepare to leave the family. Furthermore you are free to change the family. You can find another family on online matching platforms like AuPair.com.