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Becoming a host family in the UK

Introduction

There are no official regulations concerning au pairs in the UK, however the information below are the generally accepted guidelines.


Basic requirements

You are eligible to be a host family in the UK if:

  • you have at least 1 child under 18 living with you
  • you speak local language (English) in your daily life
  • you are willing to allow the au pair to attend a language course
  • you are of a different nationality than your au pair

General information

 

Duties

Your au pair will look after your children and will help with light household chores relating to your children. Discuss your duties beforehand and include all au pair duties in your au pair contract.

 

Pocket money
The average amount of pocket money received by an au pair is between ₤70 (25 hours) and £85 (30 hours). An au pair plus receives ₤100 per week for 35 hours per week.

Board & Lodging

Au pairs are entitled to free board and lodging even in case of illness. Your au pair must have her/his own separate bedroom.

 

Travel expenses
Au pairs should bear the cost of their trip themselves.

Working hours

Usually between 25 and 30 hours per week. Your au pair can babysit for 1 or 2 evenings per week. Maximum of 1 of these at the weekend. An au pair plus can work up to 35 hours per week.

 

Length of stay
An au pair can come from between 1 month up to a maximum of 2 years. Most au pairs stay for between 6 and 12 months.

Free time

Your au pair is entitled to at least 2 days off per week and 1 full weekend off per month.

 

Holidays
28 days of paid holiday for every year. These 28 days include public holidays.

Contract

It is recommended that you draw up a contract with your au pair. The contract should include au pair pocket money, holidays and duties. Click here for a sample contract.

 

Language courses
Au pairs should be granted enough time off to attend a language course. The au pair will bear the cost of the language course him/herself.

Driving
If you require your au pair to drive, you must provide him/her with a car, pay for car insurance and ensure that the car is well maintained. You must also provide fuel or give money to your au pair to pay for fuel for the car. Remember your au pair is young and comes from a different country where she/he drove on the other side of the road. She/he may not have much driving experience. We recommend that you provide your au pair with driving lessons until she/he is confident enough to drive your car.

 

Insurance
EU au pairs do not need additional health insurance as they are covered by the NHS. Non-EU au pairs are still entitled to receive some health care treatments for free, provided that their country has signed a health care agreement with the UK (here you can find more information for each country).