Pocket money, working time and contract for au pairs in Belgium
From au pair working hours to payment – all the important information on conditions and arrangements for au pairs and host families in Belgium are summarized here.
Au pairs and host families have to sign the official Belgian au pair contract. To get ready for this the au pair and host family should discuss their expectations for the au pair stay and include these in the contract that they prepare. For non-EU au pairs, the host family then sends a signed copy of the au pair contract to the responsible immigration office.
The au pair contract remains valid for the whole period of the au pair stay. However, it is possible to terminate the contract if one wishes. We recommend a period of notice of 14 days. This gives both the au pair and the host family time to find a replacement or to organise the return trip. The au pair contract can also be terminated immediately without any period of notice on serious grounds.
Providing childcare is the main responsibility of the au pair. In addition, the host family can ask the au pair to take care of some light housekeeping tasks. All of the au pair duties should be defined in the official au pair contract; they cannot be changed subsequently by either the au pair or the host family.
In Belgium, au pairs receive at least 450 euros pocket money per month, which must be paid into the au pair's bank account. For that reason, au pairs should open a personal bank account immediately after their arrival. Au pairs are entitled to the full amount of monthly pocket money in cases of illness and during holidays.
Au pairs are entitled to receive free board and lodging during the entire au pair stay. This also applies in the case of illness and during holidays. Au pairs also must have a room of their own and their own key for the family home.
In Belgium, au pairs are not permitted to work more than 4 hours a day (babysitting hours included) and 20 hours per week spread out over a maximum of 6 days a week.
Au pairs in Belgium are entitled to at least one day off per week. The au pair and family should decide together with day this will be. If the au pair wishes to have a particular day free for religious reasons, then the family must respect this wish.
Au pairs' holiday entitlement is not regulated in Belgium. However, we recommend that for 12 months of work, an au pair receives a minimum of 2 weeks holiday. This can be used as a reference if the au pair stay will be less than 12 months. Au pairs and host families should discuss in advance how much holiday time the au pair will receive and note this in the au pair contract. It is important to keep in mind that au pairs are entitled to pocket money during their holidays as well.
In Belgium, there are no official regulations with regard to public holidays for au pairs. We recommend that au pairs have a day off on public holidays. Only in exceptional cases should au pairs have to work on public holidays. The host family should discuss this with their au pair beforehand.
More information on the topic:
Au pairs from non-EU countries have to attend a language course during their stay. According to the region where the host family lives, the au pair will take part in a Dutch, French or German language course. The course has to be offered by an officially recognised institution – private tuition, distance learning courses or private school courses are not accepted. If the au pair does not have a basic knowledge of one of the Belgian languages, then she or he will have to attend an intensive language course upon arrival in Belgium. The host family will also prepare a cultural programme for so the au pair can learn more about Belgian culture.
For au pairs from EU countries: The au pair should get in touch with his or her own health insurance provider to clarify whether coverage is provided for the stay in Belgium. For this purpose, a European health insurance card will be needed that must be shown at a doctor's visit in Belgium. Please note though that even if the au pair remains covered by the health insurance from her own country, the host family still must obtain an additional insurance policy. this insurance should cover illness, hospitalisation and accidents as well as possible repatatriation costs.
For au pairs from non-EU countries: Check whether your current health insurance remains valid in Belgium. If not, you will have to subscribe to a health insurance with a private insurance company. Besides, it is compulsory for host families in Belgium to provide additional insurance for you throughout the entire stay. The insurance should cover illness, hospitalisation and accidents. It is also compulsory to take out an insurance to cover potential repatriation costs.
Au pairs who will be expected to drive in the course of their au pair duties should have sufficient driving experience. Questions regarding liability and insurance should be clarified in advance of the au pair stay. If damages should occur as a result of an accident, it should be clear from the start who will bear the costs. In Belgium, it is possible to drive with an international driving licence, the European driving licence or an officially recognised foreign driving licence