Au pair contract
Au pairs and German host families must sign an au pair contract regulating the details of the au pair stay (working hours, schedule, holidays, pocket money, etc.). This is the best way to avoid future disappointments.
Important note for au pairs from non-EU countries
Au pairs who need a visa to enter Germany are entitled to work in the country for a maximum of 12 months. The au pair contract must be signed for a minimum of 6 months, otherwise it will not be acknowledged by the German Employment Office.
EU au pairs will only need the au pair contract. Au pairs from non-EU countries will need both the au pair contract and an invitation letter. For au pairs requiring a visa, we advise to use the documents in German to avoid problems at the embassy.
According to the German Employment Office, the au pair contract shall end at the date agreed upon. Should the au pair contract be terminated prior to this date by either party, a notice period of 2 weeks should be observed. Any termination must be made in writing.
Lenght of stay
If the au-pair comes from the EU, the au pair and the host family can freely agree on the duration of the stay.
Au pairs who are subject to visa requirements must present a contract that runs for at least 6 months when applying for a visa. The maximum duration of stay is 12 months and cannot be extended. Anyone who has worked previously as an au pair in Germany, cannot become an au pair here again, regardless of the duration of the previous au pair placement.
An au pair's main responsibility is to help with childcare in the host family. Light housework tasks are also typically included in the au pair's duties as part of this. Our tip: The au pair and host family should discuss and specify the au pair's duties in detail before the au pair stay begins.
More information on the topic:
In Germany, an au pair receives monthly pocket money of 280 euros per month. In this context, the number of working hours is irrelevant. Au pairs receive their pocket money during holidays and in case of illness.
Payment above this level constitutes another type of employment which is no longer considered as au pairing. It must be reported to the authorities and it does not comply with the conditions of the au pair visa.
Host families can deduct the au pair pocket money when filing their taxes if they have paid their au pair via a bank transfer.
Board and lodging
The host family shall provide free board and lodging to the au pair. The au pair is to be accommodated in an individual room in the family's home. This room must have a window and a minimum size of 9 square metres. It should also be lockable and heatable.
The au pair participates in the daily life of the host family and shares meals with the family. The au pair is also entitled to free board and lodging in case of illness and during holiday periods.
The au pair's working time should be arranged according to the family's habits and needs. Including babysitting, au pairs in Germany should not work more than 6 hours per day and 30 hours per week.
Holidays and free time
The au pair is entitled to at least one day off per week. Once a month, this day should be a Sunday. Your host family should make sure that you have at least 4 evenings free per week.
According to the German Federal Employment Office (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), an au pair is entitled to a paid annual holiday of 4 weeks, provided that the au pair stays with their host family for a whole year. Families which go on a holiday often take their au pair with them. During this time, the au pair typically continues to perform her or his regular duties by looking after the children.
When the au pair accompanies the host family on their holiday this does not count as the au pair's own holiday, unless fewer duties are required and the au pair is not obliged to be available at all times. In this case, the family holiday is considered the au pair holiday as well. If the au pair does not accompany the host family on their holiday, the au pair may not work for another family during this time.
In Germany, it is regulated that au pairs shall have time off on public holidays. Au pairs should only work on public holidays in exceptional cases. The host family should discuss such arrangements with their au pair in advance.
More information on the topic:
The host family should provide their au pair with the opportunity to attend a German language course during the au pair's spare time as well as the chance to attend other cultural activities. Au pairs shall pay the the costs of their language course themselves. The host family, however, is obliged to make a monthly contribution of 50 euros to the au pair's language course costs, in addition to the regular pocket money that the au pair receives.
Au pair insurance
Au pairs in Germany must have insurance coverage for the following cases: illness, pregnancy, childbirth and accident. According to the Federal Employment Office (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), the host family is responsible for arranging this insurance coverage and for bearing the costs.
To be safely and fully insured, au pairs from all countries (EU and non-EU) need to have a comprehensive private au pair insurance for au pair stays in Germany. German host families are required to cover the costs for this insurance.
AuPairWorld recommends the AU-PAIR24 insurance package for this purpose. It is especially designed for au pairs spending time in Germany and meets all official requirements for au pair insurance both for EU and non-EU au pairs.
Information for au pairs from non-EU countries
In signing the letter of invitation for an au pair and the accompanying contract, the host family commits to providing insurance for the au pair and covering the costs for this insurance.
More information on insurance:
Normally, the au pair covers the costs of travel to Germany and returning home.
Driving and the driving licence for au pairs
When the au pair will be expected to drive in connection with the au pair duties, the au pair should check if her (or his) driving licence is valid in Germany. It may be necessary to apply for an international driving licence. More information on this topics is available from the ADAC (German Automobile Club) or the Federal Transport Ministry.
Au pairs and host families should also clarify driving related questions such as these in advance: How willa possible accident be handled? Who will be responsible for the costs? How will car insurance be arranged? These arrangements should best be put into a written document.
Information for host families in germany:
What costs should we expect when hosting an au pair?
Accommodating an au pair results in higher household expenses owing to the fact that an additional adult will be living with you throughout the placement period.
|Pocket money||280 EUR per month|
|Household expenses||Approx. 50 EUR more per week (depending on the general household costs of the family)|
|Insurance||Approx. 10 - 45 EUR per month|
|Language course||50 EUR per month|
- Costs per week: Approx. 140 EUR
- Costs per month: Approx. 550 EUR
Tips for au pairs:
Discounts in your city
Not every German city offers a so-called "Stadtpass", but it's certainly worth checking to see if such a city discount pass for persons with a lower income is available in your host city. So check it out with the municipal administration in your city and see if they also provide some sort of "Stadtpass" that you would be eligible for as an au pair and language school student. You could certainly ask your host family for assistance in investigating this possibility.
Safety and security: How to be on the safe side
- Have you already spoken to your future host family on the phone or via Skype? Read the most important questions to ask your host family to get to know them better before you make the decision to be their au pair.
- Would you like some tips on how to search safely on AuPairWorld? Maybe you already have a family but have questions about how to prepare for your stay? Read our tips on safety and security.
- Having a basic knowledge of the national language of your host country before starting on your job as an au pair is very advantageous. Thus, you will be able to express your needs and wishes. Imagine that you fall ill or wish to warn the kids of an imminent danger. In such a case, you will certainly appreciate having a basic knowledge of the language spoken in your host country.