Pocket money, working hours and au pair contract for Japan

Many questions arise when it comes to organising an au pair stay in Japan: How much pocket money does an au pair receive? What about the au pair contract? All the important information is presented here for au pairs and families in Japan. 

Young woman with wallet in her hands

Au pair contract

There is no official au pair contract for Japan, but the European contract template is widely used and accepted. This template can be modified according to the needs of the au pair and the host family. 

The au pair contract should include important details, such as duties, holidays and working hours and should give both the au pair and the host family more security as well as help to avoid misunderstandings. 


The is no official condition regarding contract termination. We recommend a notice period of two weeks so that both the au pair and the family will have enough time to make new arrangements whether for the trip home or for a new au pair.


Length of stay

After the arrival, the au pair may stay 6 months in Japan. It is possible to extend the stay for another 6 months at the local immigration office. 


Au pair duties

Au pairs support their host families in connection with childcare and light housework. Despite providing this support, au pairs should not be considered as domestic help, nor as cleaners, language teachers, carers for the elderly, dog sitters or seasonal workers. Host families cannot expect their au pairs to have pedagogical training or formal childcare qualifications and thus to be childcare professionals.

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Pocket money

In addition to board and lodging the au pair will receive pocket money.

Unfortunately, there are no official rules in this regard in Japan. So we recommend au pairs and host families to check the usual amount of pocket money for au pairs in other countries and the cost of living in Japan and use these amounts as a reference to fix the amount of pocket money applicable in their situation.

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Board and Lodging

Being considered a family member for a defined period of time, the au pair is entitled to his or her own room in the host family's home. The room should have a size of at least 9 square metres, be lockable and have a window. It should, of course, also be furnished and heated. The au pair should be given free access to food and drink in the home and share meals with the host family. The au pair continues to be entitled to board and lodging in case of illness.

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Working time

Unfortunately, there are no official rules regarding the working time for au pairs in Japan. We recommend that au pairs should not work more than 30 hours per week (including babysitting).

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Free time and holiday

Au pairs should be given at least one day off per week to do something on their own. Once a month, this day should be a Sunday. Official public holidays in the corresponding host countries count as bank holidays for the au pairs as well and they are not required to work on these days.

Since there are no official regulations concerning holiday time granted to au pairs in Japan, AuPairWorld recommends that au pairs who wish to stay with their host families for 12 months should get four weeks off during this time with payment of the agreed pocket money. If au pairs stay for a shorter period of time, they need to agree with their host families on a correspondingly shorter period of holiday.

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Language course

The host family should give their au pair the opportunity to participate in a language course. Normally, the au pairs pay for their courses themselves. When it comes to finding the right course in the area, most families will be happy to help finding the right institution for the au pair.

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Au pair insurance

To be safely and fully insured, au pairs need to have a comprehensive private au pair insurance for au pair stays in Japan. Au pairs need to cover the cost of this insurance themselves.

AuPairWorld recommends the PROTRIP-WORLD insurance package for this purpose. It is especially designed for au pairs and other young people spending time abroad. Among other benefits, this insurance covers the full costs of inpatient and outpatient medical care, plus return transport to the home country for medical reasons (which can be substantial for European or North American au pairs in Asia).

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Travel costs

The au pair pays her/his own travel expenses. If the host family is willing to contribute to these costs, we recommend to do this for the return ticket after the successful completion of the au pair stay.


Driving licence

Au pair and host family should clarify in advance if the au pair will be required to drive in Japan. In this context, it is important to bear in mind that in Japan one drives on the left and that the international driving licence is not accepted. This means that the driving licence of the home country of the au pair needs to be translated at the Japanese Automobile Federation.

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We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.