Pocket money, working hours and contract for au pairs in the Netherlands

Find out the details of how au pairs and families work together in the Netherlands. How much pocket money does an au pair receive? What are the arrangements for insurance? All the important information for au pairs and families is presented here.

Young woman holding a wallet

Au pair contract

The au pair and host family should clarify their expectations for the au pair stay in advance and sign an au pair contract that includes the important conditions of the stay such as duties and working hours.

A basic contract is provided by the official agency that arranges the placement and is required under Dutch law. Our Dutch partner Au Pair International serves as an official sponsor for registering au pair stays with the IND. Au Pair International assists their clients in drawing up a time schedule for the au pair that is in compliance with Dutch legislation.

Contract termination
The au pair contract can be terminated before it expires if, for example, the au pair and host family do not get along. In this case, a 28-day notice period applies. This allows both the au pair and the host family to find a replacement and organise the return trip. On serious grounds, and with prior consent of the au pair agency, the au pair contract can also be terminated immediately without any period of notice. Extra costs for emergency housing for the au pair might be applicable. 

Length of stay

The maximum length of an au pair stay in the Netherlands is one year.

Au pair duties

The au pair's most important duties involve helping with childcare in the family. The au pair also helps with light household chores. Together the host family and au pair should set up a schedule that shows the exact working times and duties of the au pair.

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Pocket money

Au pairs receive between 300 and 340 EUR pocket money per month in the Netherlands.

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Board and lodging

In addition to the pocket money provided to au pairs, host families also provide all meals and lodging for the au pair in a room of her or his own, which can be locked. Board and lodging are also made available to the au pair during any periods of holiday or illness.

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Working hours

An au pair in the Netherlands is not allowed to work more than a total of 30 hours per week. On any particular day, the working time should not exceed 8 hours, nor more than 5 days of work in the course of the week. Also it is not allowed for an au pair to babysit extra hours or to have a job on the side.

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Free time and holiday

Au pairs in the Netherlands are entitled to two full days off per week. These days don’t need to be consecutive. However we recommend host families give their au pair at least one full weekend off per month.

In the Netherlands, 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 work on public holidays. The host family should discuss this with their au pair beforehand.

An au pair is entitled to two weeks paid vacation per year (based on a 12 months stay). Some host families invite the au pair along on their family holidays. Please be informed that an au pair must not be expected to perform any duties while on holiday. If the host family goes on holiday without the au pair or if the au pair decides to stay at home, the host family should provide the au pair with food or money for the duration of the stay in the family home.
It is important that both parties know each other’s holiday plans beforehand.

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Language course/cultural exchange

Au pairs in the Netherlands are entitled to attend a language course. We advise that the host family should help the au pair in finding suitable offers within their area, and contribute 320 euros per year to the language course.

We highly recommend the course ‘Dutch for au pairs’ offered by our partner in the Netherlands ‘Au Pair International’. This course is offered several times per year and it consists of 10 lessons. The first and last lesson take place at a venue in The Hague and the other 8 lessons are offered online. The lessons are designed around important themes for an au
pair; such as doing grocery shopping at the supermarket and interacting with the host children. An au pair can be enrolled through Au Pair International’s website. 

The au pair programme in the Netherlands is explicitly designed for a cultural exchange. This includes the au pair and host family pursuing typical Dutch activities together to bring the au pair closer to Dutch culture.

Our partner in the Netherlands Au Pair International offers a wide range of activities for au pairs including a.o. museum visits, workshops and city trips.

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Au pair insurance

In the Netherlands an au pair needs to have health insurance. The basic mandatory health insurance that is available to all residents in the Netherlands covers the standard cost of general and specialist physicians, hospital stays and pharmacy costs.

Au pairs pay for the basic health insurance themselves. Au pairs may, however, apply for care allowance (“zorgtoeslag”) with the Dutch Tax Office. This is a compensation for the premium that the au pair pays for the health insurance. In most cases, the care allowance is sufficient to compensate for the monthly premium for the health insurance.

In addition to basic health insurance the host family is also required to take out au pair insurance. This insurance contains accident and liability insurance, medical repatriation and baggage insurance for the au pair. There are insurance plans in Netherlands developed specifically for au pairs, like the ISIS au pair insurance and Young Global Traveler health insurance.

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Driving licence

Many host families prefer to have an au pair with a driving licence. If this is the case, then it is important to clarify that the au pair has sufficient driving experience. 

The au pair will in all probabilty drive a car belonging to the host family. With this in mind it also important to clarify questions relating to insurance and liability in the event of an accident or other damage. 

If the au pair will be driving in the Netherlands it should be checked if the driving licence is valid there.

If your au pair comes from outside the EU they are only allowed to drive for the first 185 days of their stay in the Netherlands with their foreign driving licence. After this time, they will need either to exchange their driving licence or to obtain a Dutch driving licence. For this, they need to take a written and practical exam. The written exam can be taken in English. Of course there are costs associated with the exams, which vary per driving school. We advise host families to pay for the costs of the Dutch driving licence of their au pair.

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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.