Not all countries offer specific au pair programmes or provide statutory requirements concerning the holiday entitlement of an au pair. However, based on our experiences and the au pair regulations defined by the governments of those countries where official au pair programmes are offered, we recommend the following:
When staying with their host families for a total of 12 months, au pairs should be accorded a paid holiday of four weeks. As a general rule, they should have one whole week of holiday per quarter and two full days of holiday per month. Au pairs and host families may use these figures as a guideline when calculating the number of au pair holiday days according to their total length of stay.
Families planning to go abroad on a holiday while hosting an au pair need to clarify with their au pairs well before their arrival if the latter wish to, or even are expected to accompany them during that time, or if they would rather go on a separate holiday. Au pairs accompanying their host families on their holidays to take care of their children are, by definition, working regular hours. Holidays with their host families only count as holidays for the au pairs if the latter are merely carrying out minor tasks and are not put on childcare duty. Even during the family holidays, au pairs are entitled to their full amount of pocket money. When staying in their host family's home during the family holidays, au pairs must be provided with sufficient housekeeping money.
When it comes to public holidays, there are certain countries in which it is regulated that au pairs have free and must not work, such as in Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland.
In other countries, 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 au pairs should work on public holidays. If the au pair is required to work in such a day, the family should give him or her some other day off to even things up. It is recommend though that the host family discuss this with their au pair beforehand.