Pocket money

Keywords:Pocket moneySalaryWage

In exchange for the help offered to their host families, au pairs are entitled to receive pocket money in addition to free board and lodging. The amount of pocket money depends on the host country and the number of working hours. In some countries, the amount is fixed by law, in others it is decided upon by the host family and au pair.

Note: An au pair stay must not be considered an employment. It is a cultural exchange! Therefore, in most host countries, au pairs do not have the status of an employee. Instead, they are temporary family members who receive some pocket money rather than a salary. Find out more by reading our basic idea of au pairing.

Overview by country:
Australia 200 - 250 AUD per week
Austria 438.05 EUR gross per month
Belgium 450 EUR per month
Canada approx. 330 CAD per week (depending on the regional minimum wage, see Info Canada for further info)
Denmark 4.000 DKK per month
Finland 280 EUR minimum per month after tax
France 265,50 - 318,60 EUR per month
Germany 260 EUR per month
Ireland minimum wage (please go to Info Ireland for further info) 
Iceland ISK 10.000 per week
Italy 250 - 300 EUR per month
Luxembourg approx. 480 - 500 EUR per month
Netherlands 300 EUR - 340 EUR maximum per month 
New Zealand 170 - 230 NZD per week
Norway 5.000 NOK per month
South Africa 1.500 - 3.000 ZAR per month
Spain 70 EUR minimum per week
Sweden 3.500 SEK per month
Switzerland 500 - 750 CHF net per month depending on the individual canton
United Kingdom 80 - 85 GBP per week
USA 195,75 USD per week
Pocket Money - Frequently Asked Questions 
  •  I would like to know if I receive my pocket money on a weekly or monthly basis?
    Elodie, France

    In many countries, pocket money is paid at the end of each month. In the UK au pairs typically receive their pocket money at the end of each week. We recommend that the pocket money be paid on a weekly basis in all other countries, as well. This includes those countries, in which the amount of pocket money is fixed on a monthly basis.

  •  Hi, are au pairs subject to paying taxes and having deductions to their pocket money? Or is it something that host families help them out with?
    Melissa from Ontario, Canada

    The question of whether the relevant amount of pocket money is subject to taxation depends on the host country. We have carried out some research and au pair's pocket money is subject to taxation in Australia, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland. In Germany and Italy there may be taxes depending on the exact amount. You should also ask your host family to help you clarify this question. They could ask their tax consultant or the tax and revenue office about it.

  • Does the pocket money form part of my salary?
    Caren from Kenya, Africa

    An au pair placement is not a job! Therefore, an au pair does not receive a salary, but rather, pocket money. Should any family offer you a salary, you should be careful. This respective "family" is most likely a scam. Please, also bear in mind: the habitual pocket money offered in Europe merely suffices to cover your own living expenses. Therefore, you may not be able to financially support your relatives.  Useful links: Please, never send any money!, The au pair is a family member for a certain period of time, no employee.

  • Is there any other cost the family needs to bear? 
    Anne-Gaëlle, France

    Your au pair is entitled to free board and lodging throughout his/her entire stay. This equally applies, should your au pair fall ill or have some time off. Your au pair usually bears his/her own travel expenses (round trip), as well as the cost of the visa. The host family pays for the au pair insurance. The au pair usually pays for the language course.

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