Pocket money, working hours, time off etc.

What are your tasks as an au pair? How many hours will you be working? How does your host family support you? This page informs you about all important details concerning your stay as an au pair in Australia.

In Australia, there isn't an official au pair programme. It is even not clear if an au pair are to be seen as employees or not since it depends on the individual relationship according to the Fair Work Ombudsman in Australia. In any case, au pairs are entitled to the national minimum wage and National Employment Standards.

Duration of the stay

The visa is valid for 12 months. Working Holiday Makers may not work for the same employer for more than six months. However, au pairs are allowed to stay with their host families for up to 12 months if given signed permission by an Immigration Secretary or by signing a Form 1445.


As an au pair, your primary responsibility is to look after the host family's children. Alongside childcare, you may be asked to help out with household chores as part of your duties, but these should only be light household chores.

Clarify with your host family what your exact duties as an au pair will be, and ensure these are well defined in the au pair contract.

Pocket money

Your host family will give you pocket money in exchange for your help. Au pairs are entitled to receive the national minimum wage, which amounts to $18.29 per hour (gross). The average cost of "room and board" (AUD $350) is to be deducted from the total. On that basis, we can recommend an amount of 200-250 AUD for 30 hours/week.


Au Pairs travelling to Australia on a Working Holiday (subclass 417) or a Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462), new regulations from January 2017 state that you will now be taxed at 15% for the first $37,000 of your income. You will need to apply for a tax file number (TFN), which will be your personal reference to their tax system. Your  host family in Australia must be registered with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as an employer of working holiday makers. If your family is not registered, or you have not applied for a TFN, your tax may be higher. For more information, contact the Australian Taxation Office.

Room and board

As an au pair you get your own room in your host family's home. Furthermore, your host parents will offer you three meals a day. According to the idea of au pairing as a cultural exchange, au pairs get this for free. Nonetheless, since au pairs receive the minimum wage, roam and board are to be deducted from the total gross amount of pocket money. The average homestay pricing is $350 per week. 

Working hours

According to the National Employment Standards, au pairs cannot work more than 38 hours a week. Additional hours can be added to it only if they are reasonable. According to our experience, however, we recommend that you work 25 to 40 hours per week - this includes babysitting.

Time off

Before you start working for your host family, you should discuss how many days and evenings you will get off and when these will be with each other. There is no official regulation with regard to this issue. Our tip: you should have at least one day off per week, which should be a Sunday once per month.


The Working Holiday and Work and Holiday Programme regulate how much holiday you generally are entitled to during your stay in Australia and how long you should be working. You should discuss any holiday during this period with your host family, but we recommend two weeks holiday for a stay of six months. If your stay is longer/shorter than six months you can use this value to calculate your holiday. 

In Australia there is an official regulation with regard to public holidays within the National Employment Standards. By law, au pairs must 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.

Language course

During your stay as an au pair in Australia, you should participate in an English course. Normally au pairs pay for this themselves. 

Travel expenses

It is expected that au pairs pay for their outward and return flights to and from Australia. If host families are happy with the help au pairs provide, they may possibly pay the au pairs' return trip or part of the cost. However, this is only something we recommend, and the family are not obliged to do so. 

Useful links

Life in Australia book: information about Australian history, culture, society and the values we share to help you understand the values statement before you sign.

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.

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