Taking on an au pair increases your living costs, as another adult is living with your family while the au pair is there.
In exchange for their help with your children and light housework, au pairs are entitled to free board and lodging (a separate room for the au pair) for the entire duration of their stay, including any periods of illness.
Au pairs in Finland receive monthly pocket money of at least 280 Euros net. Because the pocket money paid to the au pair is viewed in Finland as income, the au pair is obligated to pay taxes. In determining the income, the value of the cost-free board andlodging is also calculated. This must be kept in mind when setting the gross amount for pocket money. For further information, see our page Aupair contract, insurance driving licence, etc.
Au pairs in Finland, aged 18 and over, also have to take out pension insurance, which amounts to 24.2% of the au pair's gross salary. Both the au pair and host family contribute towards this: the au pair pays 5.55% of this 24.2% and host families pay the remaining 18.65%.
An au pair in Finland is expected to work 30 hours a week and a maximum of 5 hours per day – including any evening babysitting duties.
Au pairs are entitled to one full day off per week as part of their duties as an au pair. Once a month this day off must be on a Sunday. Au pairs should have sufficient time to attend a language course and be given the possibility to develop their cultural knowledge and professional capabilities.
Finland has no specific regulations concerning the amount of holiday an au pair is entitled to. We therefore recommend that you and your au pair come to an agreement on this well in advance. Au pairs are usually entitled to a two-week holiday if they stay with their host families for six months in total. This can be used as a guide in calculating your au pair's holiday time.
In Finland, 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. The host family should discuss this with their au pair beforehand.
Au pairs must attend a Finnish or Swedish language course during their stay. Sufficient time for such a course should be included in the au pair's schedule and help should be provided in finding a suitable course.
Useful links for language courses:
As a host family in Finland you should be sure to sign an a contract with your au pair. As there is no official au pair contract or cancellation period for the au pair stay in Finland, we recommend you adapt the European contract according to your requirements. Au pairs from non-EU countries will require a copy of this signed contract when applying for their Residence Permit. If there are serious disagreements between you and your au pair, the contract can be terminated with a notice period of two weeks.
If your au pair is publicly insured in their home country and has a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), there is no need for additional coverage in the Finnish health insurance system. The EHIC card allows the au pair to access public health care in the same way that Finnish citizens do. Important: Au pairs need to remember to check that their EHIC doesn't expire whilst they are abroad.
Au pairs who do not have a without a European Health Insurance Card need only to show a valid identity card indicating their nationality. Australia, the Province of Quebec and the Nordic countries have social security agreements with Finland entitling their residents to the same medical treatment and health insurance as Finnish residents. However, if it is possible to obtain an EHIC we do recommend getting one. Further information regarding insurance for au pairs from the EU in EU countries is available in our section "Au Pair A-Z".
Au pairs from any other country will have to take out insurance cover with Kela, Finland's Social Insurance Institution.
In Finland an au pair's pocket money, and board and lodging are seen as taxable income. The amount of tax paid (for which registration in the Population Information System is required) depends on the duration of the au pair stay and how long the au pair stays in Finland in total. Consult Vero (the Finnish Tax Administration) for more detailed information. Important: It is the host family's responsibility to inform the tax office that they are employing an au pair.
An au pair staying for 6 months or less pay a withholding tax of 35% of their monthly pocket money, which the host family will deduct from their pay at the end of each month. A Finnish tax-at-source card is needed for this.
Au pairs staying longer than 6 months qualify as Finnish tax residents, and pay the same amount of progressively calculated state tax, municipal (local) tax, and church tax as normal Finnish residents. An income tax return must also be filed to the Tax Administration for every calendar year that the au pair works in Finland.
Au pairs in Finland, aged 18 and over, also have to take out pension insurance, which amounts to 24.2% of the au pair's gross salary (pocket money + board and lodging). Both the au pair and host family contribute towards this: the au pair pays 5.55% and host families pay the remaining 18.65%. Consult Etera (Finnish Pension Insurance Company) for more detailed information.
Note: Despite tax payments and pension insurance contributions, au pairs still receive monthly pocket money in the amount of 280 Euros net.
Au pairs with driving licences issued in an EU or EFTA country or in one of the Nordic countries can legally drive in Finland during their au pair stay. This is also the case for au pairs with provisional licences from Nordic countries.
If the au pair's permanent place of residence is in a country that has signed the Geneva and Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, and the au pair has a national or international driving licence (with an official Finnish or Swedish translation of the licence) it is legal to drive in Finland.
Ensure your au pair completes the following checklist before leaving their home country:
For au pairs who are EU/EFTA citizens and citizens of Nordic countries, completing the above steps is all you need to do to be able to enter Finland as an au pair.
|Non-EU Citizens - Apply for a Residence Permit Card before entering Finland||Citizens from Australia and New Zealand - Apply for a Working Holiday Residence Permit|
Before entering Finland a Residence Permit Card (the equivalent of a visa to enter Finland) must be applied for and received through the Finnish Embassy in the au pair's country of origin. All the documents mentioned above will be required when applying, plus proof of secure income (i.e., confirmation that the au pair you will receive 280 Euros monthly pocket money).
A paper application costs 455 Euros, or 425 Euros if done electronically. Discuss with your au pair how these costs will be covered. It is only granted for one year at most and cannot be extended.
Under the Working Holiday Maker Programme au pairs from Australia and New Zealand can apply for a Working Holiday Residence Permit, so long as they haven't been granted one before. Au pairs must apply for this before entering Finland and if their application is accepted it entitles them to stay in Finland for 12-18 months. The application costs 455 Euros (paper), or 425 Euros if done electronically, and all the documents specified above will be required, plus proof of secure income (i.e., confirmation that the au pair will receive 280 Euros monthly pocket money).
Citizens from EFTA/Nordic Countries and the EU
Au pairs who are a citizen in one of these countries do not need to apply for a Residence Permit, as their passport/valid ID grants them access to Finland. However...
- EU & EFTA citizens must register their stay with the local police department within 3 months of arriving in the country
- Citizens of Nordic countries must fill in an “Inter Nordic migration“ form at the local registry office (Maistraatti) if they stay longer than 6 months.
Register in the Population Information System
Upon arrival in Finland all au pairs must register in the Population Information System at their local register office (Maistraatti) to get an ID number which is required for a variety of situations such as registering at the tax office, the doctors and opening a bank account. (Note: this is different to the biometric residence permit card which is only required for non-EU citizens.)
For au pairs staying 6 months or less
Obtain a Finnish tax-at-source card via a paper application or online.
For au pairs staying in Finland longer than 6 months
They must apply for a Finnish tax card at the Local Registry Office (Maistraatti).
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.