In New Zealand, there is no official au pair programme. However, you can become an au pair there under the Working Holiday Scheme. The latter entitles you to the same minimum employment rights and obligations under New Zealand employment law as anyone else.
Working as an au pair in New Zealand, your primary responsibilty is to look after your host family's children and to help with light housework. This may include all tasks related to your host family's children, such as tidying up their rooms, preparing their meals, washing and ironing their clothes, etc. However, these should only be light chores, as you are not the family's cleaner. We recommend discussing your future tasks with your host family before you leave your home country and including these in your mutual written au pair contract.
Being considered regular employees, au pairs are entitled to minimum wage. The current rate before tax is NZ$16.50 per hour. The au pair's weekly net wage will then be somewhere between NZ$170 and NZ$230 depending on the respective working hours. You are also entitled to pocket money in case of illness and during your holidays.
You will need to get an IRD number and give it to your employer for tax purposes. Apply for your IRD number online through the Inland Revenue's official webpage. In New Zealand, you pay taxes on a pay-as-you-earn-basis (PAYE). This means that there should not be a large refund or outstanding amount to cover when you leave.
Au pairs are entitled to their own room at their host family's home. The family also provides them with 3 meals a day. This equally applies in case of illness.
Au pairs normally bear the cost of their trip to and from the host country by themselves. We do, however, recommend host families to pay for their return trip or part of it if the au pair stay was successful. This is only our recommendation and does not oblige host families to do so.
There are no official rules on how many hours au pairs should be working in New Zealand. However, based on our personal experience, we recommend 30-40 working hours per week, babysitting included. You should agree with your host family on your total weekly working hours. The law provides that the upper limit of 45 hours per week must not be exceeded.
Please note: nationals of certain countries who enter New Zealand on the Working Holiday visa may only work for the same employer for up to a maximum of three months. In order to find out if this regulation applies to you, check the information we provide about the Working Holiday Visa or the Immigration New Zealand website for the conditions applying to your home country.
As all employees, au pairs are entitled to weekends off. You should discuss your spare time with your host family before you travel to New Zealand. You can also draw up a timetable together. Thus, you will always know your exact duties at a given time, as well as your free hours. In exceptional cases, au pairs may work on weekends. In this case, they earn their pocket money according to a defined payrate (1.5x normal wage).
Au pairs are entitled to four weeks of paid holidays (when staying with their host families throughout a 12-month-period), 5 days of sick leave (after 6 months of employment) and public holidays off. Take these values as a basis for your calculations, should your stay be shorter.
As an au pair, you are entitled to a day off during a public holiday. This paid day off is included in your weekly pocket money. Should your host family need you to work on a public holiday, they will need to pay you by a defined rate (1.5x normal wage).
Your host family should allow you to attend a language course. Generally, you bear the costs for such a course by yourself. You should ask your host family to help you find a suitable language course close to their home.
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.