The UK no longer has an official au pair programme, but EU-and EFTA citizens, as well as non-EU citizens may nevertheless still work as an au pair in the UK. Further information based on the official information on au pairing in the UK can be found below.
As an au pair, your primary responsibility is to look after the 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, as your responsibility is to look after the children, not to clean the house.
Clarify with your host family what your exact duties as an au pair will include. It is also recommended that these duties are well defined in the au pair contract (see also: Don't forget: the au pair contract, insurance etc.).
According to the Home Office, au pairs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland receive 80-85 GBP per week.
Although au pairs in the UK do not have the same employment status as regular workers and employees, depending on how much pocket money they receive, they may have to pay income tax and National Insurance.
Alongside pocket money you get free board and lodging, including in case of illness and during your holidays.
Au pairs in the UK usually work 30 hours per week, babysitting included.
An au pair is entitled to 1 day off per week. This day should be on a Sunday at least once every month.
There are no consistent regulations concerning the au pair holiday. You should clarify with your host family how much holiday you will be entitled to. Our recommendation is that an au pair gets four weeks of holidays provided that he/she stays in the host country for 12 months. (Au pairs and host families can take this value as a basis for calculating the amount of holiday in case of shorter placements.)
In the UK 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.
As an au pair, you should be given the possibility to attend an English language course. Usually, you bear the cost of it yourself. Ask your host family if they can help you find an appropriate course within their area.
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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.