There has been no official au pair programme in the UK since 2008. However, if your au pair is an EU or EFTA citizen or entitled to apply for a visa under the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme or a student visa, they may nevertheless work in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Further information based on the official information on au pairing in the UK can be found below.
The au pair's primary responsibilty is to help you look after your children. Alongside childcare you may ask the au pair to help out with household chores as part of their duties, but these should only be light household chores, as their responsibilty is to look after the children, not to clean the house.
Clarify with your au pair well in advance what his/her exact duties will be. It is also recommended that these duties are defined in the au pair contract. Find more information on our page The au pair contract, insurance, driving licence etc.
An au pair is an additional adult living with you at home, thus as a consequence, hosting an au pair leads to higher living costs.
According to the Home Office, au pairs in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland receive 80-85 GBP per week.
Board and lodging
An au pair is entitled to free board and lodging at your home for the entirety of their stay. The same also applies in case of illness and during the au pair holidays. Furthermore, the au pair receives weekly pocket money from you.
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.
An au pair in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland normally works 30 hours per week, babysitting included.
Au pairs in the UK are entitled to one 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 in England, Scotland or Wales. Clarify with your au pair how much holiday he/she 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.)
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.
An au pair should attend an English language course in order to optimize their language learning. The au pair normally bears the cost himself/herself, but as a host family you are encouraged to help your au pair find an appropriate course within your area.
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.