Not all countries offer specific au pair programmes or provide statutory requirements concerning the holiday entitlement of an au pair. However, based on our experiences and the au pair regulations defined by the governments of those countries where official au pair programmes are offered, we recommend the following:
When staying with their host families for a total of 12 months, au pairs should be accorded a paid holiday of four weeks. As a general rule, they should have one whole week of holiday per quarter and two full days of holiday per month. Au pairs and host families may use these figures as a guideline when calculating the number of au pair holiday days according to their total length of stay.
Families planning to go abroad on a holiday while hosting an au pair need to clarify with their au pairs well before their arrival if the latter wish to, or even are expected to accompany them during that time, or if they would rather go on a separate holiday. Au pairs accompanying their host families on their holidays to take care of their children are, by definition, working regular hours. Holidays with their host families only count as holidays for the au pairs if the latter are merely carrying out minor tasks and are not put on childcare duty. Even during the family holidays, au pairs are entitled to their full amount of pocket money. When staying in their host family's home during the family holidays, au pairs must be provided with sufficient housekeeping money.
More information on the topic:
- Family holidays and your au pair – What works best?
- Going on family holidays without the au pair - how to handle?
When it comes to public holidays, there are certain countries in which it is regulated that au pairs have free and must not work, such as in Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland.
In other countries, 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. If the au pair is required to work in such a day, the family should give him or her some other day off to even things up. It is recommend though that the host family discuss this with their au pair beforehand.
Holidays, public holidays and Christmas - FAQ
- We wish to take our au pair on our holiday. Does this count as work or as a holiday?
- We are a host family from Germany and our au pair comes from Uzbekistan. In May, we will be traveling to Spain for vacation and we would like to take our au pair with us. Would that be possible?
- We always meet up with our entire family over the holidays and I have to admit that it is quite big with 17 members. Ela, our au pair girl, wishes to celebrate with us. Can we ask her if she could also take care of my sister's children?
- Christmas involves a lot of work for our family. So we were thinking about asking our au pair to help us. Is this something we can expect?
- It is one of our family traditions to take our children on a trip over the Christmas holidays. Should we invite our au pair to come with us?
- We are Muslims, our au pair is a Christian. She wishes to celebrate Christmas. What can we do for her?
- Our au pair will be celebrating Christmas with us. Should we give her a present?
- Every year, we take an official family photo on Christmas. Should our au pair join us, or is it rather not recommended?