Australia

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Australia has 43 different programs for the different au pair citizenships.
Choose here which programs you want to see and compare.

rules & regulations

Working Holiday
United Kingdom
Student
World
Free Movement (EU)
New Zealand
Work and Holiday
Vietnam

minimum stay

three months

maximum stay

six months working with any one employer

Note:

The duration of the au pair's stay has according to the conditions of the Working Holiday visa program a maximum duration of 6 months with one family unless the au pair has been given permission by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to work longer.

The maximum stay of the au pair in the country is 12 months.

Exception:

The maximum stay in the country can be elongated if the au pair has performed specified work in an eligible regional Australian area for a minimum of three months while being in Australia on the first Working Holiday visa.

For more information please see the "Working Holiday visa (subclass 417 - features) " on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Depending on the duration of the course the au pair has been accepted for the duration of the au pairs's stay varies between

  1. up to March 15 the following year if the course is longer than 10 months and finishes at the end of the Australian academic year (November - December)
  2. up to 2 months longer than the duration of the course if the course is longer than 10 months and finishes between January and October
  3. up to one month longer than the duration of the course if the course is 10 months or less. 

Fore more information please see the "Student visa (subclass 500)" on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

There is no maximum stay for the au pair as long as the au pair remains a New Zealand citizen and is the holder of the SCV

the Special Category visa is valid from time of grant (usually upon arrival to Australia) to time of departure from Australia.

For more information please see the "Special Category visa (subclass 444 - features) " on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

six months work with any one employer

Note:

The duration of the au pair's stay has according to the conditions of the Work and Holiday visa program a maximum duration of 6 months in one family unless the au pair has been given permission by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to work longer.

The maximum stay of the au pair in the country is 12 months.

For more information please see the "Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462 - features)" on the website of the  Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

working hours

38 hours full time per week according to official rules

For more information please see section "Visa holders and migrant workers - workplace rights and entitlements" on the website of the Fair Work Ombudsman, provided by the Australian Government.

Common practice is:

  • Between 35 and 38 hours per week
  • Including up to 2 evenings of babysitting

Generally, the working hours of an au pair are:

  • Between 35 and 40 hours per week
  • Including up to 2 evenings of babysitting

Note:

All Student visas (subclass 570 - 576) are subject to restricted conditions during their stay in Australia.

  • The au pair cannot start work until the course the au pair is studying has commenced.
  • During the duration of the course the au pair is only allowed to work 20 hours per week.
  • During periods of vacation recognized by the education provider, this restriction is not valid.

Information about "Working while studying" can also be found in section "student visa (subclass 500)" on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


38 hours full time per week according to official rules

For more information please see section "Visa holders and migrant workers - workplace rights and entitlements" on the website of the Fair Work Ombudsman, provided by the Australian Government.

Common practice is:

  • Between 35 and 38 hours per week
  • Including up to 2 evenings of babysitting

days off

2 days per week

holidays

1 week of paid holiday per three months

For more information please see section "Annual leave" and / or "Visa holders and migrant workers - workplace rights and entitlements" on the website of the Fair Work Ombudsman provided by the Australian Government.


allowed work

The daily work of an au pair varies widely. It wholly depends on the type and lifestyle of the family that is hosting the au pair. In general, an au pair's everyday work includes:

  • Carrying out light housework such as helping to keep the home clean and tidy as well as washing and ironing clothes;
  • Making breakfast and simple meals;
  • Looking after younger children, i.e. supervising them, accompanying them to kindergarten, to school or specific activities, bringing them for walks, playing with them;
  • Watching over the house or apartment and looking after pets


Which work should and can be done by an au pair? Which work an au pair definitely doesn't have to do? Discuss with others in our community!

forbidden work

Not part of the daily work of an au pair are the following tasks:

  • Garden work
  • Cleaning windows
  • Spring cleaning
  • Washing cars
  • Cleaning carpets
  • Doing lots of shopping
  • Washing pets
  • Making the host parents' bed
  • Cleaning the toilet
  • Ironing difficult items of clothing
  • Cleaning the entire house / flat


Recommendation:

  • Discuss all of the au pair tasks before hand and write them down in the au pair contract
  • Put all of the au pair tasks in a timetable
  • And don't forget: Talk with your host family. (This avoids problems and misunderstandings from the very beginning on.)


Which work should not and cannot be done by an au pair? Which work an au pair definitely doesn't have to do? Discuss with others in our community!

pocket money

According to the official rules which are outlined in the "Children's Services Award" with workplace rights and entitlements (please see section "Visa holders and migrant workers - workplace rights and entitlements" on the website of the Fair Work Ombudsman, provided by the Australian Government). 

It states that

... Under Commonwealth workplace laws, no employee over the age of 21 in the national workplace relations system can be paid less than the minimum wage. ...

The pocket money ranges - officially - between $220 - 420 AUD per week (Costs of a minimum of $249 AUD per week for full board and lodging already deducted) and is depending on

  • the au pair's age
  • the au pair's experience
  • the number of working hours per week

More detailed information can be found in section "Visa holders and migrant workers - workplace rights and entitlements" on the website of the Fair Work Ombudsman, provided by the Australian Government and in the "Children's Services Award".


Common practice is that the au pair is paid between $150 AUD and $250 AUD per week depending on

  • the number of working hours
  • the au pair's experience
  • driving license
  • range of duties
  • etc.

A completion bonus at the end of the 6 months, (according to the superannuation) has to be paid to the au pair.

  • The host family has to pay 9.5% superannuation when the au pair is paid $450 AUD or more before tax per month and is over 18 years old.
  • This applies to full-time and part-time au pairs
  • The superannuation is increasing up to 12% by 2019
  • Important: From January 1st, 2017 the superannuation is taxed 9.5%

Note:

Employers in Australia have to pay a compulsory superannuation contribution which means an additional 9.5% of the au pair's pocket money before tax to be paid into the superannuation fund. The superannuation is the Australian version of retirement saving. As a non-resident, the au pair can claim this money back when he / she leaves Australia.

For more information please see section "Tax & superannuation" on the website of the Fair Work Ombudsman, provided by the Australian Government and / or section "Superannuation" on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Recommendation:

In case the weekly working hours of the au pair exceed the amount of working hours both parties (au pair & host family) have agreed upon, it is recommended that the host family is paying the au pair the average babysitter rates for the exceeding working hours.


board and lodging

Board and lodging are free to the au pair.

This applies also

  • in case of illness and
  • during holidays.

room

An au pair has to be provided with his / her own room.

language course

The host family has to give the au pair the possibility to attend a language course.

The costs for attending a language course have i.g. to be borne by the au pair.

An au pair entering Australia under the conditions of the Working Holiday visa program is allowed to study in Australia for up to four months.

For more information please see the "Working Holiday visa (subclass 417 - features)" on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

One of the requirements of entering Australia with a Student visa (subclass 570 - 576) is to be enrolled in an accredited education or training course listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and to be offered by an Australian education provider registered to offer courses to overseas students.

CRICOS

CRICOS is the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students, the official Australian Government website that lists all Australian education providers to offer courses to people studying in Australia on Student visas and the courses offers, provided by the Department of Education and Training.

The host family has to give the au pair the possibility to attend a language course.

The costs for attending a language course have i.g. to be borne by the au pair.

For more detailed information please see the "step-by-step" instructions on how to enter Australia being enrolled in an accredited education or training course listed on the CRICOS.

The host family has to give the au pair the possibility to attend a language course.

The costs for attending a language course have i.g. to be borne by the au pair.

An au pair entering Australia under the conditions of the Special Category visa is allowed to work and study in Australia.

For more information please see the "Special Category visa (subclass 444 - features) " on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The host family has to give the au pair the possibility to attend a language course.

The costs for attending a language course have to be borne by the au pair.

An au pair entering Australia under the conditions of the Work and Holiday visa program is allowed to study or train for up to four months.

For more information, please see the "Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462 - features)" on the website of the  Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

travel expenses

The au pair is liable for all travel costs.

The host family may pay return costs but this will need to be negotiated.

health, accident and liability insurance

The au pair is responsible for all of her / his health costs.

The au pair has to provide a certificate of private medical insurance unless the au pair's home country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

Note:

This reciprocal health care agreement only covers the cost of essential medical treatment while visiting Australia and is not designed to replace a private travel health insurance.

More information about the "Reciprocal Health Care Agreements" can be found on the website of the Department of Human Services.

Recommendation:

A private health insurance meeting the standards of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and has a level that will cover the cost of hospital accommodation and in-hospital treatment in an Australian hospital.

Besides a private medical insurance an all-inclusive liability for the au pair is recommended. Therefore it is clear who pays for the damage in case of an accident.

Basically the au pair bears the costs of the private medical insurance and the all-inclusive liability.

However, it can be negotiated whether the host family bears part of them or not.

The au pair is responsible for all of her / his health costs.

The au pair has to provide a certificate of private medical insurance unless the au pair's home country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

Note:

This reciprocal health care agreement only covers the cost of essential medical treatment while visiting Australia and is not designed to replace a private travel health insurance.

More information about the "Reciprocal Health Care Agreements" can be found on the website of the Department of Human Services.

For an au pair entering Australia with a student visa it is mandatory to have health insurance. Health insurance can be provided by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover  (OSHC).

Exception:

The au pair does not need OSHC if he / she is

  • a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
  • a Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet
  • a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

More information about "Health insurance for students" can be found on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Recommendation:

Besides this health insurance an all-inclusive liability for the au pair is recommended. Therefore it is clear who pays for the damage in case of an accident.

Basically the au pair bears the costs of the private medical insurance and the all-inclusive liability.

However, it can be negotiated wether the host family bears part of them or not.

The au pair is responsible for all of her / his health costs.

New Zealand and Australia have announced a new bilateral social security arrangement between the two countries on February 26,2001, also recognizing the right of each country to determine access to social security benefits not covered by the arrangement.

For more information about the social security entitlements of New Zealand citizens in Australia please see section "New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia" on the website of the Department of Human Services.

Note:

Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with New Zealand. This agreement only covers the cost of essential medical treatment while visiting / staying in Australia and is not designed to replace a private health insurance.

Recommendation:

A private health insurance meeting the standards of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and has a level that will cover the cost of hospital accommodation and in-hospital treatment in an Australian hospital.

Besides a private medical insurance, an all-inclusive liability for the au pair is recommended. Therefore it is clear who pays for the damage in case of an accident.

Basically, the au pair bears the costs of the (private) medical insurance and the all-inclusive liability.

However, it can be negotiated whether the host family bears part of them or not.

The au pair is responsible for all of her / his health costs.

The au pair has to provide a certificate of private medical insurance unless the au pair's home country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

Note:

This reciprocal health care agreement only covers the cost of essential medical treatment while visiting Australia and is not designed to replace a private travel health insurance.

More information about the "Reciprocal Health Care Agreements" can be found on the website of the Department of Human Services.

Recommendation:

A private health insurance meeting the standards of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and has a level that will cover the cost of hospital accommodation and in-hospital treatment in an Australian hospital.

Besides a private medical insurance, an all-inclusive liability for the au pair is recommended. Therefore, it is clear who pays for the damage in case of an accident.

Basically, the au pair bears the costs of the private medical insurance and the all-inclusive liability.

However, it can be negotiated wether the host family bears part of them or not.

social welfare system

An au pair entering Australia with

  • a Working Holiday visa or
  • a Student visa or
  • a Work and Holiday visa

is considered a temporary resident. 

  • Temporary residents are required to pay taxes on income earned in Australia.
  • Most temporary residents do not have access to social welfare benefits or national public health cover.

For more information please see "Fact sheet - Temporary Residents" on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


An au pair entering Australia with

  • a Special Category visa

is considered a temporary resident.

  • Temporary residents are required to pay taxes on income earned in Australia.
  • Most temporary residents do not have access to social welfare benefits or national public health cover.

For more information please see "Fact sheet - Temporary Residents" on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Regarding the point of having access to social welfare benefits or public health coverage please see section "New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia" on the website of the Department of Human Services.

An au pair entering Australia with

  • a Working Holiday visa or
  • a Student visa or
  • a Work and Holiday visa

is considered a temporary resident. 

  • Temporary residents are required to pay taxes on income earned in Australia.
  • Most temporary residents do not have access to social welfare benefits or national public health cover.

For more information please see "Fact sheet - Temporary Residents" on the website of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.


tax

The au pair entering Australia as

  • a foreign passport holder/ temporary visitor and
  • being the holder of a Working Holiday/ Work and Holiday/ overseas student visa with work rights

can apply online for a tax file number (TFN).

Note:

  • without a TFN, the au pair has to pay around 47% tax on her / his pay (i.e. with a weekly pay of $250 AUD this means an amount of $117 AUD would be withheld for tax)
  • With a TFN the au pair being the holder of a Working Holiday/ Work and Holiday visa  is considered a resident for tax purposes and can claim the tax-free threshold. This means that the resident tax rates apply and as long as the au pair earns less than 18.000 AUD per year he /she doesn't have to pay taxes.
  • As long as the au pair's income is below $21.355 AUD medicare levy has not to be paid 
  • Originally the Australian government had planned to change the status of the au pair being the holder of a Working Holiday/ Work and Holiday visa regarding tax purposes form resident to non-resident from  July 1, 2016. This would have meant that  with a TFN the au pair would have been taxed at a normal rate of 32,5% as being considered a non-resident for tax purposes (i.e. with a weekly pay of $250 AUD this means an amount of $81 AUD would be withheld for tax). Luckily the Australian government  has dropped these plans.
  • Important: After the Australian federal election July 2nd, 2016 the backpacker tax arrangements have been reviewed. Effective from January 1st 2017 the au pair being the holder of a Working Holiday/Work and Holiday visa is going to be treated as a non-resident for tax purposes and taxed 19%. The au pair can no longer claim the tax threshold. So with a weekly pay of $250 AUD this now means an amount of $47,50 AUD will be withheld for tax. The proposed rate for the "backpacker tax" originally was 32,5%.  To offset the impact of the reduced tax the superannuation payments when the au pair (being  a holder of a Working Holiday/ Work and Holiday visa) leaves Australia will be increased to 95%.
  • with a Student visa and being enrolled in a course that is more than six months long at a registered education provider the au pair is being considered a resident for tax purposes and can claim the tax-free threshold

For more information about TFN's, please see "Tax file number essentials" on the website of the Australian Taxation Office.

Do you have any experiences with the taxation of the pocket money? Discuss with others in our community!

The au pair entering Australia as

  • a New Zealand passport holder/ temporary visitor and
  • is the holder of a Special Category visa

can apply online for a tax file number (TFN).

Note:

  • without a TFN, the au pair has to pay around 47% tax on her / his pay (i.e. with a weekly pay of $250 AUD this means an amount of $117 AUD would be withheld for tax)
  • with a TFN the au pair will be taxed at a normal rate of 32,5% as being considered a non-resident for tax purposes (i.e. with a weekly pay of $250 AUD this means an amount of $81 AUD would be withheld for tax)
  • with a Student visa and being enrolled in a course that is more than six months long at a registered education provider the au pair is being considered a resident for tax purposes and can claim the tax-free threshold

For more information about TFN's, please see "Tax file number essentials" on the website of the Australian Taxation Office.

The au pair entering Australia as

  • a foreign passport holder/ temporary visitor and
  • being the holder of a Working Holiday/ Work and Holiday/ overseas student visa with work rights

can apply online for a tax file number (TFN).

Note:

  • without a TFN, the au pair has to pay around 47% tax on her / his pay (i.e. with a weekly pay of $250 AUD this means an amount of $117 AUD would be withheld for tax)
  • With a TFN the au pair being the holder of a Working Holiday/ Work and Holiday visa  is considered a resident for tax purposes and can claim the tax-free threshold. This means that the resident tax rates apply and as long as the au pair earns less than 18.000 AUD per year he /she doesn't have to pay taxes.
  • As long as the au pair's income is below $21.355 AUD medicare levy has not to be paid 
  • Originally the Australian government had planned to change the status of the au pair being the holder of a Working Holiday/ Work and Holiday visa regarding tax purposes form resident to non-resident from  July 1, 2016. This would have meant that  with a TFN the au pair would have been taxed at a normal rate of 32,5% as being considered a non-resident for tax purposes (i.e. with a weekly pay of $250 AUD this means an amount of $81 AUD would be withheld for tax). Luckily the Australian government  has dropped these plans.
  • Important: After the Australian federal election July 2nd, 2016 the backpacker tax arrangements have been reviewed. Effective from January 1st 2017 the au pair being the holder of a Working Holiday/Work and Holiday visa is going to be treated as a non-resident for tax purposes and taxed 19%. The au pair can no longer claim the tax threshold. So with a weekly pay of $250 AUD this now means an amount of $47,50 AUD will be withheld for tax. The proposed rate for the "backpacker tax" originally was 32,5%.  To offset the impact of the reduced tax the superannuation payments when the au pair (being  a holder of a Working Holiday/ Work and Holiday visa) leaves Australia will be increased to 95%.
  • with a Student visa and being enrolled in a course that is more than six months long at a registered education provider the au pair is being considered a resident for tax purposes and can claim the tax-free threshold

For more information about TFN's, please see "Tax file number essentials" on the website of the Australian Taxation Office.

Do you have any experiences with the taxation of the pocket money? Discuss with others in our community!

cost for host family

  • pocket money: about $950 - $1820 AUD per month ($220 - $420 AUD per week)
  • board & lodging: about $1080 AUD per month (minimum of $249 AUD per week or $35,57 AUD per day; official amount, please see "Living costs in Australia"; including homestay, groceries, gas & electricity)
  • eventually a public transportation ticket: about $40 - $200 AUD
  • eventually a higher car insurance fee if the au pair is allowed to use the host family's car
  • ...

This sums up to about $2070 - $3100 AUD per month.

placement fee

There are no regulations about placement fees in Australia.

ending of contract

The better au pair and family match, the less severe the culture shock. Therefore we highly recommend to use our perfectMatch function to find the perfect Match!

Discuss with others in our community what you can do when you have problems with your au pair / family!

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Hi, my name is Anastasiia Vaskova

and I’m responsible for this country information

I have thoroughly researched the information on this page, still I can’t give a guarantee that everything is correct and up-to-date.

If you should find any mistakes, please send me a message.

If you have any questions regarding the information on this page, you can ask them in the community.


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