Ireland

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Ireland has 39 different programs for the different au pair citizenships.
Choose here which programs you want to see and compare.

rules & regulations

Working Holiday
United States of America
Student
World
Free Movement (EU)
EU/EEA/CH

minimum stay

3 months

Short-term stays between 3 to 4 months are generally only possible during summer time.

Note:

A short stay visa (less than 90 days) does not qualify for working!

maximum stay

Less than 13 consecutive weeks according to official rules.

Please see also the information in "working hours" 

The duration of the au pair's stay in Ireland has usually a maximum of 12 months.


The duration of the au pair's stay has usually a maximum of 12 months.

However, there can be exceptions depending on the demands and the wishes of the au pair and the host family.

working hours

According to official rules the maximum hours of work are 48 hours per week on average.

Details about consecutive rests / breaks a week can be found on the homepage of the Citizens Information Board

However, common practice is

  • Between 25 and 35 hours of work per week
  • Including up to 3 evenings of babysitting

Note:

A WHA arrangement defines employment as 

  • to be of casual or temporary nature only
  • to be incidental to the holiday
  • not to be employed in regular employment
  • to be working less than 13 consecutive weeks
  • to work less than the normal hours of work of a regular employee

For more information please see section "Working part-time" on the website of the Citizens Information Board.


  • Please refer to the information about "the au pair being considered  a domestic worker with all the employment rights" in section "tax" and on the homepage of the Citizens Information Board.


According to official rules, the maximum hours of work are 48 hours per week on average.

Details about consecutive rests / breaks a week can be found on the homepage of the Citizens Information Board

However, common practice is

  • Between 25 and 35 hours of work per week
  • Including up to 3 evenings of babysitting


Note:

  • While being enrolled in an English language or non-Degree Program course, registered in the Internationalisation Register, 20 hours of casual employment each week during term time and full time with 40 hours per week during college holidays is allowed.
  • For more information, please see the "Guidelines for Language and Non-Degree Program Students" in Ireland, issued 01 January 2011 provided by the Citizens Information Board
  • with effect from 1 September 2016 there are some changes to the Employment entitlements of Non-EEA Students, holding immigration Stamp N° 2; for more information pls see "Note to Employers" provided by the Department of Justice and Equality
  • Please see section "Coming to work in Ireland" on the website of the Citizens Information Board.
  • it needs to be clarified with the host family prior, how the restrictions aligned with the student visa have an influence on the au pair job.
  • Please refer to the information about "the au pair being considered  a domestic worker with all the employment rights" in section "tax" and on the homepage of the Citizens Information Board.

According to official rules, the maximum hours of work are 48 hours per week on average.

Details about consecutive rests / breaks a week can be found on the homepage of the Citizens Information Board

However, common practice is

  • Between 25 and 35 hours of work per week
  • Including up to 3 evenings of babysitting

days off

According to the official rules, the au pair has the right to 

  • 1 day off per week
  • 11 consecutive hours rest in any 24 hour period

For more information please visit Citizens Information Board.

However, common practice is

  • 2 days off per week

holidays

According to official rules, the au pair working full-time has the right to a minimum off

  • 2 weeks paid leave every 6 months

With the au pair working on a "public holiday" (there are 9 in Ireland), the au pair has the right;

  • to be paid for these days or
  • have another paid day off instead or
  • an extra pay.

For more information please visit Citizens Information Board

However, common practice is

  • 1 week of paid holiday every 6 months

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

There are no official rules regarding the allowed / forbidden tasks of an au pair.

Common practice instead, is that the following tasks are not part of the daily work of an au pair:


  • 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 beforehand 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 and due to the fact that the au pair is considered a "domestic worker" with all the employment rights, the pocket money ranges - officially between 130 - 270€ per week. Costs of €54,13 per week (official) for full board and lodging already deducted and depending on

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

Note:

Since 1 January 2017, the national minimum wage for an experienced adult employee is €9,25 per hour.

Who is considered an experienced adult employee?

An experienced adult employee is a person who has an employement of any kind in any 2 years over the age of 18.

More information can be found in section "Minimum rates of pay" on the website of the Citizens Information Board.

Common practice instead was - until 1 January 2017 -  that the au pair is being paid between 75 Euro and 100 Euro per week, depending on

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

board and lodging

Board and lodging are free to the au pair.

This applies also

  • In cases of illness and
  • During the holidays

room

An au pair is 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.

It is up to the au pair and the host family to negotiate the question "Who bears the costs for attending a language course?"


One of the requirements of entering Ireland for studying purposes is to be enrolled in a full-time course in the Language and non-Degree Program.

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 Ireland, being enrolled in a full-time course in the Language and non-Degree Program.

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

It is up to the au pair and the host family to negotiate the question "Who bears the costs for attending a language course?"


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

Recommendation:

The au pair ought to provide a certificate of private medical insurance. The private medical insurance needs to have a level that will cover the cost of hospital accommodation and must have a minimum coverage of 25,000€ for in-hospital treatment in an Irish hospital.

Travel insurance can be accepted when meeting the same prerequisites as those for the medical insurance.

This outlined information about private medical insurance, is based on the document "Private Medical Insurance for full-time Non-EEA Students" from 01 January 2011, available on the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS) website.

Basically, the au pair bears the costs of the private medical insurance.

Note:

  1. The private medical insurance needs to have a level that will cover the cost of hospital accommodation.
  2. 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
  • Private & professional liabilty

The au pair has to provide a certificate of private medical insurance. The private medical insurance needs to have a level that will cover the cost of hospital accommodation and must have a minimum coverage of 25,000€ for in-hospital treatment in an Irish hospital.

Travel insurance will not be accepted, except for a "first year student".

Basically, the au pair bears the costs of the private medical insurance.

However, it is recommended that the host family bears at least part of them.

For more detailed information regarding private medical insurance and accepted travel insurance, please see the document entitled "Private Medical Insurance for full-time Non-EEA Students" from 01 January 2011, available on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website.

Note:

  1. The private medical insurance needs to have a level that will cover the cost of hospital accommodation.
  2. 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
  • Private & professional liability

The au pair has to clarify if the medical insurance at home will also cover the au pair's stay in Ireland.

Should this not be the case, the au pair will need to take out medical insurance for the duration of the au pair's stay. 

This medical insurance needs to have a level that

  • will cover the cost of hospital accommodation
  • must have a minimum coverage of 25,000€ for in-hospital treatment in an Irish hospital.

Travel insurance can be accepted when meeting the same prerequisites as those for the medical insurance.

This outlined information about private medical insurance is based on the document "Private Medical Insurance for full-time Non-EEA Students" from 01 January 2011, available on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website.

Basically, the au pair bears the costs of the private medical insurance.

Note:

  1. The private medical insurance needs to have a level that will cover the cost of hospital accommodation.
  2. 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
  • Private & professional liability

social welfare system

An au pair entering the State with a Working Holiday Authorization needs to apply for a PPS Number (Personal Public Service Number) to get access to public services in Ireland.

More information about the social welfare system can be found in section => "step by step".

An au pair entering the State being enrolled in a full-time course in the Language and non-Degree Program, needs to apply for a PPS Number (Personal Public Service Number) to get access to public services in Ireland.


More information about the social welfare system can be found in section => "step by step".

An au pair being an EU/EEA- national or a national from Switzerland needs to apply for a PPS Number (Personal Public Service Number) to get access to public services in Ireland.

More information about the social welfare system can be found in section => "step by step".


tax

Is an au pair considered a domestic worker with all the employment rights?

"Working as an au pair is generally understood to be an arrangement between host families and foreign students who come to a country with a view of learning the language and getting a better understanding of the culture of that country. While the arrangement with the host family will often include assistance in the household, an au pair is not a professional nanny or child minder. However, the fact of using the term "au pair" to describe an arrangement between consenting parties does not mean an employment contract does not exist. Contract law and employment legislation are generally used to establish whether or not a person is an employee. A person performing a duty for another person in exchange for a payment would strongly suggest the existence of a contractual relationship."  

The above description of the work of an au pair has been removed with effect from 9 March 2016. The term au pair is since then rather described as follows:

"... refers to people employed to carry out various duties in a private home. Generally they are engaged directly by homeowners to carry out these tasks. ... Other duties may include the care of children, ... Domestic workers can work part-time or full-time and sometimes (...) live with their employer..."

it is further outlined that

"people working in other people's home have broadly the same employment rights as other workers. However, sometimes employers and employees may not be fully aware of these rights".

Therefore, an au pair being a domestic worker has

"a right to a written contract of employment which states the terms and conditions of their employment and must include the full names of the employer and the employee and the job title or nature of work, the pay, hours of work. These conditions cannot be changed without the agreement of the worker".

The above quotes are extractions of the section "Domestic workers' employment rights" provided by the Citizens Information Board website.

Being considered a "domestic worker",  the au pair is liable for taxation for Irish tax purposes.

Fore more detailed information regarding income tax please see the section "Income Tax" available on the Irish Tax and Customs Revenue website.

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 520 - 1080 EUR per month (since 1 January 2017)
  • PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance)
  • board & lodging: 234,56 EUR per month (54,13  EUR per week or 7.73€ per day; pls click here for the reference: official amount)
  • eventually a public transportation ticket: about 100 EUR per month
  • eventually a higher car insurance fee if the au pair is allowed to use the host family's car
  • ...

This sums up to a minimum of 855 - 1415 EUR per month

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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step by step

Hi, my name is Davide Contu

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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