Sweden

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Sweden has 7 different programs for the different au pair citizenships.
Choose here which programs you want to see and compare.

rules & regulations

Au pair
World
Working Holiday
New Zealand
Free Movement (EU)
EU/EEA/CH

minimum stay

There are no rules for a minimum stay as an au pair.

Note:

From email correspondence with the Swedish Migration Agency we know that

citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA are normally not allowed to work in Sweden without a work permit, even if it is for less than 90 days.

There are no rules for a minimum stay as an au pair.

maximum stay

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

The maximum of 12 months is in accordance with the period of time a work permit can be granted.

For more detailed information about "How to apply for a work permit?" please see "step-by-step-to get to => visa & step-by-step-once you're in => work permit)

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

The maximum of 12 months is in accordance with the period of time a work permit can be granted.

For more detailed information about "How to apply for a work permit?" please see "step-by-step-once you're in => work permit)

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 25 hours per week on average.

Details about 

  • consecutive rests /breaks a week and
  • working overtime
  • ...

can be found in "The Domestic Work Act".

An overview of "The Domestic Work Act" in English is available on the website of the Swedish Work Environment Authority. The original legal text is only in Swedish.

days off

According to "The Domestic Work Act" (original legal text only available in Swedish) these rests / breaks are binding:

  • The time between 00:00 and 05:00 am should be dedicated for rest
  • Each week the au pair should have at least 36 hours of consecutive time off, if possible on the weekend

holidays

According to Swedish law, the au pair working part-time has the right to a minimum off

  • 25 days paid leave per year plus
  • 16 days of public holidays and
  • 6 de facto holidays (usually an afternoon off)


allowed work

According to the information provided by the Migration Agency, the au pair is allowed to take out "light housework".

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

Keeping in mind that the au pair is allowed to take out "light housework", the following tasks are, based on common practice,  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

As defined in the rules for obtaining a work permit

  • a monthly pretax salary of at least SEK 3,500 and
  • room and board 

must be offered by the host family.

According to § 13 of the Domestic Work Act (original legal text only available in Swedish) employees, that can not perform their work because of an accident or illness, may still use the accomodation that is included in the employee benefits, as long as the contract is in force. There is no rule about receiving pocket money during illness.

In the Domestic Work Act (original legal text only available in Swedish) no rule about pocket money for au pairs is defined. 

Recommendation:

However, it might be a good idea to refer to the rules for obtaining a work permit:

  • a monthly pretax salary of at least SEK 3,500 must be offered
  • room and board must be offered

According to § 13 of the Domestic Work Act, employees, that can not perform their work because of an accident or illness, may still use the accomodation that is included in the employee benefits, as long as the contract is in force. There is no rule about receiving pocket money during illness.

board and lodging

As defined in section "Employing au pairs" on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency

=> Board and lodging are free to the au pair.

This applies also

  • in cases of illness and
  • During holidays.

Details hereabout can be found in "The Domestic Work Act". An overview of "The Domestic Work Act" in English is available on the website of the Swedish Work Environment Authority. The original legal text is only in Swedish.

room

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

More information can be found in the "Lag (1970:943) om arbetstid m.m. i husligt arbete". Ths is the original legal text of the "Domestic Work Act".

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?"

According to the "Requirements for obtaining a work permit" as an au pair on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency, the au pair has to have

  • A certificate of admission to studies in Swedish

Note:

Household and studies combined must not exceed 40 hours per week.

Even though an au pair being a citizen of Australia, Canada, New Zealand or South Korea is entering Sweden through the Working Holiday program and doesn't need a "certificate of admission to studies in Swedish" therefore, the  fact that he / she lives with another family and is paid for child minding and light housework shows as well: 

  • The purpose of the au pair's stay in Sweden is to obtain international experience and
  • that the au pair wants to have the opportunity to learn the Swedish language and culture.

Recommendation:

Therefore, referring to the "Requirements for obtaining a work permit" as an au pair on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency the au pair being a citizen of Australia, Canada, New Zealand or South Korea and entering Sweden through the Working Holiday program  should be able to attend a language course.

Note:

Household and studies combined must not exceed 40 hours per week.

Even though the au pair being an EU/EEA/CH-citizen doesn't need a work permit and therefore no "certificate of admission to studies in Swedish" the fact that he / she lives with another family and is paid for child minding and light housework shows as well 

  • The purpose of the au pair's stay in Sweden is to obtain international experience and
  • that the au pair wants to have the opportunity to learn the Swedish language and culture.

Recommendation:

Therefore, referring to the "Requirements for obtaining a work permit" as an au pair on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency the au pair being an EU/EEA/CH-citizen should be able to attend a language course.

Note:

Household and studies combined must not exceed 40 hours per week.

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 and - of course - put in writing.

health, accident and liability insurance

The Swedish Migration Agency gives the following important information about insurance:

You need to have an insurance policy that will cover any costs that may arise in connection with illness or injury when you are living in Sweden. If you are registered in the Swedish population register you are covered by the Swedish social insurance system. If you are not registered in the population register it is important that you get your own health insurance policy.

To be registered in the Swedish population register you generally need to have been granted a residence permit in Sweden for at least one year and plan to stay here for a year or longer.

This means:

  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 provide a certificate of private medical insurance. 

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

According to the requirements for obtaining a permit the au pair has to have a valid health insurance policy unless the au pair is an Australian citizen

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

Recommendation:

  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 being an EU/EEA/CH-citizen has to clarify if the medical insurance at home will also cover the au pair's stay in Sweden.

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.

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

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

In the information brochure about taxes on the Swedish Tax Agency's website the following information about social security contributions is given:

If as an employee you are covered by Swedish social insurance your employer must pay employer’s social security contributions calculated on your income. If instead you are covered by foreign social insurance you must corroborate this with an E 101 certificate (certificate of relevant EU legislation) or a certificate of posting from the foreign insurer.

There are some exceptions outlined in the above mentioned information brochure what is excempt from social security contributions.

Note:

  1. The Swedish social insurance covers various benefits related to sickness, disability,...
  2. No sick pay for the first day of illness

tax

Based on the information brochure provided by the Swedish Tax Agency taxable income is considered

  • the pocket money 
  • board and lodging 

"..benefits related to employment in private services if the activities are carried out in Sweden"

Regarding taxes the au pair has the option between the

  • Special Income Tax Act and
  • Income Tax Act

On behalf of this choice the au pair has to take the following aspects into consideration:

  • when choosing to be taxed under the Special income Tax Act the taxe rate is 20 % and the paid tax is final. => No tax refund can be claimed at the end of the au pair's stay.
  • when choosing to be taxed under the Income Tax Act the au pair can apply to pay preliminary tax. => A tax refund can be claimed at the end of the au pair's stay.

Important:

As soon as the au pair has entered Sweden, he / she has to register him-/ herself with the Swedish Tax agency to be registered in the Swedish Population Register.

The au pair being a non-EU/EEA-citizen has to provide the following documents / information:

  • passport
  • Swedish Residence permit card
  • civil status (married, widowed, ...)

All documents need to be either

  • originals or
  • certified copies.

More information can be found in section "Moving to Sweden" on the website of the Swedish Tax Agency.

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

Based on the information brochure provided by the Swedish Tax Agency taxable income is considered

  • the pocket money 
  • board and lodging 

"..benefits related to employment in private services if the activities are carried out in Sweden"

Regarding taxes the au pair has the option between the

  • Special Income Tax Act and
  • Income Tax Act

On behalf of this choice the au pair has to take the following aspects into consideration:

  • when choosing to be taxed under the Special income Tax Act the taxe rate is 20 % and the paid tax is final. => No tax refund can be claimed at the end of the au pair's stay.
  • when choosing to be taxed under the Income Tax Act the au pair can apply to pay preliminary tax. => A tax refund can be claimed at the end of the au pair's stay.

Important:

As soon as the au pair has entered Sweden, he / she has to register him-/ herself with the Swedish Tax agency to be registered in the Swedish Population Register.

The au pair being a non-EU/EEA-citizen has to provide the following documents / information:

  • passport
  • Swedish Residence permit card
  • civil status (married, widowed, ...)

All documents need to be either

  • originals or
  • certified copies.

More information can be found in section "Moving to Sweden" on the website of the Swedish Tax Agency.

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

Based on the information brochure provided by the Swedish Tax Agency taxable income is considered

  • the pocket money 
  • board and lodging 

"..benefits related to employment in private services if the activities are carried out in Sweden"

Regarding taxes the au pair has the option between the

  • Special Income Tax Act and
  • Income Tax Act

On behalf of this choice the au pair has to take the following aspects into consideration:

  • when choosing to be taxed under the Special income Tax Act the taxe rate is 20 % and the paid tax is final. => No tax refund can be claimed at the end of the au pair's stay.
  • when choosing to be taxed under the Income Tax Act the au pair can apply to pay preliminary tax. => A tax refund can be claimed at the end of the au pair's stay.

Important:

As soon as the au pair has entered Sweden, he / she has to register him-/ herself with the Swedish Tax agency to be registered in the Swedish Population Register.

The au pair being a Nordic citizen has to provide the following documents / information:

  • current address in Sweden
  • place of birth
  • proof of citizenship, i.e. passport or national ID card
  • civil status (married, widowed, ...)

Additionally for EU/EEA-citizens:

  • documents showing that the au pair is employed, i.e. pay-slip or
  • letter of admission showing that the you pair will study for at least 12 months or
  • documents showing that the au pair has sufficient funds to support him- / herself

All documents need to be either

  • originals or
  • certified copies.

More information can be found in section "Moving to Sweden" on the website of the Swedish Tax Agency.

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

cost for host family

  • pocket money: SEK 3.500 monthly pretax salary
  • ev. social security contributions calculated on the pocket money and board & lodging
  • costs for board and lodging
  • eventually a public transportation ticket
  • eventually a higher car insurance fee if the au pair is allowed to use the host family's car.
  • ...

"Moving to Sweden" on the website of the Swedish Tax Agency.

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 Angela Dröscher

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.


Community for SwedenPlease log in to write me a message.

Hi, my name is Taina Karttunen

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.


Community for SwedenPlease log in to write me a message.