United Kingdom

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United Kingdom has 21 different programs for the different au pair citizenships.
Choose here which programs you want to see and compare.

rules & regulations

Student
World
Free Movement (EU)
EU/EEA/CH
Youth mobility
Turks and Caicos Islands

minimum stay

No restrictions found

maximum stay

Depending on the length of course an au pair entering the UK with a "Tier 4 Student Visa" can stay

  • the duration of the course plus up to four months after the end of the course.

For more details hereabout please see "Tier 4 of the points based system: policy guidance" (page 28: How long can a Tier 4 (General) student come to UK?)

24 months

working hours

An au pair entering the UK wwith a "Tier 4 Student Visa" can in generally work

  • up to 20 hours per week during term-time and
  • full-time during vacations.

For more details hereabout please see "Tier 4 of the points based system: policy guidance" (page 26: Student union sabbatical officer, last paragraph)

An au pair usually works up to

  • 5 hours/day
  • 5 days/week
  • including a couple of evenings babysitting

with a maximum of 30 hours / week

Please visit "Employing someone to work in your home" (section: Au pairs) for more information.

An au pair plus may work an

  • additionally 5 hours/week

days off

2 days/week

Please visit "Employing someone to work in your home" (section: Au pairs) for more information.

holidays

  • 28 days holiday per 12 month period, including Public Holidays. 

UK Public Holidays: These are included in the recommended holiday and au pairs can either be given the day off or have a day off in lieu as part of their holiday allowance. Pocket money will be paid during this time. The au pair should not be forced to take holidays to coincide with the family holidays. Holidays should be mutually agreed between host family and au pair.

allowed work


An au pair:  is expected to assist for 5 hours per day, mainly child care and light housework with an additional two evenings of genuine babysitting per week. Pocket money £ 70- £ 85 per week.

Please visit "Employing someone to work in your home" (section: Au pairs) for more information.

Common practice is instead that the au pair is being paid between £ 70- £ 100 per week.

Au pair plus:
An au pair plus is similar to an au pair except he / she is expected to work an additional 5 hours per week. The amount of pocket money depends on age, previous childcare experience and expected duties, but an average are between £120 -150 per week (common practice). 
An au pair plus is expected to be an "extra pair of hands" helping with cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, washing up, ironing and keeping children's rooms tidy.

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

List of tasks considered unsuitable for an au pair – 

  • Gardening
  • Window cleaning
  • Spring cleaning
  • Cleaning the oven, other than simple wiping out
  • Washing carpets
  • Washing the car
  • Weekly shopping
  • Pet training
  • Clearing up after untrained pets
  • Making parents bed*
  • Ironing for parents *
  • Cleaning parents’ en-suite bathroom*
  • Polishing silver and brassware*
  • Cooking the family meal, unless the au pair enjoys cooking and has chosen to do this for the family

*These duties can be included where there is less childcare and the children are out of the house for most of the day, if this is agreed in advance.

Au pairs should not be required to do housework such as ironing, when looking after children of primary school age or toddlers, due to safety reasons.

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!

pocket money

 £70 to £85 

  £70 to £85 

board and lodging

Being considered a family member for a defined period of time, the au pair is entitled to his or her own room in the host family's home. The au pair should be given free access to food and drink in the home and share meals with the host family. The au pair continues to be entitled to board and lodging in case of illness.

Please visit "Employing someone to work in your home" (section: Au pairs) for more information.

room

The room should have a size of at least 9 square metres, be lockable and have a window. It should, of course, also be furnished and heated. 

language course

Besides the fact that the host family has to give the au pair the option to attend English language classes at a local college in the au pair's spare time an au pair entering the UK with a "Tier 4 student visa" has to first follow the requirements for obtaining the "Tier 4 student visa".

Please visit "Employing someone to work in your home" (section: Au pairs) for more information.

An au pair can prove one's knowledge of English by passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

For more information regarding one's knowledge of English please see the eligibility criteria for the 

The host family has to give the au pair the option to attend English language classes at a local college in the au pair's spare time.

Please visit "Employing someone to work in your home" (section: Au pairs) for more information.

An au pair can prove one's knowledge of English by passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

For more information regarding one's knowledge of English please see the eligibility criteria for the 


Exceptions

An au pair will not need to prove knowledge of English if the au pair is a national of one of the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

travel expenses

The au pair is required to pay their own travelling cost to and from the UK, unless the family chooses to fund this.

health, accident and liability insurance

  • While in the UK, an au pair is normally covered by the  National Health Service. In the event of illness or injury, all Doctor's  consultation fees are covered, although prescriptions would have to  paid for; approximately £7.20 per item. 
  • Dental  care in the UK is only partially covered by the National Health  Service, and some dentists only offer private care. Dental care can be  very expensive, and the au pair is advised to take out private insurance  to cover this.

Note:

  1. An a pair entering the UK with a "Tier 4 student visa" will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of his / her visa application. 
  2. Details hereabout can be found  here.
  • While in the UK, an au pair is normally covered by the National Health Service. In the event of illness or injury, all Doctor's consultation fees are covered, although prescriptions would have to paid for; approximately £7.20 per item. 
  • Dental care in the UK is only partially covered by the National Health Service, and some dentists only offer private care. Dental care can be very expensive, and the au pair is advised to take out private insurance to cover this.

social welfare system

One needs a National Insurance number before paying National Insurance contributions.

If the au pair earns between £113 and £157 a week, his/her contributions are treated as having been paid to protect your National Insurance record. (reference: weekly thresholds of National Insurance, here: LEL = Lower Earnings Limit)

This will not apply to most au pairs as they typically earn less than this amount. (Pls see also: Employing someone to work in your home)

One pays National Insurance contributions to qualify for certain benefits including the State Pension.

One pays National Insurance if you’re:



tax

Au pairs may have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance, depending on how much pocket money they get.

For more information hereabout please visit section "Employing someone to work in your home" on the website of Gov.UK.

cost for host family

  •  The host gamily will provide the au pair with a private room and full board, as well as pocket money  throughout his or her stay. 
  •  The host gamily will allow time to attend classes and participate in cultural opportunities. 
  •  The host family will allow weekends free and two-four weeks holiday with pocket money if the au pair stays a year.

ending of contract

The legal period of notice is 14 days, leaving enough time for the au pair to help your host family find a replacement au pair and either organise a return trip for yourself or find a new host family.

Discuss with others in our community what one can do should problems arise with your au pair / family!

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Hi, my name is Davide Contu

and I’m responsible for this country information

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