Hosting an au pair means welcoming a young person from abroad for a temporary period of stay with the family, in return for light everyday family tasks, so that the young person can:
- improve their language skills;
- improve their general culture by improving their knowledge of the country of stay by encouraging them to participate in the country's cultural activities.
To avoid any abuse, the hosting of an au pair is strictly regulated and the rights and duties of both the host family and the au pair are clearly defined.
Who is concerned
All families with at least one child under 13 years of age at the beginning of the au pair's stay.
The host family must meet the following conditions:
- have at least one child who is under 13 years old at the beginning of the au pair's stay;
- provide proof that the daycare for their child(ren) under 6 years of age has been arranged for the duration of the au pair's stay.
The family must be aware that the daily participation of an au pair in everyday family chores cannot be the primary goal of the stay. It may not exceed:
- an average of 5 hours per day over a period of one week;
- an average of 25 hours over a period of one month or 4 weeks.
How to proceed
Searching for an au pair
It is the responsibility of the family to find an au pair. Agencies or associations specialising in au pair applications draw up a list of young people interested in becoming an au pair and can also provide assistance.
Filing an application
The host family must have received a written approval from the Minister of National Education, Children and Youth (ministre de l'Education nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse) allowing them to host an au pair.
To obtain the approval, they must send the completed application for approval by post to the National Youth Service (Service national de la Jeunesse - SNJ).
In order to ensure that the file is processed quickly, it is strongly recommended that the host family submit a complete file to the SNJ, i.e. both:
- the application for approval of the family and the supporting documents requested;
- application for approval of the au pair and the supporting documents requested;
- the agreement signed by both parties.
The family must add the following to their application:
- an extended certificate of residence less than 3 months old (issued by the communal administration of the place of residence);
- an extract from the criminal record less than 3 months old for each adult family member proving that the standards of good character are met;
- proof of child care arrangements for children under the age of 6: this proof can be provided by a daycare facility or by a childminder. It is also possible to submit an affidavit.
The host family must send these supporting documents each time they host an au pair.
The processing of the complete application may take between 4 and 6 weeks.
The SNJ will return incomplete applications to the applicant.
- granted if all conditions mentioned above are met. An original copy of the written approval is sent by mail to the host family to serve as an official title. A copy cannot be issued;
- denied if the application contains incomplete or incorrect data or when the conditions mentioned above are not met;
- withdrawn if the host family:
- ceases to fulfil the conditions of approval or their commitments on the basis of which it was granted; or
- by their actions, endangers either the au pair's safety or their physical or mental health;
- does not respect the commitments stated in the au pair hosting agreement concluded with the au pair.
The host family wishing to host an au pair must conclude a hosting agreementwith the au pair before the au pair has left his or her country of residence. This agreement specifies the rights and duties of each party.
The agreement must include the following elements:
- the duration of the au pair's stay (which may not exceed one year);
- the time devoted to family chores and provisional hours;
- days off;
- the place of stay of the au pair and the housing conditions;
- the tasks to be performed by the au pair and the resources available to them to carry out these tasks;
- language classes for the au pair paid for by the host family;
- the amount of pocket money for the au pair for the full duration of their stay;
- a note that the agreement has been entered into subject to the condition precedent of approval by both the host family and the au pair.
Obligations of the host family
The host family must, from the moment the au pair arrives in their home:
- register the au pair for social security and more precisely for health insurance (sickness insurance) and accident insurance for the duration of the au pair's stay. The application submitted to the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre commun de la sécurité sociale – CCSS) must be accompanied by:
- a copy of the ministerial approval granted to the host family;
- a copy of the ministerial approval obtained by the au pair;
- submit the certificate of affiliation with the Joint Social Security Centre to the SNJ in the month following the hosting of the au pair;
- take out civil liability insurance from a duly approved insurer in Luxembourg for the au pair, for the duration of their stay;
- allow the au pair to have:
- at least 3 free evenings a week;
- a full day of rest each week;
- 2 additional days of rest per month;
- give the au pair enough time to allow them to:
- attend language courses;
- improve their cultural skills;
- cover the costs related to the language courses taken by the au pair;
- provide food and accommodation to the au pair;
- make available a private room for the au pair and ensure he or she has unrestricted access to the home;
- transfer to the au pair a monthly fixed sum corresponding to 1/5th of the social minimum wage as pocket money. The pocket money:
- is not subject to the general social security and tax contributions applicable to salaries;
- must be paid to the au pair even during periods of inactivity;
- ensure the possible early repatriation of the au pair in the event of:
- sickness or accident;
- withdrawal of the au pair's approval or the host family's approval.
The host family may only host one au pair at a time at most.
Inspection of the au pair's accommodation
The SNJ is responsible for managing, monitoring and coordinating the stay of au pairs. Its missions include:
- managing requests for approval of host families and requests for au pair approval;
- providing mediation in the event of disputes between a host family and an au pair in Luxembourg.
SNJ agents can go to the homes of the host families to check if the family meets the conditions of reception. These visits take place between 7h00 and 20h00.
Validity of the accreditation
The accreditation is valid as long as the conditions for awarding it are met. The family must communicate any changes to the SNJ. The accreditation is revoked if:
- the host family ceases to fulfil:
- the conditions of the accreditation, or;
- the commitments the granting of the accreditation was based on;
- if, through its actions, it endangers either:
- the au pair's safety;
- their mental or physical health;
- the host family does not respect the commitments resulting from the au pair hosting agreement concluded with the au pair.
The au pair hosting ends automatically:
- at the end of the contract;
- in case of withdrawal of the host family's accreditation, or;
- in case of withdrawal of the au pair's agreement.
Premature end of the au pair hosting
The au pair hosting agreement may be terminated before its term:
- immediately: in the event of force majeure or gross misconduct on the part of one of the parties;
- with at least one month's notice in all other cases.
In this case, the party who intends to terminate the agreement must:
- inform the other party in writing;
- send a copy of the letter to the National Youth Service (SNJ).
In the case of the host family, it must, before any decision is taken, invite the person concerned to an interview. During this interview:
- the reasons for the proposed decision are explained;
- the au pair's explanations are heard.
Each party has the right to request attendance at the interview of a representative of the SNJ, provided that the other party is informed in advance and in good time.