Hosting an au pair is defined as providing temporary residence within a family, in exchange for light routine household tasks. The au pair programme is for young people who have come from abroad to expand their language abilities and increase their general cultural knowledge by getting to know their host country better. Au pairs are encouraged to participate in the cultural activities of the country.
In order to prevent any kind of abuse, the law provides a very specific framework on hosting an au pair, defining the rights and duties which fall to the host families and those that are the responsibility of the au pairs. The provisions of the Labour Code do not apply to hosting an au pair.
Who is concerned
The following are concerned:
- a host family that has at least one child who is under 13 years old at the start of the au pair's stay;
- an au pair (male or female) aged 18 to 30 years coming from abroad, with a higher secondary education diploma or equivalent.
The host family must meet the following 3 conditions:
- have at least one child who is under 13 years old at the beginning of the au pair's stay;
- for children under the age of 6, submit proof that arrangements for their daytime care have been made for the duration of the au pair's stay;
- produce an extract from the criminal record dated less than 3 months ago for all adult members at the beginning of the au pair's stay, proving that the standards of good character are met.
The family must be aware that the daily participation of an au pair in everyday household chores cannot be the primary goal of the stay. Such work may not exceed 5 hours per day on average in a one-week period. The number of working hours per week cannot exceed 25 hours on average 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 the subject draw up a list of young people interested in becoming an au pair and can also provide assistance.
Submitting the required documents
The host family must have a written approval from the minister responsible for youth (Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth) (ministère de l'Education nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse). To obtain it, they must file an application for approval with the minister, along with all the supporting documents:
- a household composition certificate issued by the commune of residence;
- an extract of the criminal record;
- proof of daycare arrangements for children under 6 years old (this may be provided by a daycare facility or a parental assistant). It is also possible to submit an affidavit;
A copy of the ministerial approval obtained must be sent to the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre commun de la sécurité sociale – CCSS) when the au pair registers for social security.
The approval is denied if the application contains incomplete or incorrect data or when the aforementioned conditions are not met.
The approval is withdrawn when the host family no longer meets the conditions for approval, or the commitments to which their approval was subject have not been respected, or when, by their actions, they endanger the au pair's safety, physical or psychological health. It is also withdrawn when the host family does not respect the commitments under the hosting agreement entered with the au pair.
At the same time, the au pair must obtain approval from the minister responsible for young people (Minister for Family Affairs and Integration) before they can live with a host family in Luxembourg.
To do so, they must submit an application for approval along with all the supporting documents.
The au pair must meet the following conditions:
- be at least 18 and under 30;
- reside in a country other than Luxembourg;
- hold a certificate giving them access to higher education in their country of origin, or prove that they have attended class until at least age 17;
- have basic knowledge of one of the languages spoken by the host family, as well as English or one of the country's 3 administrative languages (German, French or Luxembourgish);
- provide a medical certificate established less than 3 months prior to their arrival, proving that the young au pair is able to carry out simple routine family tasks, including childcare;
- have signed an au pair hosting agreement with an approved host family;
- participate in a mandatory information session upon arrival, organised by the National Youth Service (Service National de la Jeunesse – SNJ);
- abide by the legislation relating to the entry and residency of foreigners;
- take language courses during their residency;
- not carry out any salaried or freelance work during their time as an au pair;
- not have any family ties up to the th degree inclusive with any of the host family members.
The approval may be withdrawn if:
- the au pair has used fraudulent practices or made false declarations to obtain the approval;
- the au pair does not comply with the conditions or commitments to which the approval was subject.
The au pair may change families once and once only, provided the total duration of the au pair's residency does not exceed one year.
A copy of the ministerial approval obtained must be sent to the CCSS when the au pair registers for social security.
The au-pair agreement
A host family that wishes to host an au pair must, before the au pair has left their country of residence, enter into a hosting agreement with the au pair, specifying the rights and responsibilities of each party.
The agreement must include the following elements:
- the duration of the au pair's residency (which may not exceed one year);
- the time devoted to household chores and provisional hours;
- days off;
- the location of the au pair residence and 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 provided as pocket money to the volunteer for the full duration of their stay;
- a note that the agreement has been entered with the condition precedent of approval by both the host family and the au pair.
To ensure the application is processed quickly, the host family are strongly advised to submit the full application to the SNJ, including all the following:
- 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.
Requirements of the host family
The provisions of the Labour Code do not apply to hosting an au pair.
The host family must nevertheless commit to respect the legal obligations from the time the au pair begins their stay:
- register au pairs for health insurance and accident insurance for the duration of their stay and commit to providing the SNJ with a certificate of such registration within a month of the start of the au pair's stay. A copy of the ministerial approval obtained by the host family, as well as a copy of the ministerial approval obtained by the au pair, must be attached to the certificate of registration;
- 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 per week, plus one full day off per week and 2 additional days off per month;
- allow sufficient time for the au pair to be able to take language courses and to continue their cultural education;
- cover costs related to the language courses taken by the au pair;
- provide food and accommodation to the au pair;
- provide a private room for their use and ensure they have unrestricted access to the home;
- pay the au pair a monthly set amount corresponding to 1/5 of the social minimum wage as pocket money, regardless of any periods where they are not working. Pocket money is not subject to the general social security and tax contributions applicable to salaries;
- provide for a potential early return to their home country due to illness, accident, withdrawal of approval or withdrawal of approval of the au pair;
The host family may host at most one au pair at a time.
Ending the stay
The au pair's residency automatically ends upon expiry of the term, in the event of a withdrawal of approval of the host family, or in the event of a withdrawal of approval of the au pair.
If the approval is withdrawn for the host family, the au pair approval remains in effect, provided the au pair can present a new hosting agreement within one month.
The au pair hosting agreement may be terminated early, with immediate effect, in the event of force majeure or serious misconduct by one of the parties, and through prior notice of at least 1 month in all other cases. A party that plans to end the au pair hosting agreement must inform the other party in writing, sending a copy to the National Youth Service (SNJ).
When the host family plans to end the au pair hosting agreement before the end-date, they must, before making any decisions, call in the interested party for an interview to explain the grounds for the envisaged decision; at this time the au pair responds with their explanations. The host family and the au pair are entitled to request that an SNJ representative be present to mediate, provided that they inform the other party in good time.
Monitoring au pair hosting situation
The SNJ is in charge of managing, monitoring and coordinating au pair stays.
It also has the following duties:
- to act as an intermediary between host families and candidates;
- managing requests for approval of host families and requests for au pair approval;
- monitoring au pair host situations;
- organising mandatory information sessions for au pairs hosted in Luxembourg;
- providing mediation in the event of disputes between a host family and an au pair in Luxembourg.
Forms / Online services
Modèle de déclaration sur l'honneur pour l'accueil d'un jeune au pair
Who to contact
School service for newly arrived children (Cellule d'accueil scolaire pour élèves nouveaux arrivants – CASNA)58, boulevard Grande-Duchesse Charlotte
Phone : (+352) 247-85277
Department for accreditation of prior and experiential learning18-20, montée de la Pétrusse
Phone : (+352) 247-85912
Board of Appeals (Commission de recours)29, rue Aldringen
Children and Youth Department - Adoption Service29, rue Aldringen
Phone : (+352) 247 83624Monday to Friday from 08.30 to 11.30 and from 14.00 to 17.00
Department of Primary Education (Service de l'enseignement fondamental)29, rue Aldringen
Phone : (+352) 247-85151Fax : (+352) 247-85123
Department of Adult Education12-14, avenue Emile Reuter
Phone : (+352) 247-85100Monday from 14.00 to 17.00 and Tuesday-Friday from 09.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 17.00
Department of Vocational Training29, rue Aldringen
Phone : (+352) 247 - 85239Fax : (+352) 47 41 16
Department for the recognition of diplomas18-20, montée de la Pétrusse
Phone : (+352) 247-85910Fax : (+352) 247-85933Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 11.30 and from 14.00 to 17.00
Department for the Schooling of Foreign Children (Service de la scolarisation des enfants étrangers)58, Boulevard Grande-Duchesse Charlotte
Phone : (+352) 247-85207Fax : (+352) 247-85140
Department for the Schooling of Children with Special Needs29, rue Aldringen
Phone : (+352) 247-85180Fax : (+352) 46 01 05