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The Au Pair

The Au Pair

(Tekst: Linn Stalsberg Foto: Werner Anderson)

These are laid down in Norwegian law. Private contracts made with host families do not change what it says in the rules. Are you unsure about the rules, or do you think they are difficult to understand; Contact the Au Pair Center.

Get to know the rules and discuss them openly with your host family. the rules apply to both you and them so that both parties may feel safe and secure.

On this page you can find out about:

  • what kinds of work tasks you may have as an au pair
  • how much you can work during the course of a week
  • what you will earn and your obligation to pay tax to the Norwegian authorities
  • your rights where holidays are concerned
  • your rights in relation to leisure time in your daily life
  • your host family’s responsibility in relation to insurance for you
  • your rights to medical assistance if you become ill
  • your rights in relation to your return journey home
  • how to resign if you do not want to be an au pair any more

Never sign anything you do not understand!

Daily life and work

  • As an au pair you are to carry out light household duties such as housework, child-minding and looking after pets. You are not a full-time nanny. Your work time must not exceed 5 hours a day and be no more than 30 hours a week. You cannot work more than 30 hours, not even for extra payment. 
  • You must have the opportunity to attend Norwegian classes and leisure-time activities if you wish. You must also have the opportunity of freely practising your religion.  
  • Your host family is to pay a minimum of 7800 kroner per year for Norwegian classes. You can choose if you wish to go to Norwegian classes or not.
  • You must live with your host family throughout the contract period and have your own room in your host family’s dwelling. The contract between you and your host family can be found here (link): http://www.udi.no/Global/UPLOAD/Skjema/OppholdArbeid/TilbudKontrakt/kontrakt%20au%20pair.pdf

Money, tax and holidays

You are to be given free food and lodging and to receive at least 5200 kroner per month in pocket money/wages before tax. The value of free food and lodging is also subject to taxes. In order to pay tax, you must have a tax card. You can get one from the local tax office. 

It is your responsibility to make sure your tax is paid although your host family have the obligation to deduct the tax amount from your pocket allowance. You must check that this is done in the correct way and should every month receive a receipt that the taxes have been paid.

Open a Norwegian bank account where your pocket allowance can be paid. And ask for a wage slip from your host family.

Under the Norwegian law relating to holidays, you are entitled to a total of 25 effective working days off each calendar year. If the au pair has not been an au pair for the full calendar year, but starts with a host family no later than 30th September, the au pair retains full holiday rights. If the au pair starts after 30th September, he/she has the right to 6 effective working days off. The same rules apply in the event of changing host family, as long as the au pair can document that his/her holiday has not been taken with the previous family.

You have the right to at least one 24-hour day off each week, of which at least one each month is to be a Sunday. You also have the right to at least one regular afternoon off each week. 

You and your host family must have signed the UDI contract concerning cultural exchange between au pair and host family.

You cannot work for others while you are an au pair, either for payment or free of charge.  But you can participate in volunteer work though.

An au pair with a valid residential permit will automatically become enlisted in the Norwegian national insurance system (Folketrygden).

Insurance in the event of accident

  • If you are not going to be here a whole year, you will not be enlisted in the Norwegian national insurance system and will need travel insurance to cover any health-related expenses.
  • The host family is to pay insurance for you. This can be drawn up in Norway and throughout the EU/EEA area or, under certain circumstances, in the au pair’s home country. If the host family wishes to use an insurance company in the au pair’s home country, it must be an approved insurance company in that country and be accredited by the Schengen group in that country. Foreign missions in countries with approved insurance companies will be able to give further details as to which companies may be used.
  • The insurance is to be taken out for the whole period for which a permit is sought.
  • The insurance must cover the au pair’s return journey home in the event of serious illness or injury, if she cannot fulfil her duties under the contract. The au pair cannot be sent home before she has received necessary medical treatment. If the au pair should die during the course of the contract period, the insurance must cover all the costs incurred in the return of the au pair’s remains and personal property. If the return of the au pair’s remains is not possible, the au pair’s closest family must be contacted through the embassy of the au pair’s home country.   
  • The insurance in its entirety is to be paid by the host family. This means that the host family cannot demand that that the au pair cover part or all of the insurance premium by means of deductions from pocket money/wages or any other repayment agreement.
  • The insurance is linked to the au pair. It is not necessary to take out a new policy when changing host family as long as the given term for the insurance is still valid. A host family’s insurance expenses will not therefore be refunded if the au pair resigns or changes host family. Where appropriate, the host family will have to take out a new insurance should they later wish to take on a new au pair.  
  • Nor may a host family demand that insurance expenses be refunded if the au pair’s residence permit application is turned down. 
  • If the host family does not take out insurance for the au pair, this is considered to be in breach of the au pair contract. The host family is then responsible for covering the expenses incurred in the au pair’s return journey home.

You have the right to medical assistance in Norway

  • All persons living in Norway have the right to visit a doctor. This includes the specialist health services, such as psychiatrists, gynaecologists and orthopaedists. If you want to go to a specialist, you must get a referral from a general practitioner before being able to have a consultation with a specialist within the public health service. Make sure that you are insured for any treatment you might then have.
  • You will be allotted a general practitioner as your regular doctor (fastlege) after you have registered at the tax office. You will receive a letter containing the name of your regular doctor and this is the person to go to in relation to all medical issues. If you need immediate help you must contact the emergency clinic (Legevakten). This is a medical centre which is open 24 hours a day.

What about travelling home again?

  • For au pairs with contracts entered into before 1st July 2012, the host family is only obliged to pay the return ticket if this is written in the contract.
  • For au pairs with contracts entered into after 1st July 2012, the host family is obliged to pay for the return ticket.
  • If an au pair changes host family after arriving in Norway, the new host family pays the return journey.
  • The host family need not pay for a journey home if you choose to stay in Norway under another kind of residence permit or of you choose to travel on to another country that is not your home country.
  • You can resign your position as au pair at any time but two things are important: You must give a month’s notice and your resignation must be in writing.
  • You do not need to say why you wish to resign.
  • If you have holidays outstanding, these may be taken during the period of notice.

Do you want to stop being an au pair?

  • You can resign your position as au pair at any time but two things are important: You must give a month’s notice and your resignation must be in writing.
  • You do not need to say why you wish to resign.
  • If you have holidays outstanding, these may be taken during the period of notice.

Do you want a new host family?

If things do not go well between you and your host family, you can find a new family at any time under certain conditions:

  • You must apply for a new residence permit
  • The requirements in relation to being an au pair must still be fulfilled
  • You must follow the rules for resigning your position
  • You can start working at your new host family as soon as the correct papers have been delivered to the local police station.

Sources: UDI and JURK