Traditionally the role of an au pair would have involved between 20 and 25 hours work per week, with occasional paid babysitting duties. However in early 2016 a Workplace Relations Commission ruling recently recognised au pairs as employees, which instilled on them, the same rights and expectations as any other employee.
Au Pairs’ Working Hours
Legally, the average working week for an au pair can not exceed 48 hours (averaged over 4 months). This calculation of the average number of hours should not include annual leave, sick leave, or maternity leave.
If the au pair’s work week includes working on a Sunday, extra pay should be agreed by both the host family and the au pair, if no agreement is in place the au pair is entitled to one, or more, of the following:
- A reasonable allowance
- A reasonable pay increase, or
- Reasonable paid time off
The definition of “reasonable” is dependent on circumstances, and should be agreed in advance, by both the au pair and the host family.
Overtime work is considered to be any work done outside the au pair’s agreed working week. There is no legal requirement for host families to pay au pairs for overtime work, however the au pair’s employment contract should clearly outline the the au pair’s working week, and the rate of pay for any time worked outside these hours, in advance of employment.
This blog post only applies to au pairs employed in the Republic of Ireland.
Under the Organisation of Working Time Regulations 2001, the host family is required to keep detailed records of the au pair’s working hours.
It is in the interest of both the au pair and the host family, than an au pair employment contract includes details of the au pair’s working hours, and details of compensation for Sunday and overtime working. We strongly advise such terms are agreed, in writing, in advance of the au pair commencing employment.