AU PAIR PROGRAM
PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAM
The purpose of the au pair-scheme is cultural exchange. Its origin can be traced back to the European au pair-agreement of 1969 in which the movement of adventurous young Europeans crossing borders was regulated. An au pair stays in the home of a host family as part of the family, while primarily learning about the Norwegian ways, language and society, and exchanges cultural knowledge with friends and family. It is important that both au pair and host family recognizes the purpose of the program as cultural exchange. An au pair is not a housemaid nor a nanny. However, you are expected to do some light housework and for this your recieve pay/pocket money.
UDI writes, «As an au pair, you can improve your language skills and learn about Norwegian society by living with a Norwegian family. In return, you will provide services such as light housework and/or child care for the host family.» We recommend you to click on the link and read thouroughly the UDI circular on the au pair-program.
An au pair and the host family must agree on the terms of the au pair-stay in the standardized contract provided by UDI. You can find the contract here. In any case, you cannot work more than 5 hours per day, with a maximum of 30 hours per week. Contact Caritas au pair-senter if you need help with your contract or have other questions.
WHO CAN BE AN AU PAIR ?
You are over 18 and have not turned 30 yet.
You do not have children of your own.
Cultural exchange should be your main purpose.
UDI must find it likely that you will return to your home country when your period as an au pair is over. The conditions your country is in have to indicate that you can return.
You have to pay an application fee of 8400 NOK to UDI when you apply for an au pair permit. This does not apply if you are from an EU/EEA country. Click here for more information about the application fee.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AU PAIRS
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE HOST FAMILY TOWARDS YOU
The host family can only have one au pair at a time.
The host family is obliged to give you a Norwegian course worth at least NOK 8,850 per year
You will stay and eat with your host family for free and get a separate room in the house/apartment.
You are entitled to salary/pocket money of at least NOK 5,900 before tax per month.
You are entitled to vacation and vacation pay according to Ferieloven.
If you come from a high incident country you must take a tuberculosis test when you arrive in Norway.
The host family must pay insurance for you which cover the return journey in the event of serious illness, injury or death.
As an au pair, you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. This means that you are entitled to free health services on an equal footing with the rest of the population.
You should first apply for a residence card with the police, then the social security number at the Tax Office to get the easiest access to health care.
You are entitled to a GP and can order and change GPs at Helfo.no.
Dental services in Norway are not covered by the National Insurance Scheme, and it is very expensive. It is most likely cheaper to have a dentist in your home country.
If you are from a high incident country, you must take the tuberculosis test on arrival. You can find which countries these are here. Contact the infection control office in your municipality for this.
You are entitled to free health care as a pregnant woman in Norway. However, if you have children, you no longer meet the conditions for being an au pair.
WORK AND LEISURE
Because the au pair-scheme is a cultural exchange, your work should be limited to light housework, child and pet care.
Your working hours should not exceed 5 hours per day - a maximum of 30 hours per week.
You are entitled to at least one day off a week and at least one such day off per month must be a Sunday. Every week at least one afternoon should be free.
You may not work for employers or families other than your host family.
You have the right to participate in Norwegian courses and leisure activities. Your tasks should not get in the way of religious practice.
It is important to talk to the host family about the au pair-relationship so that no misunderstandings arise.
THE JOURNEY HOME
When you return home, the host family must pay for your return journey.
The host family is not obligated to pay for travel if it is not to your home country, if you travel for vacation, or if you choose to stay in Norway on other grounds for residence.
The host family must pay insurance for you who cover travel home/repatriation if you become seriously ill, injured or die.
ECONOMY AND VACATION
As an au pair, you are entitled to pocket money/salary of at least NOK 5,900 before tax per month.
You have the right to free diet and accommodation, ie your host family is responsible for ensuring that you have a place to live and that you receive free food.
You must pay tax on your income: the sum of pocket money/salary and the value of free diet/accommodation. The value is determined by the Tax Administration and you will find more information here.
As an au pair, you are entitled to 25 working days vacation in the calendar year. If you start as an au pair after 30th of September, you are entitled to 6 working days vacation within the current year .
The same rules apply if you change host family. Remember to get a statement from your former host family if you have not had vacation before changing families.
You are entitled to vacation pay. Vacation pay is 10.2% of the vacation pay base (the sum of income and the value of diet, not accommodation).
QUITTING OR CHANGING HOST FAMILY
Both you and the host family can terminate the contract with a notice period of at least one month. The notice must be in writing.
The host family can not fire you for no good reason. You can demand that the host family state in writing the reason for the termination. You do not have to justify a resignation.
During the notice period, you are entitled to be paid and you have the right to stay with the host family.
Both you and the host family can terminate the contract immediately if there has been a serious breach of contract. Then there is no notice period.
You and the host family must report to the police or the UDI if the contract is terminated before your permit expires and you must notify of any new address.
The termination of the contract does not mean that you must leave Norway immediately. The UDI or the police will notify you that they are considering withdrawing the permit, and give you the opportunity to make a statement. You can also find a new host family and apply for a new au pair permit within the deadline given.
You can apply to change host family at any time if you have a valid au pair permit. The UDI treats this as an application for renewal.
You can live and work with the new host family once you have submitted a complete application to the police.