While living in Belgium, an au pair stays with a host family, and she/he is neither a babysitter nor a live-in maid. So an au pair is not a worker, she/he comes to Belgium to know more about its culture and to learn a language (Dutch, French or German).
Here are the conditions to be an Au pair:
- You must be at least 18 years old and younger than 26 on the day your host-family request your work permit B (Non-EU citizens) or on the day that you communicate your stay to the City Hall (EU citizens).
- You can only perform light household tasks for the host family.
- You have to be registered/or have access to higher education in your home country or prove that you’ve been to school, continuously, until the age of seventeen.
- You have a basic knowledge of the host family’s language or enrol yourself in an intensive language course to learn it.
- You will have to follow a course to learn the language of the region where you’re staying. So, you learn Dutch in Flanders, French in Wallonia and German in the German-speaking Community. In Brussels you can choose between Dutch or French.
- You’ve never had a work permit B in Belgium before.
There are also conditions that the host family needs to fulfil:
- They have to offer you a personal room and free access to the house.
- They need to provide you with health insurance that covers ALL expenses (consultations, medicines, hospitalization, etc.).
- They must give you at least one full day-off every week.
- You should be able to partake in services of your preferred religion.
- You have to receive at least €450 pocket money, which has to be transferred into a bank account in your name. (This is the minimum, your host-family can always give you more)
- The family has at least one child that is younger than the age of 13 years on the day of your arrival in the family.
- The family has to arrange childcare during the day for all the children younger than 6 years.
- Every senior member of the family needs a certificate of good conduct.
- They need to have an insurance to cover the costs of your repatriation in case of an illness or accident.
- They have to grant access to civil officers in their house.
The host family can't ask you to work more than four hours a day and twenty hours a week. In other words: Working isn’t the main objective of your stay. You are not an employee. As an au pair you just help the family you are staying with.
- To be able to come to Belgium, the au pair (both non-EU and EU citizens) and the host family must sign a model contract which will be provided by the City Hall.
- When the conditions of the Au pair stay aren’t fulfilled, the Belgian government will consider you as a domestic worker. In that case you will have their same labour rights and you should receive the same salary.
- A non-EU Au Pair will receive a work permit B to be able to stay in Belgium. This permit is valid for one year and cannot be renewed!!
- Even though EU Au Pairs don’t need to ask for a work permit. It’s mandatory for them to communicate their stay to the City Hall so they can receive a Belgian residence card.
- If you are an EU Au pair and you didn’t sign a model contract, then YOU ARE NOT AN AU PAIR. In this case you are working as a Live-in domestic worker and you should be paid the corresponding minimum salary and enjoy the same legal labour benefits.
- When a host-family doesn’t respect your rights as an au pair or mistreat you, you can file a complaint against them to the labour inspection and they will be prosecuted.
Do you need help?
- If you have problems with your host-family or you have questions about your rights, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us:
- By Telephone: 02 204 06 34 or 0494/ 18 82 40
(Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00 – 13:00hrs and Thrusdays 14:00 – 16:00hrs)
- By email: email@example.com
- Or become our friend in Orca Work
- Don’t forget to check all our interesting publications
Would you like to improve your French?
Would you like to improve your French and make new friends?
Would you like to learn more about your rights and about the Belgian culture?
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OR.C.A. is NOT an au pair agency. We won't be able to help you to find a host-family.
OR.C.A. can help you when you have a problem as an au pair.