What are the legal conditions?

The au pair programme in Belgium is regulated by the Royal Decree of 9 June 1999, with regard to the implementation of the law on the employment of foreign workers. This decree defines the legal conditions for the placement and the conditions that both host family and au pair must meet:

For the host family

  • There must be at least one child in the home who is younger than 13.
  • Childcare must be provided in the daytime for all children younger than 6.
  • Access to the home must be made available to inspectorate services.
  • Two au pairs may not be hosted at the same time.

For the au pair

  • They must be between 18 and 25 years old.
  • They must have attended school until at least the age of 17.
  • They must have a basic knowledge of the host family’s language of communication.
  • They must never have held a Belgian work permit in the past.
  • They may not accept any other paid work during the placement.

The placement

  • The host family and au pair must sign an official Belgian model contract. This model contract must be registered with the municipality.
  • The au pair placement has a duration of no more than one year (this applies to both EU citizens and third-country nationals). No renewal is possible after this year.
  • An au pair is allowed to switch host families only once and only for the remaining duration of their year as an au pair.
  • The host family is legally obliged to pay at least €450 allowance a month, regardless of periods of inactivity. Even if the au pair is away on a trip or ill.
  • The au pair is allowed to help with light household tasks for a maximum of 20 hours a week and 4 hours a day.
  • The au pair is not an employee. They are only permitted to help with household tasks, not take on all household tasks themselves.
  • The au pair must be enrolled in an official language school in order to learn one of the official languages of Belgium (Dutch, French or German). This is compulsory, not optional!
  • The host family is legally obliged to offer the au pair their own personal bedroom with the corresponding amenities.
  • The au pair must have free access to the home.
  • The host family is legally obliged to take out medical insurance that covers all medical expenses for the au pair (consultations, medicines and hospitalisation). Any repatriation necessary due to illness or accident must also be insured.
  • The au pair must be given at least one full day off a week.