Working hours & tasks

Au pairs are not employees and they do not come to Belgium to work. They are here to learn a language and to experience Belgian culture more closely. In that context, a host family must propose an extensive cultural programme for the au pair. An au pair is therefore not an alternative for private household services of private childcare.

In exchange for food, lodgings and an allowance, the au pair can offer help for a maximum of 20 hours a week.These hours can be divided over the week up to a maximum of 4 hours a day. As soon as this number of hours has been worked, the rest of the time is free time.

There is no flexibility possible with regard to the maximum number of working hours. An au pair may never be asked to work extra hours. If an au pair works more hours than are permitted, the law states that they must be seen as having worked as a real domestic housekeeper, which means that the au pair will have the same employment rights as domestic staff, including a legal minimum wage for all the hours worked. The host family must also pay the corresponding contributions to social security.

The maximum limit of 20 hours a week and 4 hours a day is for all work, including childcare.

  • De au pair kan alleen helpen met lichte huishoudelijke taken. All-round werken is niet toegelaten.
  • Een au pair is geen kinderoppas noch babysitter. Kinderopvang is beperkt toegelaten:
    • Kinderen jonger dan 6 jaar oud mogen niet blijven bij de au pair. Het gastgezin moet bewijzen dat zij kinderopvang overdag voorzien hebben.
    • Au pairs mogen niet babysitten terwijl de ouders een avondje (of weekend) uitgaan.
  • Ouderenzorg is niet toegelaten.
  • “Summer au pairs” bestaan niet: Je moet een au pair overeenkomst ondertekenen of je moet betaald worden als een echte dienstbode/nanny.

If an au pair works more hours than are permitted, they will have the same employment rights as a domestic housekeeper.