European Agreement on Au Pair Placement – Council of Europe

The European Agreement on au pair placement is a significant development in the regulation and protection of au pairs in Europe. The Council of Europe adopted the agreement on 24 November 1969, and it has been in force since 30 June 1971. The agreement aims to provide a harmonized approach to the placement of au pairs across European countries, making it easier for young people to access the cultural and linguistic benefits of au pair programs.

Firstly, the European Agreement sets out the definition of an au pair worker, which is someone aged between 18 and 30 and who lives with a host family for a limited period. The role of an au pair is to assist with childcare and light household duties in exchange for room and board and the opportunity to learn about the host country`s culture and language. The agreement emphasizes that au pairs are not intended to replace domestic servants or to perform heavy household duties.

The agreement also lays out various provisions that ensure the welfare and protection of au pairs. For instance, host families are responsible for providing adequate accommodation, meals, and pocket money to their au pairs. The agreement stipulates a minimum amount of pocket money, which must be adjusted to the cost of living in the host country. Host families are also required to provide health insurance to their au pairs, including coverage for accidents and sickness.

Furthermore, the agreement highlights the need for mutual respect and understanding between the host family and the au pair. Host families are encouraged to create a welcoming environment that facilitates the au pair`s integration into the family and broader community. Au pairs, in turn, are expected to respect the host family`s household rules and cultural practices.

The European Agreement on au pair placement is a valuable tool for protecting the rights of au pairs and ensuring that they have a positive experience while working abroad. It provides a framework for fair and transparent arrangements between host families and au pairs, which benefits both parties. Additionally, the agreement promotes intercultural exchange among young people and contributes to the development of their personal and professional skills.

In conclusion, the European Agreement on au pair placement is a vital instrument for enhancing the regulation and protection of au pairs in Europe. It serves as a model for other countries and regions to follow in creating a standardized approach to au pair programs. By adhering to the guidelines set out in the agreement, host families and au pairs can establish a positive and mutually beneficial working relationship.