Every au pair gets two weeks paid vacation, and the convention is to have the host family choose one week, while the au pair chooses the other, subject to family agreement. The host family has slightly more ‘say’ about vacation scheduling, simply because the host parents need to arrange for childcare while the au pair is off, and that is not always easy to do at certain times of the year.
For some host families, the host parents’ schedules are flexible enough that there are more than two weeks when the host family can do without childcare and let their au pair take vacation time. However, the au pair will get only two weeks of pocket money as ‘vacation pay’.
If s/he takes off more than two weeks, s/he does not get paid for that additional time.[ Ruh-roh. Looks like there might be a question about this. See comments, below.] And, her or his 12 month stay does not get extended. Even if they take off 4 or 5 weeks, they are still contracted with the host family for only 52 weeks.
Mom210 writes with a particular question about her au pair taking additional time off:
I have an au pair who has been with my for 7 months. She has been good with the kids overall, but we have a few issues along the way also.
My au pair is now asking to take more than the allotted 2 weeks off as she wishes to go overseas. I have the flexibility to give her the time off.
The questions are:
- Do I pay her for more than 2 weeks of vacation?
- Is she allowed to be gone for more than 2 weeks?
- Can she be out of the country longer than her allotted vacation time? [Does anyone know the answer to this?]
I know that other au pairs have been out of the country for 2 months with their host families. However, mine will not be with her host family, she will be visiting friends.
She is also being vague about her travel plans.
So, what do I do? Let her have the extra time with no pay, or tell her she cannot have the extra time?
Thank you for your advice! Mom210
You can give your au pair more than two weeks vacation time, but you are only expected to pay her for two of these weeks.** see comments, below. Can anyone confirm?? If you can afford to do without childcare for a while, and your au pair has something special to do, offering more unpaid vacation seems fine. Just don’t offer too much, or act like you don’t really need childcare at all, because that might leave you au pair to think she not needed, or even not wanted.
As for time restrictions on being out of the country, does anyone have information about that??
There is one red flag though– you felt you needed to mention that your au pair is rather vague about her plans. There are many reasons she could be vague, especially since she doesn’t know yet how much time she has to plan for!
But— I wonder if she might be considering ditching your family. Not that there’s anything wrong with your family, but au pairs have been know to take off on vacation to distant lands, and just never come back.
I could be crazy even to think of this, but here it is. cv