Deciphering Au Pair Paid Vacation

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I often field a lot of questions regarding au pair vacation. All au pairs working in the United States must receive 2 weeks of paid vacation during their contracted 52 week term. Of the 52 weeks that an au pair resides within the US, 1 week is spent at the agency training facility and is unpaid, 49 weeks are spent providing childcare for the host family receiving the minimum stipend of $195.75 per week, and 2 weeks are spent as paid vacation receiving a total of $391.50 for those two weeks. I thought the simplest way to explain the vacation policy for au pairs would be to answer the most frequent questions I receive regarding this topic.

If an au pair typically works Monday through Friday during the week, are weekends included in an au pair’s vacation days?

  • YES. Au pairs are entitled to 2 full weeks of paid vacation which includes 10 weekdays and 4 weekend days. This is the Department of State minimum. If an au pair does not work weekends than he/she is NOT entitled to receive 14 weekdays off.

Can an au pair take individual vacation days and not full week/s at a time?

  • First, vacation time must be mutually agreed upon by au pair and host family in advance. Yes, an au pair can take individual vacation days, but these days should include 10 weekdays and 4 weekend days.

If an au pair enrolls in a travel course to complete her education requirement, do these days count as vacation?

  • No, any day that an au pair is taking education does not count as vacation.

Do au pairs receive an additional weekend off the month they use their paid vacation weekend/s?

  • No, the rule is that au pairs are required to have 1 full weekend off per month.

Must the au pair take vacation when the host family suggests?

  • No, the vacation must be mutually agreed upon by both au pair and host family. In cases where there is disagreement on when the au pair can take vacation, I ask that both parties arrive at a compromise. I also suggest to au pairs that they request vacation at least 4-6 weeks in advance so host family has adequate time to find coverage or make arrangements for childcare. I encourage au pairs and host families to begin the discussion regarding scheduled paid vacation as soon as possible in their year.

If an au pair extends, how much paid vacation time are they eligible to receive?

  • If an au pair extends for 6 months, he/she is entitled to 5 weekdays and 2 weekend days of paid vacation (1 full week or 1 full stipend). If an au pair extends for 9 to 12 months, he/she is entitled to 10 weekdays and 4 weekend days of paid vacation (2 full weeks or 2 full stipends worth).

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