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Pocket money, working time and contract for au pairs in Spain

Find out the details of how au pairs and families work together in Spain. How much pocket money does an au pair receive, how are holidays organized, what about the au pair contract? All the important information is presented here for au pairs and families in Spain.

In Spain, there is no official au pair programme. However, Spain has signed the European Agreement on Au Pair Placement and citizens of almost all countries in the world can travel to Spain to work as an au pair if they comply with the entry regulations for au pairs in Spain.

Please note: If the mother tongue of a prospective au pair is Spanish, it is not allowed for this person to work in Spain as an au pair.

Au pairs and families should clarify in advance what they expect from each other and sign a contract in which the these points are clearly defined. This is the best way to avoid possible disappointments and disagreements. The au pair contract according to the European Agreement on Au Pair Placement offers a basic contract that can be used for this purpose.

Contract termination
The legal period of notice is two weeks. This gives both au pair and host family the time they need to find a replacement or to book a return journey home.

The main responsibility of the au pair is to help with childcare in the family. In addition, the au pair can assist with light housework as a member of the family team.

The exact au pair duties should be agreed between the au pair and the host family and specified in the au pair contract.

In Spain, au pairs receive a minimum of 70 euros per week as pocket money from their host family. Board and lodging are free.

In addition to pocket money, au pairs receive free board and lodging. Of course, au pairs are also entitled to food and accommodation even if they are ill or during holiday periods.

There are no official regulations on how many hours au pairs are required to work in Spain. We recommend a general working time of approximately 30 hours per week, babysitting included.

An au pair has at least one day off per week. This should fall on a Sunday once a month.

There are no official regulations concerning au pairs’ holiday entitlement in Spain. Au pairs and families should make a clear arrangement for holiday time before the au pair stay begins. We recommend that for 12 months of au pairing, an au pair receives 4 weeks of holiday. This recommendation can be used to calculate holiday entitlements for longer or shorter au pair stays.

In Spain, there are no official regulations with regard to public holidays for au pairs. We recommend that au pairs have a day off on public holidays. Only in exceptional cases should au pairs work on public holidays. The host family should discuss this with their au pair beforehand.

More information on the topic:

Au pairs should have the possibility of attending a Spanish course. Usually, au pairs pay for their own course. It is recommended that the host family help in finding a suitable course that the au pair can conveniently attend. Au pairs who apply for a student or an au pair visa must be enrolled in a language school recognised by the Instituto Cervantes for at least 20 hours per week and attend the course for the duration of the au pair stay Further information on the language training and visa arrangements can be obtained from the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in the au pair’s home country.

Which language does the host family speak?

In addition to the classical Spanish dialect, the so-called “castellano”, further languages are spoken in different regions of Spain. Some languages such as Basque, Galician and Catalan are often spoken at home in some places. Ask your host family in advance where they live and what language they speak on a daily basis.

Health insurance

Au pairs cannot be registered with the national insurance scheme in Spain.

Prior to leaving their home country, au pairs should inquire with their current health insurance provider whether the insurance cover will be in force for an au pair stay in Spain. Au pairs should find out in which cases this insurance cover will be available and which formalities need to be taken care of. 

Depending on the country of origin of the au pair there are various possibilities:

For au pairs from the EU

Au pairs in Spain are covered by the European Health Insurance Card. They can apply for a card at their own insurance company prior to departure for Spain. If the au pair cannot obtain this card from their health insurance company, they need to take out private insurance in Spain so that they can be sure to have appropriate coverage. In Spain there are various private insurance companies. The host family can be of assistance in finding an appropriate insurance.*

For au pairs from non-EU countries

If the au pair’s country does not have a bilateral agreement for medical care with Spain, then the au pair needs to arrange a private health insurance policy for the au pair stay. In Spain there are various private insurance companies. The host family can be of assistance in finding an appropriate insurance.*

* Please note: Spain has signed the European Agreement on Au Pair Placement under the condition that au pairs and host families share the payment of premiums for private health insurance on an equal basis. 

Host families often wish to have an au pair who has a driving licence and adequate driving experience. 

If the au pair will need to drive during the au pair stay, then issues of insurance and liability should be clarified in advance. Should any damages result from an accident, it should be clear who will pay for them.

If au pairs will be driving in Spain, then they need to check if their driving license will be valid there. If it won’t be, then au pairs should apply for an international driving license in their home country you will need to apply for an international driving license in your count

Bigsibs' Code of Conduct

To manage your search at AuPairWorld in the best possible way and to quickly find a suitable au pair, it’s helpful to follow a few simple rules:

  • Answer your messages. The search function only works when everyone knows what their current status really is. If certain au pairs are out of the question for you, then promptly decline their offers. If you have received too many applications, then you can temporarily hide your profile in the search results so that you can deal with the applications that you’ve already received.
  • If you receive a negative reply from an au pair, please don’t take it personally. Generally, nothing is to be gained by sending further messages after you’ve received a rejection. Instead, continue your search and contact other suitable au pairs.
  • Be honest in communicating with au pairs. Are there certain situations or habits in your family that a future au pair needs to be aware of? Do your children have allergies, for example? Only by being honest is it possible to avoid problems and misunderstandings during the au pair stay.
  • When you have found an au pair, remember to inform your other current messaging partners and to deactivate your profile.
  • Follow through on your commitments. Your future au pair is relying on that and may very well be making arrangements and paying for the relevant costs. If your plans do change, then please contact your planned au pair immediately.

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