Au pairs

General Information

Au pairs are defined as foreign nationals (most of them school pupils or students) between the ages of 18 and 28 who want to use their time in Austria to improve German skills they have acquired in their home countries and deepen their knowledge of Austrian culture and society. Au pairs stay with host families and help with light household chores and childcare.

Au pairs do not have to be assigned by an agency. If you decide to use the services of an au pair agency, the agency must hold the required licence. It is a good idea to find out whether your chosen agency has this licence before you make use of their service.

Status under employment law

The employment status of au pairs is governed by the Hausgehilfen- und Hausangestelltengesetz( Domestic Workers and Domestic Employees Act). This legislation sets out their entitlement to benefits including leave  and continued remuneration if they are unfit for work for any period of time. Employers must also take account of the special regulations governing the minimum wage for au pairs, which stipulate that their total working time (including time spent on call) must not exceed 18 hours per week.

The Betriebliche Mitarbeiter- und Selbständigenvorsorgegesetz (Industrial Employee and Self-Employed Workers Pension Provision Act) also applies. This act states that the host must pay contributions to the employee pension fund on behalf of the au pair. For more details of the precise action you need to take (including choosing a pension fund and how to pay contributions), go to employees on USP.gv.at.

For employment relationships beginning from 1 January 2022 onwards, the minimum monthly remuneration payable to the au pair is 485.85 Euro (in line with the monthly low-pay-threshold according to the ASVG (Austrian General Social Security Act). This remuneration must cover a weekly working time of 18 hours (including time spent on call), with duties composed of childcare and providing a moderate amount of assistance in the household. The working time for au pairs from third countries (i.e. outside the EU/EEA), must be 18 hours a week. If they work fewer than 18 hours a week (and therefore earn a lower income than they otherwise would), they will be unable to meet significant requirements for obtaining a residence permit.

Au pairs are legally entitled to 15 monthly salary payments a year (including two months' pay for paid leave and one month's pay for Christmas holiday pay). If the au pair's working hours are less than 18 hours a week, their entitlement to these special payments is reduced proportionately to their hours.

The employer is required to provide the au pair with a dated breakdown of their working hours, the remuneration paid for those hours and any deductions made when they pay the au pair.

Medical and accident insurance

Before you can employ an au pair, you must register for statutory social secutity under the  ASVG. However, free accommodation and subsistence, along with any contributions the host family make towards the au pair's private medical insurance or payments for language courses or cultural events are not considered remuneration for social security purposes, and are therefore not subject to contributions.

If the au pair's remuneration falls under the low-pay threshold (485.85 Euro for 2022), it is sufficient to register them with the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse (ÖGK) for a statutory accident insurance. Having private accident insurance does not replace the requirement to register for statutory accident insurance. For more information, contact the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse.

Private health insurance can be taken out for the au pair with a private insurance provider. Any insurance policy they may hold with a provider abroad will only be deemed acceptable if the provider is required to provide benefits in Austria.

Au pairs from third countries will only be issued with a special employment residence permit (→ oesterreich.gv.at)German text if they hold an all-risks health insurance policy that will provide benefits in Austria.

Requirements

Requirements for residence permits

Au pairs from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

Au pairs from the EU, the EEA and Switzerland are entitled to live and work in Austria without a residence permit. However, they must apply for confirmation of registration of residence from the relevant authority no later than four months after entering the country.

Au pairs from third countries

Third-country nationals require a special employment residence permit (→ oesterreich.gv.at) covering the full duration of their employment as an au pair.

They also require confirmation that conirimation that their employment as an au pair has been reported to the authoritiesGerman text from the Labour Market Service (AMS).

Requirements under employment law

Au pairs from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland do not need any approval from labour market authorities in order to work in Austria, whether as employees or on a self-employed basis.

Au pairs from third countries

Au pairs from third countries are exempted from the AuslBG if:

  • the host family report the au pair relationship to the relevant regional office of the Labour Market Service (AMSnot later than two weeks before the au pair begins work, and
  • the AMS has issued a confirmation of report.

Confirmation of report for au pairs

A confirmation of report will be issued if:

  • the au pair is over 18 and not older than 28 years old;
  • if they have been assigned by agency, the agency holds the required licences;
  • the au pair has not worked as an au pair in Austria for longer than one year within the last five years, and
  • it can be demonstrated that the nature of the work and the remuneration paid for it are consistent with au pair work, specifically that: 
    • the au pair will use their time in Austria to get to know the country and its people and to improve the German-language skills they have acquired in their home country, with the help of the host family;
    • the au pair will be taken into the host family's family unit (defined as at least one parent or guardian and their child/children) and will carry out light household duties, including childcare;
    • the au pair has a minimum command of the German language (acquired at school, on a semester abroad or on a language course) before they begin their employment, as evidenced by a school certificate or other
    • confirmation, written in either German or English, and they will improve their command of German by living together with their host family.

If the au pair does not meet these requirements, it will be assumed that they will not be working as an au pair, and the confirmation of report will not be issued.

You can download the form for applying for this confirmation from the AMS website. To help the AMS to deal with the request as quickly as possible, applicants should send the AMS a copy of the au pair contract, signed by both parties, along with their application. You can also download a model contract on the AMS website.

The initial confirmation of report is valid for six months. It can be extended for a further six months provided that certain conditions are met.

Extending the confirmation of report

The confirmation of report can be extended by a maximum of six months provided that all the significant criteria for an au pair relationship continue to apply, and that the au pair has been able to improve their German language skills over the first six months. Evidence of improved language skills can be provided in the form of proof of attendance at German language courses at relevant educational institutions (including adult-education institutions).

Wherever possible, applications to extend the confirmation of report should be submitted four weeks before the expiry date of the original confirmation. The confirmation of report should be retained by the host family and shown to the authorities if requested.

Au pairs are not permitted to access the regular labour market. Once they have completed their period as an au pair, they do not have any legal entitlement to a continued right to work in Austria or to free access to the labour market. Similarly, the host family does not have an automatic right to continue employing the au pair after their initial employment relationship comes to an end.

Competent authority

For medical and accident insurance, contact the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse (→ ÖGK)German Text

For residence-related enquiries regarding EU, EEA or Swiss nationals, contact the

For residence enquiries regarding third-country nationals, you should use the contact details below:

Please note

Certain categories of individuals (→ oesterreich.gv.at) can apply for a residence permit in Austria by contacting the local office of the authority responsible for issuing the residency permit.

  • Issuing residence permits
    • For queries about issuing residence permits, you should contact the local office responsible for issuing residence permits in the area where the third-country national will be living while in Austria,

To report an au pair relationship, contact the Labour Market Service (→ AMS)German Text

Required documents

How a host family should report an au pair relationship

Further information

You can download the form for applying for confirmation of a report from the AMS website.

Further links

Legal bases

Expert Information

There is no expert information available.

Link to form

Certified Translation
Last update: 18 July 2022
Responsible for the content:
  • Federal Ministry of the Interior
  • Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy