Germany

Germany

Go to Germany with Au Pair New Zealand 2The European Agreement on Au Pair Placement contains framework regulations on living and working conditions, language classes, social security as well as the rights and responsibilities of the host family and the au pair. Although this agreement has not been endorsed by the Federal Republic of Germany, it is in general followed. The information below is based on the regulations of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Zentrale Auslands-Fachvermittlung ZAV).

Au Pair New Zealand will help you with your application process, host family search and support during your stay in Germany. We have an emergency number in New Zealand +64 4 889 23 17, but you can also call the Gütegemeinschaft Au-pair e.V in Germany on 0800 111 0 111 or 0800 111 0 222. Please note that this is only for emergencies. 

Application and requirements

To Germany with Au Pair New ZealandThe minimum age for au pairs is 18 years and the maximum age is 26.  

You are expected to have a basic knowledge of the German language. Language skills that are equivalent to at least Level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages are required.

You should write your application documents (application letter, curriculum vitae) carefully and precisely in the German language and include an appropriate passport photo. We also require school results, an application form, 2 character and 2 childcare references, a police check, a medical check, a photo collage or video and copies of your passport, first aid course if applicable and driving licence. All information provided must be truthful.

If you and your host family are related to each other, then employment should not be permitted.

When arranging a placement, our partner agency will wherever possible take into account the expectations of you and your host family. In general, there is a large number of interested families in the Federal Republic of Germany.

As New Zealand does not belong to the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland (so-called third countries) some additional requirements must be fulfilled:

In general, you can only be employed in families where German is spoken as a native language. At least one adult family member must be a German citizen or a citizen of an EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland. If German is spoken as a ‘family language’ within the family, then permission may be granted once the employee does not come from the host parents’ home country. In event of more favourable regulations arising from the European Community’s right to free movement or right of establishment being applicable to the au pair or the host parents from EU Member States, an EEA Member State or Switzerland who reside in Germany, then such regulations will be taken into account.

Duration

The au pair contract must be of at least 6 months duration and can cover at the most 1 year. A renewal of employment as an au pair is not permitted even when the maximum duration of 1 year has not been completed.

The au pair contract finishes at the end of the agreed time. In so far as there is no period of notice (often the notice period is 2 weeks, but you will be informed about this beforehand), the contractual relationship can be terminated prior to this time only in the case of mutual agreement (cancellation contract). In most cases, both parties agree that the au pair will stay such time until he/she has found another host family. If there is a serious reason for doing so, the au pair employment can be terminated without notice.

Apart from such circumstances, it is of course expected that the au pair and family will not separate during the first few days of living together. Experience shows that with goodwill the initial ‘culture shock’ (e.g. arising from different lifestyles and eating habits) can be overcome in a short time. If living together harmoniously is not possible, then the au pair agency should be informed of this as soon as possible. The agency will try to obtain an understanding of the situation and attempt to find a solution that is acceptable for both parties.

Tasks

Go to Germany with Au Pair New ZealandThe work of an au pair varies and depends on the type of family and their lifestyle. In general, daily tasks include carrying out light housework such as helping to keep the home clean and tidy, doing laundry, ironing clothes, making breakfast and simple meals, looking after the children and supervising them, accompanying the children to kindergarten, school or specific activities, taking them for walks, playing with them, watching over the house or apartment and looking after pets. The tasks of an au pair do not include caring for the sick or elderly (i.e. looking after family members in need of care).

Rights and responsibilities

Work and free time

In general, an au pair is not allowed to carry out household tasks (including babysitting) for longer than 6 hours a day and 30 hours a week. If this length of time is exceeded for a particular reason, then prior agreement is needed. The extra hours must be compensated for with time off.

The family has the right to expect that the au pair will complete the tasks assigned to him/her in a reasonable period of time. Carrying out personal tasks (e.g. cleaning and tidying of your own room) does not count as housework time. The arrangement of housework time is done according to the needs and habits of the family. However, a degree of regularity in the daily routine is to be expected.

You are entitled to at least 1 full rest day a week. This does not necessarily have to be at the weekend. However, at least one Sunday a month must be kept free. In addition, you are entitled to at least 4 free evenings a week.

Holidays

If a family hosts an au pair for a full year, then he/she is entitled to paid holidays of 4 weeks. Otherwise, there is an entitlement to holidays equivalent to 2 working days for every full month. If the family is going on holidays, you will often be asked to join them. In such cases however, you also has specific tasks and responsibilities (e.g. looking after children). However, a family holiday only counts as your own holidays when only non-essential tasks are to be carried out and where you are not obliged to join the family on holiday. If you do not join the family holiday, then working for another family (e.g. neighbours, friends) is not permitted.

Language course

You are entitled to the opportunity to do a German language course in your own time as well as take part in cultural and scholarly activities. The host family is obliged to contribute €50 (ca. 80 NZD) a month to the cost of the language course. However, you must bear the costs for other activities.

Accommodation and meals

Accommodation and meals will be provided by the family for free. In general, you are entitled to your own room within the family home. You join family meals and receive the same food as the family members. If you have a specific dietary requirement, then this should be clearly stated in the application.

Pocket money, travel costs and insurance

Go to Germany with Au Pair New Zealand 2The purpose of working as an au pair is to improve language skills (and if applicable, work experience) as well as expanding general knowledge through a better understanding of the host country. Therefore, you do not receive a wage in the normal sense but only so-called ‘pocket money’. This currently amounts to €260 per month (435 NZD) regardless of the length of the housework time. You are responsible for the cost of travelling to and from the host country.

In Germany, insurance must be taken out for the au pair in the case of illness, pregnancy and birth as well as in the case of accident. All insurance contributions are paid by the family. We do recommend that you also take an insurance in New Zealand in the case you would go traveling.

Visa

Au pairs from so-called third countries require a residence permit (visa, leave to remain). New Zealand citizens do not have to apply before entry into Germany. Following arrival in Germany, the resident permit can be obtained on request from the relevant local foreign nationals office (Ausländerbehörde). They can do this within 90 days of arrival. The au pair employment may only commence after the residence permit, that explicitly permits the taking up of au pair employment, has been obtained.

For the purposes of entering Germany and for the designated period of residence, you need a valid New Zealand passport.

You can find the most up to date information regarding the working holiday visa on the website of the German Embassy in Wellington.

Fees

The cost to participate in the Au Pair Germany programme is 350 NZD and covers the preparation of your stay. This also includes an interview, assistance to find you a host family and local support when you have arrived for the duration of your stay.