Rights of the Au Pair

Rights of the Au Pair

The “Rights of the Au Pair” are based on the minimum employment rights in New Zealand, set out by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to protect and guide you when you come to New Zealand as an au pair. As an au pair agency, we will make sure that these rights are included in the contract with your host family. Any amendments shall be agreed upon together.

Contract between you and your host family

You and your host family must have a written employment agreement. Au Pair New Zealand will provide you with an Au Pair – Family Contract, where amongst others the following information is provided: hours per week you are required to work, net pocket money per week, holiday entitlement, start and end date of your contract, notice period and so on. You and your host family need to sign this contract before you can book your flight and apply for your visa. Neither the family, nor Au Pair New Zealand is responsible if you make arrangements prior to this.

Notification Period

Despite the fact that both you and your host family are well-prepared to go on the au pair journey together and want to have things going smoothly, there is always a minimum risk that it does not work out for different reasons. If any problem arises, there is always access to mediation. However, if this should not work after serious effort from both parties and the family wants you to leave, they need to give us and yourself 4 weeks notification in writing.

Health and Safety

Your host family must provide a safe workplace for you and give training where needed. You, on the other hand, must take good care to keep yourself safe and to avoid causing harm to other people by the way you do your work.

Annual Holidays

You are entitled to at least four weeks’ paid holidays a year. Annual holidays can be taken at any time agreed between your host family and yourself and you must be given the opportunity to take at least two of the four weeks’ holidays continuously, if you wish to do so. An au pair is usually entitled to 1 week paid holiday every three months, but host families can decide to make other arrangements such as e.g. 2 weeks every 6 months. If you want to take leave, but are not entitled for paid leave yet, you will have to catch up with the days taken off in order to be entitled for paid holidays. You and your host family have to agree on this.

Public Holidays

Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December), New Year’s Day and the day after (1 and 2 January), Waitangi Day (6 February) and ANZAC Day (25 April), Good Friday and Easter Monday (dates variable), Queen’s Birthday (first Monday in June), Labour Day (fourth Monday in October) and Provincial Anniversary Day (date determined locally) are public holidays in New Zealand.

As an au pair you are entitled to have the day off during a public holiday. This paid day off is included in your weekly pocket money. The public holidays over the Christmas and New Year period, Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day have special arrangements:

If the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and that day would not otherwise be a working day, the holiday is transferred to the following Monday or Tuesday, so that you still get a day off if you would usually work on these days.

When Waitangi Day (6 February) or Anzac Day (25 April) fall on a weekend, the public  holiday must be treated as falling on the following Monday if you would not otherwise work on that Saturday or Sunday.

If the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and that day would otherwise be a working day, the holiday remains at the traditional day and you are entitled to that day off.

Sick Leave

In general, there is a minimum provision of five days paid sick leave a year after the first six months of continuous employment. Sick leave can be used when you are sick or injured. At any time when you do not have a sick leave entitlement (including the first six months of being an au pair), you and your host family can agree that you can take the sick leave entitlement. In this case, any sick leave taken can be deducted from the next entitlement that arises.

ACC

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides comprehensive, no-fault personal injury cover for all visitors to New Zealand. If you’re injured during your visit to New Zealand, ACC may be able to help with the cost of treatment and support you need while you’re here. However, it is important to be aware that you cannot sue for damages arising from your personal injury – ACC cover removes that right. ACC only covers treatment and rehabilitation costs while you are in New Zealand; it is not a replacement for travel insurance and does not cover illness, disrupted travel plans or emergency travel to get you back home. When you come to New Zealand as an au pair, you are advised to have a health and travel insurance from your home country.

The following rules apply in relation to the ACC scheme:

When you take leave for the first week of a non-work accident, sick leave may be used.

If you have a work-related accident, your host family has to pay “first week compensation” and cannot require you to take that time off as sick leave.

If you receive “first week compensation” for a work-related accident, you and your host family can agree that your host family will top up the “first week compensation” payment from 80% to 100% by reducing your sick leave entitlement by one day for each five days leave taken.

If you have a work-related or non-work-related accident and remain on weekly compensation, your host family cannot require you to take time off as sick leave.

Your host family has no obligation to pay you, when you receive a weekly compensation from ACC.

Where the period of leave on ACC is in excess of five days (for either workplace or non-work accidents), you and your host family can agree that the employer will top up the ACC payment from 80% to 100% by reducing the employee’s sick leave entitlement by one day for each five days’ leave taken.