RECOMMENDATION 468 (1966)
on "au pair" employment
1. Considering that more and more young Europeans, especially girls,
are going abroad and taking short-term employment, arranged in advance, with
private individuals in return for board, lodging, pocket-money, etc. ;
2. Considering that, without wishing to make any critical assessment of
this widespread practice, it is advisable to define and standardise in all
member countries the conditions governing such "au pair" employment and to
establish a proper balance between the work performed and the remuneration
given by the receiving families or employers ;
3. Considering that the problems created by the application in member
countries of "au pair" employment contracts transcend national boundaries, and
thereby take on a European complexion ;
4. Considering that a solution to this important problem, with its
legal, cultural and economic implications, can be worked out only at European
level by means of multilateral agreements ;
5. Believing that public authorities and specialised private
organisations have an important information role to play in this field and in
particular drawing the attention of persons wishing to take up "au pair" posts
and of families willing to receive them to the importance of approaching these
authorities or organisations rather than other bodies not offering the same
guarantees and incapable of intervening with the same effect in cases of
6. Having regard to the report of its Social Committee (Doc. 2072),
7. Recommends the Committee of Ministers :
(a) to prepare, by way of an international convention or
agreement, and taking as a basis the draft appended to this Recommendation,
"European Rules for 'Au Pair' Employment" defining the rights and duties of the
parties and taking into account the customs prevailing in the various member
countries of the Council of Europe ;
(b) to institute a "European list" on which member Governments
could place public or private bodies, associations, agencies, etc., which are
qualified to act as intermediaries for "au pair" posts and undertake to observe
the provisions of the "European Rules for 'Au Pair' Employment".
(c) to provide these organisations, associations and agencies
with an opportunity of undertaking a yearly exchange of information on their
experience, the results of the exchange being subsequently made available to
the competent authorities of member States of the Council of
Draft rules for "au pair" employment
The Signatory States hereby recognise the practice of "au pair"
employment, which consists in the reception by families, for a period generally
limited to one year or in exceptional cases to two years, of young foreigners
who desire to improve their linguistic and professional qualifications as well
as their general culture by acquiring a better knowledge of the receiving
country, and who offer in exchange some household assistance, although without
being regarded on that account as wage-earners.
In no circumstances shall any person under 18 or over 25 years of age
be engaged "au pair", save that in exceptional cases the upper age-limit may be
raised to 30.
An "au pair" employee shall produce a certificate attesting that he or
she has been medically examined prior to leaving the country of origin.
Before accepting "au pair" employment, the person concerned - or, if a
minor, the legal representative or guardian - shall conclude with the head of
the receiving family an agreement, in the form of a contract or an exchange of
letters, specifying the rights and obligations of each party in respect of the
other. A copy of this agreement shall be lodged with the authorities
responsible for issuing residence permits to aliens.
The agreement shall specify inter alia the extent to which the "au
pair" employee is to share the life of the receiving family, while at the same
time enjoying a certain degree of independence and, in particular, occupying a
The services required of an "au pair" employee shall consist in general
household occupations (cleaning, cooking, care of children, etc.), the time
thus occupied, together with other time actually "on duty", being approximately
half of the normal working day of paid domestic help.
A person employed "au pair" must have one full free day per week, one
at least in every month being a Sunday. All facilities must be given for
attending language or other classes as well as religious services if
A person employed "au pair" must receive some pocket-money to an amount
varying according to the custom of the receiving country and the services
provided on both sides. It shall in no way be considered as remuneration nor
shall it be subject to tax.
A person employed "au pair" must enjoy social protection, and should,
in particular, be insured by, and at the expense of, the receiving family
against sickness and accidents, preferably through affiliation to the national
social security scheme, unless the host family is prepared to make its own
special arrangements for passing on this responsibility to some official or
Third party liability
The receiving family shall accept liability for any injury caused to
third parties by an "au pair" employee in the performance of household
Termination of contract
Either party shall be entitled to terminate the agreement by giving the
notice normally required in the receiving country in respect of paid domestic
staff, though such notice should in no case be less than two weeks.
The parties shall be entitled to refer any disputes arising, in the
last instance, to the manpower authorities of the receiving country or to the
appropriate judicial authorities.
. Assembly Debate on 29th September 1966
(14th Sitting) (see Doc. 2072, report of the Social Committee).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 29th September 1966 (14th