Adolescent au pairs - Legislation

In application of Article 9,14° of the Royal Decree of 9 June 1999, employment authorisations and work cards B may be awarded for young people working as au pairs. Article 24 clarifies what the term 'adolescent au pair' should be taken to mean: "a young person who is temporarily taken in by a host family where he/she will be given board and lodging in exchange for light everyday household tasks, to improve his/her knowledge of the language and to broaden his/her general development though a better knowledge of the country by participating in the family life of the host family."

Articles 25 to 29 state the specific conditions further:

Art. 25. The adolescent au pair must:

  • be at least eighteen and not yet twenty-six years old on the date of issue of the employment permit and work permit;
  • undertake not to pursue gainful employment in Belgium during the au-pair placement;
  • possess a document showing that he/she is entitled to pursue higher education in the country of origin or must provide proof that he/she has attended school at least up to the age of 17;
  • have a basic knowledge of the language of the host family or undertake to acquire this basic knowledge immediately after arrival in Belgium by following an intensive language course;
  • during the au pair placement, follow courses in an approved establishment, approved or subsidised by one of the Communities or specified by the Regional Minister responsible for employment and which teaches the Regional language or languages, by submitting documentary evidence every three months showing that he/she regularly attends those lessons;
  • have not yet obtained a work permit in Belgium on whatever basis, except in the case specified in Art. 28, 4°.


Art. 26. The host family must:

  • have among its members at least one child under the age of 13 years at the beginning of the period of residence of the adolescent au pair;
  • prove that [child-]care was provided during the day for the children under the age of six, for the period corresponding to the maximum duration of the stay of the adolescent au pair or for the period until the youngest child reaches the age of six;
  • provide a certificate of good conduct for all its members who are adults at the beginning of the stay of the adolescent au pair;
  • provide proof that the adolescent au pair is being paid a fixed monthly amount of at least €450 by transfer to his/her bank account as pocket money, irrespective of any periods of inactivity of the adolescent au pair;
  • provide proof that a supplementary insurance policy has been taken out in favour of the adolescent au pair for the purpose of covering the risks relating to the medical, pharmaceutical and hospital expenses in case of sickness or accident;
  • provide the adolescent au pair with a personal room and free access to the home;
  • give the adolescent au pair at least one full free day per week and every possibility to take part in the exercise of his religion or of his philosophy of life/belief system;
  • undertake to insure against any premature repatriation of the adolescent au pair caused by illness or accident and undertake to pay the costs that may ensue for the State from the stay of the adolescent au pair or his/her repatriation;
  • agree to grant access to the home for the supervisory officials.


Art. 27. The participation of the adolescent au pair in the daily tasks mentioned in Art. 24, second paragraph, babysitting included, may not be more than four hours per day and twenty hours per week; they may not be the main purpose of the stay.


Art. 28. The granting of the employment permit and work permit is subject to the following conditions:

  • compliance with the conditions referred to in Articles 24 to 27;
  • the host family has no valid employment permit for another adolescent au pair;
  • the period of validity of the employment permit and of the work permit for the adolescent au pair may not exceed one year;
  • the employment permit and work permit in respect of the adolescent au pair may be renewed once only on condition that the placement period does not exceed a full year;
  • a change of host family is possible only once on condition that the total duration of the placement of the adolescent au pair does not exceed one full year and if all the other conditions for granting the employment permit and work permit intended in this section are also satisfied.


Art. 29. In the event of non-compliance with the conditions in this section, the adolescent au pair will be deemed to have been recruited by the host family with an employment contract for domestic service, as intended in Article 5 of the law of 3 July 1978 on employment contracts.