Paying Stipend When Au Pairs Overlap

Originally Posted on

When your departing au pair has finished training your new au pair, and they are both in your house but only one of them is working, do you (still) need to pay your departing au pair?

If your outgoing au pair still has a week or two on her contract, you must still pay her, whether or not you schedule her to work.

Contractually, you’ve agreed to pay her a weekly stipend for a total number of weeks (it varies with your agency and contract, but usually is 51 weeks). You must fulfil your end of the deal.

Moreover, your au pair was not responsible for there being a redundancy in your chaildcare arrangements — you host parents are the folks who scheduled the overlap for your convenience. It’s up to you to manage the bumps related to your decision.


— Create an additional vacation week for your departing au pair.

Often when there will be a longer overlap because of the arrival schedule of the agency, host parents opt to give the departing au pair a vacation week. Sometimes you can nudge things around so that the departing au pair expects the remaining week to be an unpaid vacation so that he or she doesn’t feel the loss or lack of that week’s stipend. And, if you and your au pair can create a situation where s/he is obviously not working and not attached to your home or family, this extra time might help him or her transition into her/his next adventure.

–Find some extra ‘work’ that your departing au pair can do.

This will help you feel like you’re getting some value, and your au pair will feel like s/he is earning the week’s stipend. This might be a good chance to sort toys or clothes, or complete other kid-related chores that might make your life more sane. You might even ask your au pair to do some family-related chores that aren’t arduous, like take the minivan to the carwash.

Also consider finding ways to get your departing au pair out of the house and away from the kids, so that s/he isn’t tempted to keep working AND so that s/he leaves the new au pair on her/his own to establish a relationship with the kids.

Our incoming au pair arrives a full two weeks before our current au pair is scheduled to depart. After our current au pair spends a week training the new one, the departing one will still be with us for another week or so. If she’s done working, can we just host her in our house without paying her? She’ll be leaving in the middle of a week, so we would just not schedule her from Sat. until she leaves…


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