Balancing work and free time can be a reason for disagreements between au pairs and host families. Although many host families invite an au pair to stay because they need some help in everyday life, it is important to remember that the purpose of the permit is cultural exchange and that the au pair is not a housemaid nor a nanny. UDI have made concrete rules for how much work an au pair can do and how much free time and vacation they have.

• The au pair should not work more than 5 hours per day and it must not exceed 30 hours per week.

• Babysitting in the evening/night-time is counted as working hours although the child is asleep

 • The au pair should have at least 24 hours free time during the week (1 day) and at least 1 day per month must be a Sunday. In addition, at least 1 evening per week must be off.

• The au pair cannot work for other families or employers. This is illegal work.

• The au pair has the right to participate in a Norwegian course. The work shall also not be hindering religious practice.

• The host family`s intention to include the au pair in the family is important and should guide the relationship and the balance of work and free time. The work should be limited to tasks defined as “light housework” and child minding. It is important that the specific work tasks are written in the contract together with an estimate of how much time should be spent.