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Information meeting regarding au pair workers in Denmark
(Communication - Danemark - Danois)

Début 03/06/2013 - 15:30

Fin 03/06/2013 - 18:00

Lieu SFI - the Danish National Centre for Social Research

Organisateur SFI - the Danish National Centre for Social Research

Site web http://www.sfi.dk/vis_arrangement-4792.aspx?Action=1&NewsId=3918&PID=9846

The information meeting presents a study of the Danish au pair scheme and sheds light on how the scheme works today. The au pair scheme is based on a 1972 European agreement stipulating that a central purpose of an au pair stay is cultural exchange. An au pair residency permit in Denmark can last up to 24 months, during which the au pair resides with a specific host family. In Denmark the au pair is to occupy a familial position and to take care of domestic chores in return for board, lodging, and monthly allowance.

The investigation, which is primarily qualitative, is based on 69 interviews – 31 made with au pairs, 28 with host families and 10 with researchers and representatives of different organizations, for example NGOs that counsel au pairs and host families. Furthermore, it includes analysis of register data with Danish host families.

 

The report shows – among other things – that the relationship between the au pair and the host family is of great importance for the au pair’s stay in Denmark. First, great structural inequality exists between the two parties: the au pair’s residence permit is tied to the host family, thus placing the au pair in a dependent position. Whether this difference is problematic in practice depends largely on the host family’s attitude to and motives behind having an au pair. It also is tied to the au pair’s motivations for coming to Denmark, including to what degree the au pair is dependent on the allowances received. The au pairs’ stays in private homes may deepen the dependency if they become attached to – and often also loyal towards – the specific host family.

 
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