Unfortunately some au pairs handle situations not the right way. There have been cases in which the au pair has invited friends or family members after only a few days living with the host family. Some of them didn’t even ask the host family if it is alright to let someone stay at the family’s place. Some of them just confronted the family with facts like a flight that is alread booked and expecting that they can host whoever they like in their room.
This is a situation that the host family doesn’t have to accept at all. Of course the au pair is a new family member but that doesn’t mean that relatives of the au pair can just come and go whenever they like and expect that the host family’s house is a hotel for visitors with an all inclusive service.
There are different ways how the family can react on such a behaviour. Which solution they take depends on the individual case.
Welcome to our house! This is our handbook.
A host family can definitely write a personal handbook for the au pair. this handbook can include the tasks during the day, important addresses and numbers. Information on family members, neighbors and teachers of the children.
The manual can also say how to proceed in certain situations, talk about rules for the au pair just as when to be home at a work night and what kind of behavior the host parents won’t accept. And finally it can also give rules about visitors. It doesn’t matter if it’s about visitors that live close by or international guests. The host family can make the rules and the au pair has to stick to those.
The flight is booked
What can you do in case that the au pair has just arrived a few days ago and now lets you know that a relative or friend has already booked some tickets to come visit? The au pair assumes that the guest will stay in their room without even asking the family if it’s okay with them and already asks for some days off although the real work hasn’t even started yet.
This would be a really tough case and as a host family you will have to make a decision if you want to let the au pair go as soon as possible or if you are going to talk to her/him and then decide what you will do.
Opinions about this case can go in different directions. Some would think that the au pair is already disrespecting the host family because she/he think that she/he can just do whatever she/he wants. Some would see a lack of judgment in certain situations here and wonder how this behavior will turn out after a couple of months with the family. A family might get the feeling that the au pair is taking over the place without accepting that she/he is only a guest, which of course brings also the question up on how mature the au pair is. It seems like the au pair is accustomed to having her/his own way and assuming ownership where she/he has none.
So you can just say “No” without feeling bad. If the au pair doesn’t like the “No” then maybe it’s time to look for someone new. The au pair should always ask in the first place and not just confront you with facts and expect that everything can happen like that. You can explain to the au pair that you are not willing to host someone for many days. If you don’t want strangers to stay in your house at all that’s alright. Otherwise you could also offer a compromise just like e.g. the guest can stay for 2 or 3 days but will have to look for a hotel then.
If you have offered your au pair different solutions or the au pairs does not want to accept a no, then you probably have to think about a rematch. Please do not forget that there is a notice period. The notice period is usually two weeks. During this time the au pair has to keep working for the family and the family has to keep paying the au pair.