Norway says No to au pairs

Norway says No to au pairs

HOUSEHOLD CHORES: Au pairs often used as cheap servants, Norway said Photo credit: Pixabay/Maria Kray

Norway’s government announced that it will no longer grant residence permits for au pairs.

Labour Party MP, Per Vidar Kjolmoen, explained to a TV2 interviewer that what should be a mutually beneficial arrangement was increasingly exploited as a cheap labour source.

“The au pair scheme was supposed to be about cultural exchange,” he said.  “It was a way of giving young people the chance of a job and somewhere to live in return for providing help with childcare and housework.”

In Norway, where the average monthly wage reached 56,360 kroner (€4,961) in 2023, an  au pair receives 5,900 kroner (€519.36) a month, plus food and accommodation.  She – or he – is supposed to work 30 hours each week with one day off.

This arrangement was not always adhered to, Kjolmoen told TV2.

Although the legislation came into effect on February 14 au pairs currently living in the country with a Norwegian residence permit have two years to conclude the arrangement.

Applicants who had already booked an appointment to present their paperwork to the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI) by March 15, 2024 will still receive a permit.

The new law has not come as a surprise, as Labour minister Marte Mjos Persen announced the measure in March 2023.

“The system is being used to obtain cheap domestic help,” Mjos said.

Peggy Hessen Folsvik, who heads the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions agreed at the time that the au pair scheme resulted in exploiting women, citing the 2017 case of a wealthy couple who received a hefty fine and a five-month prison term for abusing au pairs from the Philippines.

“I am simply relieved that this scheme has now been put to an end,” she said to the VG newspaper.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at