This is due to the new strict post-Brexit work visa requirements, which are not suitable au pair job.
The head of European and international affairs at the Youth Information and Documentation Center (CIDJ), Valérie Montembault, declared: “The problem is that there is no au pair status under the new UK immigration rules and if you are leaving for less than six months [without a visa] you are not allowed to work.
“So the agencies no longer send AU pairs the UK. They send some to the Netherlands, a few to Malta maybe, but none to the UK.
“Of course the UK was the most popular before – to improve their English.
“Young people were looking for a place where people speak accessible English with an accent they learned in school. In Malta, for example, people also speak Maltese. They also preferred the UK because it is very easy to get there with the Eurostar. ”
She says AU pairs – who, according to her, work mainly for their pension and their “pocket money” – are not really comparable to other full-time employees, but the agencies do not want to risk sending them less than six months on a “tourist” basis because they still receive money, and there would be problems with their insurance coverage, health and social security.
Previously, according to EU rules, there were reciprocal social security agreements and a recognized status, she said.
She said a UK work visa is now impossible for anyone earning less than a full-time minimum wage in the UK (a UK body bringing in au pairs from France said The connection a minimum salary of € 20,000 is required).
Those coming to the UK on work visas must also pay a ‘health supplement’ of £ 624 / year to join the NHS (or £ 470 for those on a student visa), but anyone coming to become a au pair on an “unofficial” basis (eg for less than six months) could face coverage issues or need to purchase private insurance, Ms. Montembault said.
She added that it is possible that British families will continue to advertise direct for AU pairs on the internet, maybe just by offering accommodation, but there will be no more official placements through agencies because it would be too risky given the lack of a clear statute (and it would be impossible for more than six months) .
“Maybe something will be done to resolve this issue, it is still early days and we understand that some discussions are still going on, but at the moment it is not,” she said.
CIDJ has local structures throughout France, advising young people on their options, including to work and study abroad. It is also part of the European youth information network Eurodesk.