New strict au pair rules thrown out

A controversial set of regulations which sought to tighten working hours for au pairs will be thrown out, after Minister of Social Affairs Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA/Labour) and State Secretary for Justice Fred Teeven (VVD) withdrew their support. The measures which restrict working hours received widespread criticism, leading government to refocus efforts on enforcing existing regulations.

Minister Asscher is also Deputy Prime Minister. The current ruling coalition in the Netherlands is made up of both the PvdA and VVD political parties.

Measures were taken last month by the Secretary after research showed that au pairs often work more than 30 hours a week. New regulations, which have subsequently been dropped, sought to limit the number of working hours to 20 weekly, capped at four hours daily. Instead, government will focus on maintaining existing regulations.

The Labour Party, which had not insisted on the withdrawal of the measures, says that it’s pleased that the government will be redirecting its focus on increasing awareness and enforcement of the rules that government au pairs and families.

Bonapa, trade association for the industry, says that it’s satisfied with the result, saying that the governments focus should be placed on better cooperation with the immigration office and the protection of workers.