Household allowance

Household allowance

Employees of EU institutions can receive a number of other benefits on top of the ‘basic salary’. One of these benefits is the the ‘Household allowance’. This article presents all key information about the Household allowance. For a full list of possible benefits that come with a job at an EU institution read this article.


The amount of the Household allowance is made up of a fixed part of EUR 192,78 EUR plus an amount equal to 2% of an official’s basic salary. Below are sample calculations of the Household allowance for a number of common staff:

  • FG III Household allowance is EUR 248.34 = EUR 55.56 (2% of the basic salary 2777.78) + 192.78 fixed part
  • FG IV Household allowance is EUR 263.90 = EUR 71.12 (2% of the basic salary 3555.98) + 192.78 fixed part
  • AD 5 Household allowance is EUR 291.13 = EUR 98.35 (2% of the basic salary 4917.29) + 192.78 fixed part

Staff entitled to the Household allowance

There are two conditions to become entitled to the Household allowance – geographical and family status-related. Both have to be fulfilled to qualify.

Firstly, persons starting to work for an EU institution in the same country they live in are usually not entitled to the Household allowance. To qualify, you cannot be a national of the country the EU institution is located in, nor is it paid if a person has resided in the country for the last 5,5 years.

Secondly, it is not paid to singles or persons in a non-registered partnership. To qualify, one has to be a staff member:

  • who is married
  • with at least one dependent person, usually, a child
  • in a registered partnership (both opposite and same-sex partnerships are treated equally)

There are cases when the Household allowance will not be paid despite possible eligibility, such as, when the spouse’s income is above a certain (quite high) threshold. If both partners are employed in EU institutions, only the largest Household allowance will be paid. A national of the country where the EU institution is located can become entitled is he/she has spent the past 10 years in a different EU or third country and were not in diplomatic service nor employed by international organisations.

Do you have any questions or suggestions for this article? Please comment below and let’s make this resource better for other readers!


This article is based on the European Commission Staff Regulations and other publicly available information such as EU institutions’ vacancy announcements.

9 responses to “Household allowance”

  1. Hi,
    Just wondering about the household allowance again. Does anyone know if you are entitled to the household allowance and dependent child allowance if your family does not intend on moving to Brussels? Bearing in mind there would be a lot of travel between the two countries.
    Also, when you use eu salary calculators online, they show you the net salary. Is this after all deductions?
    Once you are working there a while, is it possible to negotiate flexible working arrangements, such as one day off per week or per fortnight?

    I am trying to work out of a career in the EU would be manageable if my family were to remain in Ireland. Thanks

    • Declan, hi! Thanks for the important questions, this is something that concerns many people who consider employment in EU institutions. Let me try to answer one by one.
      1) Household and child allowances – you would get the child allowance automatically as you have children, however, to get the household allowance you have to prove that the whole family has relocated.
      2) Salary calculator – As far as I know there are no reliable EU salary calculators online. Europol used to host the European Commission salary calculator on their website, but that got removed in 2021. You can only get access to the salary calculator once you are employed at an EU institution (or you can ask a friend who works for an EU institution to do a calculation for you). The actual European Commission salary calculator shows salary before and after deductions.
      3) Teleworking – currently staff of EU institutions are entitled to 60 teleworking days annually, however, teleworking has to be done from the place of employment usually, in your case Brussels. There is talk that the European Commission might increase it up to half of the annual working days (~120-180), but it is not known if people would also be allowed to work from other EU locations.
      In my working career I’ve heard of only one instance where the employee was upfront about willing to telework every 2nd week from his home country and was able to negotiate this successfully. If the institution really wants to employ you, they might agree to this, but you have to be ready to walk away from the employment offer. If you don’t manage to agree on this from the start, you will have to abide by regular teleworking rules later.

      Best of luck! If you manage to negotiate permanent telework from Ireland, would be great if you let me know how the negotiation went!

  2. Hello! I am starting soon a job in EU Commission. I am married with kids but first I intend to go alone (without husband, kids) in order to make it easier for all of us. So my questions are:
    1) Do I still have the right for household allowance?
    2) What about daily allowance? Do I have the right to receive it for 10 months despite the fact that firstly I am going to be the only one registered to the new country?
    3) The daily allowance is paid at the same time with your salary from the first month or after the probationary period?
    Sorry for so many questions. I really appreciate your help!
    Thanks in advance Ben!

    • Hi! In your case it really makes sense to look through the Staff Regulation and do a search for household allowance. But after that you would anyway better check it with HR as the rules are quite arcane and sometimes makes sense of for the lay person.

      Answer to Q1) Nevertheless, my search of the Staff Regulation revealed this paragraph: “An official who ►M25 is entitled to the household allowance ◄ and does not settle with his family at the place where he is employed shall receive only half the allowance to which he would otherwise be entitled; the second half shall be paid when his family settles at the place where he is employed, provided that it does so within the periods laid down in Article 9 (3).” Hence, the allowance will most likely be impacted by your family not yet moving to your place of employment.

      Answer to Q2)
      Again a quote from Staff Regulations: “The period in respect of which the daily subsistence allowance is granted shall be as follows:
      […](b) in the case of an official ►M25 ►C16 who is entitled to the household allowance ◄ ◄ : 180 days or, if the official is a probationer, the period of probation plus one month.” I didn’t find a mention anywhere in the Staff Regulations that the daily allowance would be impacted by whether your family has relocated or not. My personal experience also has been that I have received the full Daily Subsistence Allowance despite my family not yet having moved with me in the first months of the new job.

      Answer to Q3) DSA is paid from the start of your probation period. Usually it is the 2nd month as most institutions only manage to pay you the basic salary at best in the first month as they cannot not calculate and process all of your entitlements so quickly. So – be prepared for a leaner income in the first month, but then a compensatory payment in the 2nd month.

      Sorry for the delay in answering you, I hope the reply is still useful.

  3. Suppose you are divorced, and have joint custody of a child (alternate weeks with each parent). going to work for the EU, how will that turn out in term of howsehold allowance? the child will stay with the other parent, because its impratical to move between countries, will it still be considered as a dependent?

  4. Hi all,
    Do we know if ‘household’ and ‘dependent child’ allowances are subjected to correction coefficient like daily subsidiary allowance?

  5. I don’t understand why an employee who is a national of the same country the EU institution is located, should not be entitled of the household allowance, considering that the expatriation allowance is already there for expats.

    • Indeed, it is sometimes hard to decipher the logic behind the rules. I think I’ll add the respective Staff Regulation articles to the post so that everyone can see for themselves and in case there are any additional details that didn’t seem relevant to me.

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