There is no legislated minimum wage in Switzerland. This was put to vote on 18th May 2014, and the result was a very definite “no”. https://www.admin.ch/ch/d/pore/va/20140518/index.html
However, for cleaners, and some other workers, there is a so-called “Normarbeitsvertrag
”, (norm employment contract), known as NAV, but in the link about the NAV, provided by Banadol, you can see that the wages cited therein are un-liveable low, so as to have no real-life bearing on an employment contract in a private home in Zurich, where the going rate is at least Fr. 25, and for an employee who is known and trusted, around Fr. 30 or Fr. 35 per hour.
The employer must specify, in the contract, a basic wage
. On top of that, four weeks paid vacation
are compulsory, and by law, at least two of those weeks must be taken together. So that there’s not a lot of calculating about loss of earnings when the employer is away, when the employee needs to travel, etc., it can, in practice, sometimes be simpler to specify 6 weeks’ paid vacation, from the start.
In practice, most small employers do not pay their staff while they are away, but simply pay out a holiday allowance proportionately
, spread over the hourly wages. It is a good idea to point out to the employee that she/he is receiving a part of their vacation pay each month, and therefore has the responsibility to save for her/his own vacation. The contract can therefore include a clause specifying that there will be no further bonuses or surcharges or 13th monthly salary.
The contract, the weekly/monthly wage-slip, and the wage statement at the end of the tax year (31st December) must specify the two amounts (basic wage and the amount for paid vacation) separately
The employer must also buy accident insurance
for the employee. This is obligatory, and if the employer does not fulfil this requirement, and the employee has an accident, then the employer is bound to cover all the costs, which can be horrendous. For employees who work for less than 8 hours per week:
the employer must provide “Berufsunfallversicherung
” (work accident insurance), known as BU, which covers all costs of any accident occurring while the employee is working, and on her/his direct journey from home to work and work to home. For employees who work 8 hours or more per week
the employer must provide “Nicht-Berufsunfallversicherung
” as well (accident insurance for non-work situations), known as NBU, so that the employee is covered for any kind of accident at all.
The BU can be bought, typically, for Fr. 100 per annum for several part-time employees, in a so-called “Putzfrauversicherung
” (cleaning woman’s insurance) policy. If any of your staff members is male, you need to specify this to the insurance company. If you get out of the range of one or two cleaners for a few hours a week, you need to check with the insurance company that the policy still suffices.
Oddly, the costs of the BU must be borne by the employer, while the costs of the NBU may – but need not – be passed on to the employee.
The employer and the employee each pay half of
• the contribution to the “Alters- und Hinterlassenenversicherung” / “Invalidenversicherung
", known as AHV-Beiträge (social security contributions for old age and disability pensions), and
• the contributions to the “Arbeitslosenversicherung
”, known as ALV (unemployment insurance).
The employer bears the full administrative charges of the AHV, for registering the employee.
A typical calculation could be as follows: (sorry if the tabs don't work here) for take-home pay of Fr. 25 per hour
Basic wage Fr. 23.59
Holiday allowance 13.04% (6 Wochen) Fr. 3.08
Gross wage Fr. 26.67
AHV/IV/EO 5.15% (employee’s share) Fr. 1.37
ALV 1.10% (employee’s share) Fr. 0.29
Nett wage (= paid out per hour) Fr. 25.00 for take-home pay of Fr. 30 per hour
Basic wage Fr. 28.31
Holiday allowance 13.04% (6 Wochen) Fr. 3.69
Gross wage Fr. 32.00
AHV/IV/EO 5.15% (employee’s share) Fr. 1.65
ALV 1.10% (employee’s share) Fr. 0.35
Nett wage (= paid out per hour) Fr. 30.00
The steps are:
1. Draw up the draft contract
2. Agree on the terms with the employee
3. Get copies of her/his ID, AHV-Number, address and bank details.
4. Insert them into the definite contract
5. Go through the contract with the employee, and both sign and date it
6. Take out an accident insurance policy for the employee, e.g. with www.mobiliar.ch
7. Register the employee with the AHV office. The AHV will ask for an estimated annual wage, and charge the employer the anticipated contribution due, and square up at the end of the year, when the real figures are in.
8. Keep a time-sheet of hours worked on which days/dates.
9. At the start of each month, transfer the relevant amount to the employee, for the previous month.
10. At the end of the tax year (31st December) provide the employee with a form specifying her/his annual earnings. If she /he is Swiss, or is married to a Swiss person, or has a C-Permit, then this form will be needed for her/his tax form. (Aside: If the employee has less than a C-Permit, you also need to deduce source tax, but that’s a topic for another post.)
11. On the basis of this, square up with the AHV.
This may all sound like a lot of finicky detail, but it is worth doing it right. Not only is it plain illegal to omit these insurance steps, (i.e. cash into the palm of the hand, with no contract and no record of payment, is strictly prohibited), but it is also wholly unfair to the “little fish” who, if left without proper cover, could fall on really hard times. So, please do it right. Thanks.