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Old 29.09.2009, 21:50
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cinzia_t cinzia_t is offline
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How to legally employ a cleaning lady/domestic help

Dear all,

I am a full working mum, struggling with work, child and home duties. So before I turn mad, I decided to hire a cleaning lady. I found a perfect one, however she is not self employed, which means that I had to take care of some of the burocracy with hiring a person. I am totally against black work and find unethical not to give to someone who does the dirty job for you, what he/she is entitled to. Furthermore, it is good to make things in a proper way as employees might be friendly and accommodating and will say to you that they want to work “black” because they do not want to pay taxes and do not care about contributions. But things can change, you might not need his/her support anymore, etc. They might get angry and go to a lawyer and they are not friendly anymore. This really hurts!
I tried to find this kind of info in EF or over the internet but, even if there are things concerning this argument that are well clarified, I found nothing that explains how to proceed to sort things out from the beginning! So I went through a long “learning” process and would like to share this with you.
1. Get an ACCIDENT INSURANCE. In case you hire a person for up to 8 hours a week you just have to provide a WORK ACCIDENT INSURANCE. Most companies have cheap and simple packages that cover that for your household (I could get one for 100 CHF a year). In case you hire someone for more time, then you should provide a complete accident insurance. You can find a list of approved insurance companies here:

2. REGISTER WITH THE LOCAL AUSGLEICHKASSE. Find that of your canton in the list here:,. Most of the information and the application forms are available over the internet, however if you do not understand and need clarification just give them a call: in Basel they were very friendly. In order to register you need the details of the person you are hiring, including AHV number. In case he/she does not have it yet, it can be requested using the appropriate application form. Include the insurance certificate to your application.

3. BE PREPARED TO PAY CONTRIBUTION. A part is paid by you and one by the employee. Make sure that you deduct the employee part from his/her salary accordingly. If you agreed on a net salary, adjust it accordingly. Whilst the contribution for AHV and Unemployment insurance is fixed (5.05% and 1% per part), some canton will require the employer to provide contributions against Family allowance (e.g. 1.85% in BS) and Administrative costs (3% of the AHV contribution, not the salary!). Just to provide you an example if the net salary is 25 CHF you have to consider a gross salary of 26.60 CHF and then deduct 1.35 CHF for the AHV contribution part and 0.25 CHF for the unemployment contribution part. The total paid by the employee is 1.60 CHF (so that when you deduct you will have a net salary of CHF 25.00. Regarding the employer side, you will have to pay CHF 1.60/hour as your employee + Family allowance contribution + Handling cost contribution. This sums up in Canton BS to a total of 2.20 CHF for the employer.

4. PREPARE A WORKING CONTRACT. You can find several examples over the internet. However I found this one the best: Make sure that you state the Vacation contribution (8.33%) in the hourly rate. So if the hourly rate is 25.00 CHF net, and 26.60 CHF gross, write in the contract that you are paying 24.56 CHF of salary and 2.04 CHF of vacation contribution. In this way, everything will be included in the salary and you will not have to pay vacation periods. In case you are going to pay his/her vacation period, you will have to provide 4 weeks paid a year. State in the contract its length. what are his/her duties, the working hours, etc.

5. PAY CONTRIBUTION: Once a year you will send to the Ausgleichkasse a list of all the payments you did to your employee, and they will send to you a payment slip! Just (so to say!!!) pay it and everything is in order! You will be in order with local and national authorities and your employee will be insured and will have a pension for the old age!

As I said this is how I learned it works. I will keep you posted in case I missed or misunderstood something.
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