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Old 29.09.2009, 21:50
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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: www.bag.admin.ch/themen/versicherung/00321/index.html?lang=it.

2. REGISTER WITH THE LOCAL AUSGLEICHKASSE. Find that of your canton in the list here: www.avs-ai.info,. 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: http://www.topcombi.ch/_topcombi/_pdf/Arbeitsvertrag.pdf. 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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  #2  
Old 29.09.2009, 21:53
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

Thanks for that. However, I do miss the good old days of being able to hire a ski bum or college student for a few hours of work a week and not having to worry about this crap.
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Old 29.09.2009, 22:03
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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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: www.bag.admin.ch/themen/versicherung/00321/index.html?lang=it.

2. REGISTER WITH THE LOCAL AUSGLEICHKASSE. Find that of your canton in the list here: www.avs-ai.info,. 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: http://www.topcombi.ch/_topcombi/_pdf/Arbeitsvertrag.pdf. 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.
Excellent instructions!

You might want to include:
  • 2.27% "FeiertagsEntschädigung" (that is for public holidays), plus the mentioned
  • 8.83% "FerienEntschädigung" (in lieu of vacations)
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Old 29.09.2009, 22:14
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

This is also a good site for information (www.keine-schwarzarbeit.ch).

Unfortunately, it's only in G/F/I - but perhaps if you mail them you can get info in English. And, I assume, the more people who request info in English, the sooner they'll put up an English translation... who knows.
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Old 29.09.2009, 22:27
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

Just to reiterate on the original post, with Topcombi ( only written in German and French at this stage, if you telephone, English is of course available), you will get all the help, information and support you need, to engage an employee, of any kind, for any length of time.

They are excellent, they truly know thier stuff and are extremely friendly and relaxed with it.
They take the big stress out of all the beurocratic shite, which is necessary for both sides (even those that don't think they need/want to go that way).

All sides are protected and for the employer, it makes it so much easier, as they will deal with all the paperwork, apart from the initial contact and details of course.

The only thing I find a little odd is, they send the end of the taxation year statement, to the employer, not the employee, which is not a big deal in itself and probably has a reason ( I just don't see it yet), you have only to forward it to the employee.

They truly do a good job.

Last edited by Rampion; 30.09.2009 at 17:11. Reason: Changed, as I re-read the orinal post and Topcombie was already there, how embarassing!
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Old 05.02.2012, 13:27
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

Thanks - this is all really good info. If i find anything has changed since original post I will post new info. Hopefully getting a contract for my childminder sorted out this week. Seems a bit daunting to be honest but hopefully it won't be too bad.
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Old 05.02.2012, 13:50
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

Legal cleaning help can be hired through an agency. The person works for them, not for you, so that you aren't employer, you are just the client of the service offered. It saves the administration part. It is always the same cleaning person who comes.
I chose this solution, it costs me CHF 36 an hour.
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Old 05.02.2012, 14:03
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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Excellent instructions!
Indeed, excellent....

My reaction to this is "OMG!!!" especially as I was about to look for one. All of that administrative overhead in order to pay someone a few hundred CHFies a month to wash floors and iron shirts...no way. Perhaps I'm overdoing it a bit but it seems I would spend as nearly as much time administering as if I would keep doing the work myself

Is there a way in CH to legally write the contract so that this person is self-employeed and is responsible for all taxes and governmental filings, or would that only work if they have registered themselves as a business?
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Old 05.02.2012, 14:23
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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Indeed, excellent....

My reaction to this is "OMG!!!" especially as I was about to look for one. All of that administrative overhead in order to pay someone a few hundred CHFies a month to wash floors and iron shirts...no way. Perhaps I'm overdoing it a bit but it seems I would spend as nearly as much time administering as if I would keep doing the work myself

Is there a way in CH to legally write the contract so that this person is self-employeed and is responsible for all taxes and governmental filings, or would that only work if they have registered themselves as a business?
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Legal cleaning help can be hired through an agency. The person works for them, not for you, so that you aren't employer, you are just the client of the service offered. It saves the administration part. It is always the same cleaning person who comes.
I chose this solution, it costs me CHF 36 an hour.
There you go! Hire someone from a Swiss agency.
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Old 05.02.2012, 14:31
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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I chose this solution, it costs me CHF 36 an hour.


(if that is all i have to say, why do i have to say more, and waste everyones time?)
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Old 05.02.2012, 14:45
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Cinzia_t, how about taxes? You haven't mentioned them. I wonder if/what amount it is.
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Old 05.02.2012, 14:53
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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(if that is all i have to say, why do i have to say more, and waste everyones time?)
I really don't see how you could pay less than that for a decent pay check for the cleaning help to live on in Switzerland and for admin fees. I want a good pay in CH, so I can't refuse it to other people working here.
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Old 05.02.2012, 16:08
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

Since the thread has been bumped up.
The website http://quitt.ch/ takes care of the administrative hassle...
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Old 05.02.2012, 16:10
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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Is there a way in CH to legally write the contract so that this person is self-employed and is responsible for all taxes and governmental filings, or would that only work if they have registered themselves as a business?
Nope! They would actually have to be self-employed.
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Old 05.02.2012, 16:21
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

Regarding taxes, in Basel Stadt there is no need for a home employer to care of Quellensteuer. The cleaner should take care him-herself I suppose. I have heard that this does not apply in other cantons though!
I also have to add to the original thread that in 2011 the contribution for AHV and unemployment has risen of 0.2% each, that shall be taken into account as well.
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Old 05.02.2012, 21:03
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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I really don't see how you could pay less than that for a decent pay check for the cleaning help to live on in Switzerland and for admin fees. I want a good pay in CH, so I can't refuse it to other people working here.
You know that he/she doesn't get chf 36/hr...

Those that I know, get between 25-28 chf/hr. So about CHF 20 in the hand. I am amazed that these admin fees cost 9chf/hour. I am guessing that because the cleaner is with a company, they will also be offered less than if they were to organise their own work.

Having a short look through some websites such as this one, also shows people offering between 20-30chf/hr.

T'is just interesting, thats all...
And of course legal. And probably better for both parties to have a go-between.
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Old 05.02.2012, 23:33
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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You know that he/she doesn't get chf 36/hr...
She gets 32. If you prefer to employ yourself, go for it.
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Old 14.02.2012, 14:40
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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Regarding taxes, in Basel Stadt there is no need for a home employer to care of Quellensteuer. The cleaner should take care him-herself I suppose. I have heard that this does not apply in other cantons though!
I also have to add to the original thread that in 2011 the contribution for AHV and unemployment has risen of 0.2% each, that shall be taken into account as well.
This information is not exactly accurate about the Quellensteuer.
Only if the employee is a Swiss citizen or has a C permit, then no source tax has to be paid (there are a few exceptions where B permit also does not require Quellensteuer).
Another exception is if your employee lives accross the border in France, then indeed you don't have to pay Quellensteuer for him/her, because Basel-Stadt has an agreement with France that in this case, the employee has to pay taxes in France.
In all other cases, a home employer still has to take care of the Quellensteuer.
Similar rules for workers that live in France apply to other cantons like AG, BL, BE, JU, NE, SO, VD, VS.
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Old 14.02.2012, 14:59
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

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You know that he/she doesn't get chf 36/hr...

Those that I know, get between 25-28 chf/hr. So about CHF 20 in the hand. I am amazed that these admin fees cost 9chf/hour. I am guessing that because the cleaner is with a company, they will also be offered less than if they were to organise their own work.

Having a short look through some websites such as this one, also shows people offering between 20-30chf/hr.

T'is just interesting, thats all...
And of course legal. And probably better for both parties to have a go-between.
Since Mica already mentioned our service, for those who are interested in a calculator which shows what you pay and what the cleaning lady gets, see http://quitt.ch/Info/WageCalculator.aspx (leave out the commission if you intend to do the whole clearing yourself).
As an example, if you want your cleaner to have CHF 32.- on the hand (net wage), the minimum you have to pay as an employer is CHF 39.15 for Zurich.
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Old 19.11.2016, 10:15
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Re: How to legally employ a cleaning lady

There is also an other very often unknown option:


Ask a local Headhunter and tell them that you'd like to employ Mrs / Mr XYZ for whatever Job. The Headhunter Office will then do the complete payroll covering all legal issues and charge you for the person you employ.
The advantage is that you are not legally responsable for the employment - but of course that will cost you a few percents....

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.11.2016 at 14:48. Reason: removed ad
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