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Old 15.02.2014, 21:54
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Au pair? Holiday child care?

I have searched the forum but not found anything directly relating to my
question, which is what would classify someone as being an au pair and what regulations must we comply with.

What we plan to do this summer, is have a friend of a friends daughter
come and stay with us here for 3 weeks and do general child care (not too taxing as my kids are 12 and 11). This is the first summer both DH and I have worked full time so don't want to leave the kids home alone too long.

We are an English speaking family, but the kids are fluent french speakers as are in local school and the daughter coming to stay is German. She wants to come and
improve her French and English and visit/holiday in Switzerland too. She
will stay with us and obviously we will feed her and I also want to pay
her some money as she is a University student and is saving. I also see it as an opportunity for my kids to listen and practice German with a native speaker.

Firstly, I have no idea if this would mean she would become our Employee?
Is there a website which would define this? Do we need contracts /
permits / insurances? Any ideas of what would be a reasonable amount to pay her (or give as a gift if that would make the arrangement more
informal)

I really am not trying to do this on the cheap or cheat the system, it
just seems like a win win situation for all of us.
Any advice or info would've gratefully received.
TIA
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Old 15.02.2014, 22:05
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

Au pair rules are pretty strict as outlined in this thread:

http://www.englishforum.ch/jobs-want...ml#post2089799

Mainly you'd need to pay for her to attend a language course and yes you would be her employer and need to organise a permit for her.

This thread may help too:

The Au Pair/Nanny employment thread (no ads!)

Not sure if this would all be worth it or possible for just 3 weeks.
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Old 15.02.2014, 22:12
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

Hi thanks for the links, I was wondering if it was only for 3 weeks would she be classed as an au pair? It really would be a lot of extra effort an am not sure about how feasible language classes would be either.
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Old 15.02.2014, 22:41
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

If she is German, then work permission should not be an issue. If it is under a particular threshold ( I think under 2000chf per month) then it might not require any particular tax or deductions.

It would be wise to make sure she has adequate health insurance. Also make sure your household insurance is adequate.

I don't know about the risks, but back where I come from for just a short time you would consider the person a guest who is doing a bit of helping in return for free bed and board. I mean pm my kids grandparents come to stay and they look after the kids and we feed them and give them a bed to sleep in.

There must be a point where it is just an informal arrangement and not formal 'employment'.

And no, for 3 weeks I would not call it 'au pair' more 'bed and board with a bit of helping around the house'. There is not an official minimum wage in Switzerland, so it's not going to come back as a salary claim. The value of a free room and food would be counted against the pay rate...
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Old 15.02.2014, 22:43
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

Have a look at this Swiss government link and see if the info helps...

https://www.bfm.admin.ch//bfm/en/hom...verfahren.html
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Old 16.02.2014, 09:13
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

Yes, that's more or less what I was thinking Swisspea. She's a guest on holiday for those 3 weeks and if she's happy to give you a hand looking after the kids well and good. If you give her some money in thanks for her kindness, then that's just something between friends.
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Old 16.02.2014, 10:29
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

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Yes, that's more or less what I was thinking Swisspea. She's a guest on holiday for those 3 weeks and if she's happy to give you a hand looking after the kids well and good. If you give her some money in thanks for her kindness, then that's just something between friends.
Well, that's certainly one way to spin it. The reality is that she's performing work and being paid for it, and if the Swiss authorities find out, there can be repercussions.

It doesn't cost all that much to make it legit. Contact the local AHV office and they'll have you fill out a form, get some insurance, etc. they'll send you a (very small) tax/retirement fund bill once per quarter (so in the above situation, once).

Also, I'm not sure where Swisspea came up with that 2k per month figure; I paid my cleaning ladies a lot less than that and was still required to pay tax.

Finally, there is indeed a minimum wage for domestic help in Switzerland. Search some of the other threads, it's something like 22 chf per hour.

Whether you choose to follow the rules or not isn't something I'm going to lecture you on, but don't go into it blind.
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Old 16.02.2014, 10:33
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

Cleaning falls under a separate category. If you read the link you can see that there are some categories of employment that have higher requirements.

Ahv has to be paid if they are local, but I don't know what happens if someone is a foreign temporary self-employed worker and their residency for tax purposes is Germany....

I think the 2k limit is for total 12 months and is for the pension fund, not ahv.
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Old 16.02.2014, 10:38
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

Have a read of this info too...

https://www.ch.ch/en/minimum-wage-and-average-earnings/
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Old 16.02.2014, 10:39
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

Minimum wage does not apply to apprentices, interns, and volunteers....
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Old 16.02.2014, 11:06
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

Perhaps you could look into the cheques emploi scheme. http://www.cheques-emploi.ch/
It's a method of paying people for work like childcare and cleaning without all the hassle of setting up as their employer. All deductions are taken care of. I haven't used it myself (my social worker mentioned it to me when I was considering finding a small job as a babysitter or something similar), and I have no idea if you'd be able to use it for a short-term arrangement... but if you could it would mean everything was 100% above board.
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Old 16.02.2014, 12:37
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Re: Au pair? Holiday child care?

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Cleaning falls under a separate category. If you read the link you can see that there are some categories of employment that have higher requirements.
I don't recall mentioning cleaning, if you're referring to my post; I said domestic help. This link from Unia clearly specifies childcare as part of the agreement (if she works fewer than 5 hours per week, she's exempt from the minimum wage requirement).

http://www.unia.ch/uploads/media/Fal...haft_dt_03.pdf

I recall reading that the wage has gone up since this was agreed in 2011, but I don't have a source handy. Regardless, some searching on this forum will turn it up.
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