Pocket money, working hours, time off etc.

You'd like to have more information on working hours, free time, pocket money, holiday entitlement and language courses? On this page you will find out everything you need to know about your au pair stay in Switzerland. 

Duration of stay

An au pair stay in Switzerland generally lasts up to one year. Au pairs from EU or EFTA countries have the opportunity, under reasonable circumstances, to extend their au pair stay to a maximum of 24 months. Au pairs from other countries do not have the opportunity to extend their au pair stay.

Au pair tasks

You will be looking after the host family's children and taking care of light housework. You get free board and lodging in return. You need to discuss your exact duties with your future host family far enough in advance and then put the exact agreements into the au pair contract. For at least half of your working hours you will be accompanied by one of your host parents. Your tasks only consist of light housework and taking care of the children. Highly demanding tasks are not permitted, for example actually educating the children or being a language teacher/tutor of the children.

Pocket money

In Switzerland, you receive pocket money and non-monetary benefits as part of your pay. These non-monetary benefits amount to 990 CHF. The amount of pocket money changes according to the age of the au pair and the canton in which they are au pairing. The amount is subject to the regulations in the canton and the amounts defined by the different associations in charge. Usually the amount is around 500 to 700 swiss francs per month.
If you are unable to work, you are entitled to continued payment. Holidays and bank holidays are also paid. Withholding tax must be taken from the pocket money. Your host family will have to submit an accounting form to the tax office in your canton.

Board and lodging

You receive free board and lodging in exchange for helping with light household tasks and looking after the children. You also get your own room like any other family member.

Working hours

You will only be working for half of the day and must not work more than 30 hours a week. Usually, that means you will work from Monday to Saturday. One of the parents will be with you for at least half of your working hours. Your working hours must allow you to take part in a language course.

Free time

You are entitled to at least one full day off per week. Depending on which canton you are in, there may be other rules regarding free time.


The amount of holiday you receive depends on your age. Up until their 20th year, au pairs receive 5 full weeks holiday per year. Au pairs over 20 are entitled to 4 weeks annual holiday. The conditions can change depending on the canton in which you live. 

In Switzerland, there are no official regulations with regard to public holidays for au pairs. We recommend that au pairs have a day off on public holidays. Only in exceptional cases au pairs should work on public holidays. The host family should discuss this with their au pair beforehand.

Language course

Au pairs who work in Switzerland have to attend a language course, according to which language is spoken where they are staying. For more information regarding who is in charge of the payment of the course we suggest you to contact directly the cantonal immigration and labour market authorities. If the au pair stay lasts a year the language course must consist of 120 hours (around 2-3 hours per week). Private instruction from an individual is only possible in special cricumstances.

Travel costs

In some cantons the host family is responsible for the travel costs of the au pairs. For more information, take a look at the cantonal labour market authorities.

We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.

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