Au pair in Switzerland
Costs, working hours, time off etc.

Are you hosting an au pair in Switzerland? Here is useful information about working hours, pocket money, the au pair contract and much more.

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Duration of stay

An au pair stay in Switzerland usually lasts up to one year. Au pairs from EU and EFTA countries have the option of extending their stay to a maximum of 24 months in certain circumstances. It is not possible for au pairs from third countries to extend the duration of their stay.

Au pair tasks

Looking after your children is the main task of your au pair. Alongisde this, they can help with light daily household tasks. In exchange for carrying out these duties, the au pair receives free board and lodging. You and your au pair should discuss the exact tasks before the au pair stay. These tasks should then be included in the au pair contract. You need to make sure that your au pair is supported by at least one of the parents for at least half of their working hours. Their tasks only include light house work and taking care of your children. Demanding tasks are strictly not permitted, for example actually educating or tutoring the children or being their language teacher.

Costs

Hosting an au pair will obviously make your living costs higher considering another adult will be living in your household during the stay.

Board and lodging

Your au pair will receive free board and lodging for the duration of their stay. They will also have their own room like any other family member.

Pocket money

In Switzerland, au pairs receive pocket money and non-monetary benefits as part of their stay. The non monetary benefits amount to 990 CHF, which comes in the form of board and lodging. The amount of pocket money depends on the canton the au pair is in and the age of the au pair. It must correspond to the amount outlined by the cantonal authorities and is usually in the region of 500 to 750 Swiss francs (net) per month.

If the au pair is incapacitated and unable to work, they are entitled to continued payment. They also receive pocket money and non-monetary benefits during holidays and bank holidays.

Language course

Au pairs, who work in Switzerland, must attend a language course corresponding to the language spoken where they are staying. The course is entirely paid by you as the host family. For au pair stays of one year, the language course must consist of at least 120 hours, which is 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 pair. For more information specifically for your canton, contact the cantonal immigration and labour market authorities.

Tax and other social contributions

As an employer, you must pay at least half of the social contributions (AHV, IV, EO, ALV) and health, accident (UVG) and pension insurance contributions (BVG). Accident at work insurance must be entirely paid by you as the employer. Source tax will be taken straight from the gross income of the au pair. You need to go to your cantonal tax office to receive a calculation form.

Working hours

Your au pair can only work for half a day and no more than 30 hours per week in total. Normally, this means they work Monday to Saturday. Their working hours must allow them to attend a language course.

Free time

Your au pair is entitled to at least one full day off per week. There may be other conditions which apply, depending on the canton in which you live.

Holiday entitlement

The amount of holiday your au pair is entitled to depends on their age. Au pairs are entitled to 5 weeks of holiday per year up until the end of their 20th year. Au pairs over 20 are entitled to 4 weeks of holiday per year. There may be additional or different conditions which apply, 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.

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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