Before the au pair stay begins, you should sign a contract with your au pair. It will contain your rights and duties, as well as those of the au pair. It will also contain information on the conditions of the au pair stay, duration of the au pair stay, working hours, holiday entitlement as well as information on accommodation, the language course and pocket money, etc.
The employment conforms to the conditions of a normal working contract for domestic workers in your canton. This contract determines the specific rules on working hours and free time.
Three copies of the contract need to be filled out. You keep a copy, the au pair keeps a copy and one copy goes to the responsible cantonal immigration and labour market authority.
On our page entry requirements you will find out about the formalities which you and your au pair need to carry out.
Termination of au pair contract
The au pair contract is valid for the duration of the au pair stay. However, it is possible to terminate it prematurely, for example if you and your au pair no longer get on. According to the Swiss authorities, the contract has a trial period of one month. During this time, the contract can be terminated within 7 days. After the trial period is over, it is only possible to terminate the contract in writing and by observing a notice period of one month, until the end of the month.
In particularly difficult situations, the au pair contract can be terminated with immediate effect, so without a notice period. However, it must be terminated in writing and a reason for the termination must be given. If you terminate the contract without good reason and without observing the notice period, the au pair is entitled to the pocket money and non-monetary benefits (or the corresponding amount) for the original duration of the au pair stay or for the duration of the notice period. The au pair would also have the right to compensation for any damages caused by the unreasonable termination of the contract.
Au pairs are liable to insurance contributions, just like all other employed persons in Switzerland. The family usually pays half of the contributions and the au pair pays the other half. You need to go to your cantonal social insurance authorities to ask for an insurance certificate. This allows the contributions to be calculated. The contributions amount to a total of 12.5% of the gross pocket money no matter how much the pocket money amounts to. The insurance covered is as follows: Pension insurance, disability insurance, sick pay insurance, and unemployment insurance. Both the pocket money and non-monetary benefits are subject to insurance contributions.
Your au pair is also entitled to health insurance, accident insurance and pension insurance during their stay in Switzerland. The contributions to be paid on a monthly basis depend on the insurance company and the cover chosen. At least half of the contributions must be paid by you as the host family. The contributions for accident at work insurance are paid entirely by you.
Do you want to host an au pair who has a driving licence? You need to think about a few things first. Just because an au pair has a driving licence does not mean that they are a competent driver. Therefore you should ask your au pair how much driving experience they have. Remember, they will be transporting your children later.
Make sure that the au pair's driving licence is valid in Switzerland. It is possible that the au pair will have to apply for an international driving licence. You also need to think about who is responsible in cases of damage and whether your insurance is valid for your au pair. It would be best if you find out beforehand if you can extend your car insurance to include your au pair.
We strongly recommend you to discuss all important details concerning the au pair placement with your future au pair well in advance. On the following page you will find some useful questions you should ask your au pair.
Federal Social Insurance Office: Leaflet for foreign nationals on Swiss social insurance
Federal Office for Migration: More information on employment conditions of an au pair
Ch.ch: National website of Swiss state and cantons
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.