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Hiring an Au pair in Switzerland – all you need to know!

  • Updated:
  • Liam Pichler

Au pairs relieve families in their often stressful everyday lives and promote cultural exchange. We explain all you need to know about hiring an Au pair in Switzerland.

Hiring an Au pair: This is what it’s all about

  • Au pairs must be registered with the authorities in Switzerland and correctly employed and insured.
  • Au pairs usually receive room and board and a modest salary.
  • The compulsory accident insurance (UVG) must be taken out by the host family.

What is an Au-pair?

An au pair is a young person who goes abroad to help with the household and childcare of a host family. In return they receive accommodation, food and a modest wage. The European Au Pair Convention provides for the attendance of a language school during the stay in the host country. The au pair employees must be given enough time for education and getting to know the country and its people. They should be able to participate in the life of the host families. We explain how hiring an Au pair in Switzerland works.

Requirements for hiring an au pair in Switzerland

It is a good requirement if au pairs have experience and practice in babysitting or looking after siblings or are active in a youth organisation. The minimum and maximum age for an au pair in Switzerland varies from canton to canton. In principle, the following applies: au pairs from EU and EFTA countries may apply for a stay in Switzerland at the age of 17 and up to the age of 30. Third-country nationals must be at least 18 years old and no more than 25 years old. The following applies to the whole of Switzerland: A host family must provide the au pair with his/her own room. In Switzerland, an au pair may work between 30 hours and a maximum of 40 hours per week. The maximum number of hours varies depending on the canton.

As a rule, au pair work for 12 months with a Swiss host family. Au pairs from EU/Efta countries receive a short stay permit for this period. The cantons are responsible for issuing the permits. Au pairs from EU and EFTA countries can extend their stay to a maximum of 24 months. Every family in Switzerland can employ an au pair. The condition: At least one of the children must be under 16 years old.

Different tasks in the childcare of au pair, babysitter and nanny

 These are the different tasks in the childcare of au-pair, babysitter and nanny

Do au pairs in Switzerland have to be insured and registered with the AHV?

Au pairs in Switzerland must be registered correctly and employed legally. From a legal point of view they are normal employees. They receive a salary for their work in child care and household. Therefore au pairs are also liable to AHV contributions.

The compulsory accident insurance (UVG) must be taken out by the host family or the employer. Daily sickness benefits insurance and home insurance are also recommended. The withholding tax, the employee contributions for AHV / IV / EO / ALV, half of the premium for the daily sickness benefit insurance and the premium for the non-occupational accident insurance (NBU) are deducted from the salary. However, au pairs are not always subject to the standard employment contract for domestic workers (NAV). Different regulations apply from canton to canton.

What is a fair wage for an au pair in Switzerland?

The host family has to pay for food and provide a room. In Switzerland one talks here about board and lodging. These are payments in kind and wage components. In Switzerland, they are calculated at a flat rate of 990 Swiss francs for full board and lodging. A cash wage is also paid out. In the canton of Zurich, for example, it is recommended to pay between 700 and 800 francs per month. The total wage sum (gross) of the au pair before social security deductions should therefore be between 1700 and 1800 francs. Au pairs from the 1st January after reaching the age of 17 are subject to pension fund contributions. The minimum wages for au pairs are regulated cantonally.

What else must be observed when hiring an au pair?

Au pairs live under the same roof as their family. It is therefore advisable to take enough time when choosing the right person. Before an employment, clear arrangements should also be made taking into account the needs of the family, children and the au pair. For example, to ensure that the privacy of all those involved is guaranteed.

Respecting cultural differences

Host families should also consider any cultural differences between the au pair and the family. A person from another country, another culture, another language area, may need a lot of time to adapt. Just like the host family! Also important: An au pair not only helps with childcare and household chores, but is also a guest. In order for family life to be harmonious with the au pair, it is also important to build up a relationship of trust.

How to find an au pair?

There are various placement services in Switzerland. For example, the cantonal associations of the umbrella organisation “Schweizerischer Verband PRO FILIA” offer au pair placement. Another contact point is the Didac schools. On the internet portal AupairWorld, you can post a comprehensive profile of your family free of charge and search for an au pair who fits your family.

Hiring an Au pair in Switzerland with just a few mouse clicks

quitt. offers all services needed when it comes to employing, registering and insuring your au pair in accordance with all legal requirements. quitt. handles all administrative employer obligations, offers a favorable pension fund solution and provides all important documents such as the monthly pay statements and a professional employment contract. Further information about the employment of an au pair can be found here.