How many weeks of holiday entitlement does my domestic helper have?

  • Updated:
  • Lilly Barak

According to Art. 329a of the Swiss Code of Obligations (OR), employees have a holiday entitlement of at least four weeks per year of service. Employees up to the age of 20 are entitled to five weeks’ holiday. This holiday entitlement therefore also applies to your domestic help. Cantonal standard employment contracts (NAV) sometimes provide for five or even six weeks’ holiday.

Holiday entitlement of domestic help can be restricted in the contract

The provisions of the NAV always apply unless otherwise agreed in the contract. You can therefore limit the holiday entitlement to four weeks in the contract. You can find the cantonal standard employment contracts on the official homepage of your canton.

Wage supplement for domestic help paid by the hour

If the employment contract is agreed on an hourly wage, the holiday allowance can be compensated with a wage supplement of 8.33% (for four weeks) or 10.64% (for five weeks). For six weeks’ holiday it is 13.04 per cent. It is important that the compensation is shown in the contract (and on the pay slip) as an amount in Swiss francs. Compensation for holidays in the form of hourly wages is common, but according to court practice it is only permissible for very short or very irregular assignments. Therefore, anyone who regularly employs a domestic worker – even if only for one hour per week – must grant the holidays in kind.