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Working as an au pair in Switzerland: what can you expect?

Datum: 09/11/2021
Auteur: Manou Zwolle

What are the requirements to become an au pair in Switzerland and what does the process consist of? Which documents do you need and what exactly are you going to do? In short, how do you become an au pair in Switzerland? All questions that we answer in this blog. Read on quick!

Requirements

Switzerland is the perfect location to go to as an au pair. Learn about the interesting culture and the many languages ​​spoken there. The official languages ​​are Italian, French and German.

There are a number of important requirement that you must meet. We have listed the most important ones below.


Requirements to start working as an au pair in Switzerland:

– You are between 17-30 years old

– Your own language must be different from the spoken language of the host family

– You are unmarried and have no children

– You are willing to take a language course

Process

To travel to Switzerland it’s important that you have a valid ID or passport. Before you can start working with the host family, you must apply for a temporary residence permit from the immigration and labor market authorities.

 
The following documents are required for the application:

– Passport

– The au pair contract with the duration of your stay

– The certificate from the municipality with confirmation of your registration – A passport photo

An au pair is seen as an employee in Switzerland. This means that the pocket money is subject to social insurance contributions. The host family must request a certificate of insurance for the au pair from the social insurance organization. So you need the same insurance as other employees.

The host family must take out health insurance, accident insurance, pension insurance and unemployment insurance. Half of the contributions is usually paid by the family and the other half comes from the au pair’s gross income.

More information for au pairs from the EU countries in Switzerland can be found here.

Area where an au pair in Switzerland lives

Contract

Au pairs and host families must sign 2 copies of the au pair contract before one can start as an au pair with the host family. The contract contains more information about the duties of the au pair and expectations of the host family. Such as the duration of the stay, the number of hours, holidays, language course, pocket money, etc.

Au pair and host family should discuss mutual expectations before arrival. These agreements must then be laid down in a contract. In Switzerland, the au pair contract is equivalent to the normal employment contracts for domestic workers. There is not one official au pair contract for the whole of Switzerland. We recommend that you contact the relevant Swiss Migration and Employment Office to obtain the form necessary for this. 3 copies of the contract must be signed. The au pair and the host family each receive a copy and the third copy goes to the Immigration and Labor Market Authority.

It is possible to terminate the contract earlier than stated in the contract. For example, when the au pair and the host family do not get along. The Swiss regulations indicate that the contract usually has one month of probation. During this time, the contract can be canceled with a notice period of 7 days. After the probation period, the au pair contract can only be terminated in writing with a notice period of one month.

The au pair stay is valid for 1 year. Au pairs coming from EU countries/EFTA countries have the option, in certain situations, to extend their au pair year for a maximum of 24 months.

The au pair is responsible for the care of the children and can also help with light housework. This includes vacuuming, loading the dishwasher and running laundry. These agreements can be recorded in the au pair contract. It is important that one of the parents is also present at least half the time of the work of the au pair.

In Switzerland, as an au pair, you receive pocket money and non-monetary benefits as part of your compensation. This amount is CHF 990 for the non-monetary benefits. The amount depends on the age of the au pair and is subject to the regulations of the area in which she lives and the regulations determined by the responsible associations. This amount is usually between 500 and 700 CHF per month.


Days off

As an au pair, you are not allowed to work more than 30 hours a week and no more than half of the day. This is usually from Monday to Saturday. Here too, one of the parents must be present at least half of the working hours. The au pair’s work schedule must allow sufficient time to participate in a language course. As an au pair, you must follow a language course. It must be the same as the language spoken in the area where the au pair resides. If your au pair stay lasts for a year, the language course must last at least 120 hours. This is about 2-3 hours per week.

Au pair insurance

Au pairs, like other employees in Switzerland, are required to pay social insurances. Usually half of the social security contributions are paid by the au pair and the other half by the host family. To facilitate the payment of these contributions, the family must request an insurance certificate from the social insurance authorities. The premiums amount to 12.5% ​​of the au pair’s gross income, regardless of how much pocket money the au pair receives in total. The premiums are for pension insurance, disability insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance.

During the au pair stay in Switzerland, au pairs benefit from health insurance, accident insurance and pension insurance. The monthly amount to be paid depends on the insurance taken out and the cover. At least half of the contributions is paid by the host family. The premiums for occupational accident insurance are paid exclusively by the family.


Are you ready for a new challenge?

As discussed, there are a number of requirements that you must meet to start working as an au pair. Think of the requirement that you are unmarried and are not allowed to have children.

To travel to Switzerland it’s important that you have a valid ID or passport. Before you can start working with the host family, you must apply for a temporary residence permit from the immigration and labor market authorities.

It’s important that the agreements between the au pair and the host family are stated in a contract. For example, the amount of pocket money per month and on which days the au pair is free.

Frequently asked questions

Is the au pair a certified childcare provider?

The au pair does not need to have specialist knowledge of childcare, but does have some babysitting experience and love for children. The au pair is your extra pair of hands and eyes when you are busy. The au pair supervises children at home and can make your daily routine much easier.

Is an au pair entitled to board and lodging?

An au pair is entitled to board, lodging and pocket money.

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