Hard time finding a great daycare solution or a reliable sitter? Have you ever considered an au pair? This might be the perfect solution for you! Hosting an au pair comes with a lot of perks. It is for example way cheaper than daycare, you always have someone who is there for the kids and even helps with household tasks. In our experience, it’s a wonderful cultural experience for families. Excited? Read all about how to become a host family in Switzerland!
What is an au pair?
So, you want to become a host family in Switzerland? But what will you be hosting? In short, what is an au pair? An au pair is someone who lives in your house and helps you with the care for your kids and light household chores. In Switzerland, there are some au pair requirements:
- 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.
Requirements to become a host family in Switzerland
Not only the au pair has to fulfil some requirements, but also the host families have to be sure they are allowed to become a host family in Switzerland. The requirements for host families in Switzerland are:
- At least one of your children is of school age or younger;
- You have a Swiss citizenship, a C permit (for “settled foreign nationals”) or a B EU/EFTA permit (for “resident foreign nationals”);
- Your au pair helps with childcare and light housework in your home;
- You have very good knowledge of the language spoken in your region of Switzerland;
- You are of a different nationality and speak a different language than your au pair;
- At least one of the parents can support the au pair during half of their working hours;
- You cover the costs of a language course for your au pair.
Process for your au pair to come to Switzerland
To travel to Switzerland, it’s important that your au pair has a valid ID or passport. Before they can start working, they have to apply for a temporary residence permit from the immigration and labor market authorities.
The following documents are required for the application:
- The au pair contract with the duration of your stay;
- The certificate from the municipality with confirmation of your registration;
- A passport photo.
What kind of insurance do you need to have?
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.
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.
The au pair and the 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.
Three 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.
Holiday & days off for your au pair
An au pair in Switzerland is 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.
Why choose Nanny Nina to find you an au pair?
So you want to become a host family in Switzerland? Great! We can help you with that. We have a big database with a lot of potential and qualified candidates. We have all screened them thoroughly and made sure they are good candidates. We also offer personal guidance through the whole process and if the au pair is not a suitable match, we find you a rematch.
Your au pair is also able to join our ‘academy’ where the au pair can gain skills about first aid, self-development and a lot of helpful tips for their au pair journey. Are you excited to become a host family in Switzerland? Sign up here as a host family in Switzerland, and we will do the rest!
Enjoy your time together!