Hiring a cleaner: Is there a 'minimum' number of hours?


For the past few years, a nice lady coming from Batmaid to help us clean the flat. Our arrangement was 2 hours per "month", which worked more or less.

Now the lady does not work with Batmaid, and I am thinking of the possibility of continuing to use her service. I know the right way to do so is to officially hire her and fill out some paperwork, pay insurance, etc.... But does that necessity hold also for "small" amounts of work, like 2 hours per month here (that will be 1.25% employment)? What if we want to call her on an ad-hoc basis and not regularly? Is there any "simplified" procedure for such cases?


I don't think you need to have a contract with her. It's on her to declare the income and pay the relevant taxes. If she doesn't have accident insurance then you need to provide that just in case something happens while she is working at your place.

Yes, that's the general rule. But I think the case for "cleaning work" is an exception:/

You could use something like Quitt to do all that stuff for you.


I think you are only responsible for insurance, etc. if she is employed above (I think) 8 hours/week. I think in her case she likely has many clients which only pay her for a few hours a month, and as such she would be responsible for her own insurance as a self-employed person. It can't be true that every person who hires her needs to take out accident insurance for her, she'd be insured 10 times over...

No, this is inaccurate.

A cleaner can have the status of " self-employed " ONLY if this has been granted to her by the SVA (in German). This is the office to which the mandatory social security contributions (AHV in German, AVS in French) are paid. To be ranked as self-employed, she must prove to the AHV that she has made investments in the tools of her trade advertised her services several paying clients already bookkeeping. It is by no means guaranteed that the SVA will grant her this status. They are strict precisely to try to prevent workers falling through the net of social security and not being properly covered for unemployment, accident, disability and old-age.

For the rest, such work is employment.

The employer’s responsibility is to pay an agreed rate pay a supplement as pro rata holiday money register the employee with the SVA and pay the mandatory social security contributions (these are typically covered 50/50 by the employer and employee, i.e. the employer deducts this from her pay and sends it to the SVA) provide a monthly pay-slip specify the AHV/AVS contributions/deductions on the pay-slip specify the holiday money as a separate item on the pay-slip provide an annual summary of earnings, for the employee’s tax form take reasonable measures towards preventing the employee having accidents at work buy accident insurance.
Whether the employer must buy BU only or also NBU is set out in this other recent post:
The premiums for BU must be covered by the employer.
The premiums for NBU can be deducted from the employee’s wages, or shared. In practice, for small jobs, good employers usually just carry the premiums without making a deduction.

Such so-called “cleaner’s insurance” can be had from, for example, Mobiliar, and costs Fr. 100 per annum.

It is, indeed true, that each separate employer who employs someone MUST provide BU accident insurance. And also, yes, that an employee who works for more than one employer for an average of 8 hours a week will end up with more than one NBU.

Yes, even for small amounts of work, even irregular and ad hoc employment, the registration and insurance must be done properly. The penalties for getting caught not doing the right thing can be steep.

Besides that, if you have not properly registered and insured the employee and she has an accident or even becomes disabled through working for you, she will be able to claim all of her costs from you... and they can be astronomical! If you've properly insured her, then such expenses will be covered by the relevant insurers.

In addition, by properly paying her social security contributions you will be helping her to have an AHV/AVS old-age (or disability) pension. People who earn very little need this pension the most.

Yes, thankfully, there is. It is known (in German) as the Vereinfachtes Abrechnungsverfahren für Arbeitgebende (simplified method of calculating, for employers).