MiscellaneousUncategorizedUndeclared work: what you need to know

November 21, 2020by Laurianne Gandy0

Undeclared work

Hiring and working a gardener, a childcare worker or an illegal housekeeper to take care of the house, who has never thought about it?

The temptation is great, because the economy that this represents seems, at first glance, interesting. However, you must be aware that you are taking risks and you are facing certain constraints that may prove burdensome.


Some facts and figures


  • Undeclared work is estimated at 5.8% of gross domestic product in 2018 and 5.5% in 2019.
  • 78 inspectors and 37,111 checks on companies and individuals in 2018.
  • CHF 1 212 647 in almonds and fees collected in 2018 (increasing).
  •  CHF 4,500,000 contribution by the Confederation in 2017 (increasing).
  • The construction sector, the finishing sector and the cleaning sector were subject to the greatest number of inspections.



What is moonlighting?

According to SECO, it is "work performed in a self-employed or salaried capacity, which normally provides an income and is in itself a legal activity, but the performance of which violates legal provisions.
In general, undeclared work in private homes concerns :


  • cleaning work
  • laundry care
  • commissions
  • the kitchen
  • assistance/care for children, the elderly or sick people
This includes positions as housekeepers, cooks, kitchen helpers, cleaners, linen maids, maidservants, butlers, cooks, valets and drivers...
These activities are referred to as 'domestic work' and defined as work done within one or more households. In this case, the worker is called a 'domestic worker' and the employer a 'domestic employer'.

Declaration to organizations: lucrative activity or not?

You are obliged to declare your activity if it is lucrative.
A lucrative activity is carried out in a personal capacity with a view to obtaining an income. This income may be received in cash, in kind or in the form of services.
Services rendered between friends and neighbours as well as family mutual aid are not subject to authorisation and do not have to be declared.

Why declare a lucrative activity?


Undeclared work

The risks you face as a domestic employer

  • Penalties, fines and even imprisonment
  • All AHV contributions must be paid retroactively, including interest on arrears.
  • You are not covered in the event of an accident, which means that if an accident were to occur, you would be responsible for all costs related to it.

Disadvantages for domestic workers


Undeclared work


  • Absence of
    • contribution to the compensation fund or to the pension fund, i.e. no pension received at retirement age
    • accident insurance with an employer
    • unemployment benefits entitlement
    • medical leave
    • statutory holidays
  • Non-Swiss nationals risk losing their residence permit

Negative consequences in general


  • The loss of revenue for the State and social insurance
  • Distortions of competition between companies and between workers
  • The abolition of the right of workers to social insurance benefits
  • Wage underbidding and worker exploitation

What about the companies?

Undeclared work

  • Possible reduction of financial assistance over a period of up to 5 years;
  • Possible exclusion from certain public contracts over the same period ;
  • Name and address of the company disclosed on the SECO website ;
  • Additional payments on unpaid contributions.

Declaration of the domestic worker, the steps


  1. Conclude a written or oral employment contract
  2. Registering with the compensation fund
  3. Affiliate with:
    1. accident insurance
    2. daily sickness benefit insurance
    3. an occupational pension fund
  4. If foreign workers: notification or authorization requirements
  5. No simplified settlement procedure: you are obliged to declare that the employee is liable to pay tax at source.
  6. Possible application for family allowances for the worker
  7. Paying wages: making a statement and payroll deductions
  8. Report the wage statement to the compensation fund
  9. Paying dues
  10. Issue a salary certificate

Detailed information by clicking on the following link:

What the law says

If you wish to hire a person (domestic worker), there are several points to respect:

Minimum wages

These differ according to the Collective Agreements, so be sure to find out!

Moreover, Collective Agreements govern not only wages but also working conditions such as leave, holidays, breaks, etc.

Working time

The minimum working time must be an average of 5 hours per week with the same employer. In this case, you will have to apply the CTT, which lays down the working conditions.

Don't want to bother you with red tape?

Undeclared work

Length of steps, complexity, lack of knowledge, dispersion of information, lack of time?
Call directly on a company, for example Ouidoo!
Our company can offer you a person for the maintenance of your home or office. With Ouidoo, you have the guarantee that your person is paid correctly according to the collective agreements. Our employees are declared and insured by us in accordance with the law in force. Moreover, as an employer, we also take care of holidays and salaries!
More information on our website : Ouidoo.ch
Sources :

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