Ordinance on Private Household Employees working for members of foreign representations

Berne, Press release, 09.06.2011

On 6 June 2011 Federal Council adopted the Private Household Employees Ordinance (PHEO). This Ordinance governs the conditions of entry to Switzerland, of stay and work for the private household employees of individual beneficiaries of privileges, immunities and facilities in Switzerland. It enters into force on 1 July 2011.

On 6 June 2011 the Federal Council adopted the Ordinance on conditions for entry, stay and work for private household employees of individual beneficiaries of privileges, immunities and facilities (Private Household Employees Ordinance, PHEO). This ordinance applies to the private household employees of members of foreign representations and of officials of international organisations, who are beneficiaries of privileges, immunities and facilities in Switzerland. The new ordinance aims to create greater transparency and clarity regarding the applicable rules. The purpose is to limit as far as possible misunderstandings between the employer and employee, which can be a cause of disputes.

The new ordinance makes it mandatory to conclude a written contract of employment based solely on the model established by FDFA. This is a condition for the granting to the private household employee of an entry visa and of the FDFA legitimation card (residence entitlement). The ordinance states that the salary of a private household employee consists of a cash payment and of a payment in kind. The minimum net salary in cash is CHF 1,200 per month. No deduction from this amount is permitted. It must be transferred in Swiss francs to a bank account or a post office account opened in Switzerland only in the name of the household employee. 

In addition the employer is responsible for a number of other payments, such as those for accommodation and food, for all contributions (the employer's share and the employee's share) to compulsory social insurances, and for the payment of premiums for insurances against illness and accidents.

The private household employees must appear in person at the Swiss representation responsible in order to obtain their visa. When they do so they will receive information about the cost of living in Switzerland and documents on their rights and obligations, stating in particular whom they can contact if they encounter difficulties after their arrival in Switzerland.

By adopting the Host State Act (HSA) in 2007, the Swiss parliament gave a mandate to the Federal Council to formulate a standard set of regulations applicable throughout Switzerland which takes the needs of the international community and the private household employees into account. This ordinance replaces in its area of application the standard cantonal contracts. 

The Private Household Employees Ordinance enters into force on 1 July 2011. It can be consulted at the following Internet address:

Further information:

Ordinance (PHEO)

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Federal Palace West Wing
3003 - Bern
phone: +41 (0)31 322 31 53


The Federal Council
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs