Housekeeping – overview of employment costs

Cleaner – cleaner – cleaning help – there are many colloquial terms for the same profession. A household help – as the name suggests – should support the household by doing light work such as washing, ironing, cleaning.

Some even take over the cooking or childcare to gardening. However, a special nanny (e.g. au pair, babysitter), a gardener or a childminder are usually more suitable for this.

Overview of domestic help costs

Housekeeping costs between EUR 9 and EUR 20 per hour. The most important thing is whether the cleaning staff is employed directly by you, is sent by a company or (rarely) works independently on account.

For a self-employed cleaning lady or a cleaner from a professional company, you can incur between 13 and 20 euros per hour. Advantage: There are no other charges for you.

If you hire domestic help in your private household, you will take on the role of the employer. Hourly wages between 9 and 15 euros are common here.

You pay less here because you still have to pay the additional charges for accident, pension and health insurance. This is a maximum of 14.74 percent of the monthly earnings of the household (as of February 2018).

type of enployment approximate hourly wages
private employment
(You yourself are the employer)
9 to 15 euros plus taxes (maximum 14.74%)
commercial employment
(You book the domestic help at a Company or on account)
15 to 20 euros

All prices are rough guidelines including VAT and can of course vary.

By the way: Mini jobs in private households are a special form of marginal employment and are therefore specifically promoted. The taxes here are significantly lower for the employer than for a commercial job.

The household helpers are usually employed as mini-jobbers and therefore still have to pay 13.6 percent of their earnings for pension insurance, provided they cannot be exempted from it (as of January 2018).

Of course, you should also keep in mind that remuneration can vary from area to area as well as the tasks to be done. It also depends on how regularly the cleaning aid should appear and how much experience it already brings.

In some cases, a travel allowance can also be added to the costs mentioned. Depending on the route, between 2 and 4 euros are appropriate.

Note: Cleaning utensils should be provided by you. The costs for this cannot be deducted from the cleaning staff’s wages.

Examples of costs for domestic help

Example 1:

Gustav and Elisabeth need domestic help for 5 hours a week. The cleaner should have at least two years of experience.
The couple lives in the wealthy Hamburg district of Blankenese.

You should plan at least 12 euros per hour for domestic help. That makes 240 euros a month. In addition there are the taxes for accident, health and pension insurance, which amount to around 35 euros. In total, that’s 275, – per month.

The tax reduction is 20 percent of earnings, or a maximum of 42.50 a month. The latter applies here. If you take this into account, you get around 233 euros (more on this below).

Example 2:

Helga needs support from a cleaner once a week for 2 hours. It does not matter to her whether the domestic help already has experience. Helga lives in the rather cheap district of Duisburg in Beeck.

Helga has to expect an average hourly wage of 9.50 euros for the desired domestic help. This brings together costs of € 76 per month. In addition, there are expenses for accident, health and pension insurance. They amount to about 11 euros – a total of 87 euros.

If you offset this with a tax reduction of 20 percent, you get around 70 euros (more on this below).

Hiring a household help privately – guidelines for you as an employer

If you want to hire a domestic help yourself, you should first report this to the mini job center, provided that it will earn a maximum of 450 euros (in most cases).

You can find suitable people, for example, in a circle of friends or acquaintances or on Internet portals. Newspaper ads or a look at the bulletin board of the nearby supermarket can also be worthwhile.

The following data is required to register:

from domestic help
  • address
  • Social security number (alternative: birth name, date of birth, place of birth of the domestic help)
  • Health insurance information
  • Information about other jobs
  • Information about pension payments (or comparable benefits)
  • Information on whether domestic help would like to be exempted from the pension insurance obligation
from you
  • Tax number (found in the last tax notice)
  • Bank details
  • Company number of your private household (if not available, you will be assigned one when you register)

Labor law stipulates that a cleaning worker employed by you is considered a normal employee, so there is also a right to paid vacation and continued wages in the event of illness. In addition, you must register the cleaning aid with the social insurance and pay various taxes for the pension and health insurance.

When paying, it is therefore important that the minimum wage is observed. You should also note that mini-jobbers may not earn more than 450 euros. Have your household help certify this to be covered in the worst case.

Caution! If you have not registered the domestic help, the employment is considered undeclared work and you can expect fines of up to 5,000 euros.

In addition, if you do not register, high costs can arise in the event of an accident, since a registered mini-jobber is automatically insured against accidents and pensions, which of course does not apply to undeclared work. In the event of damage, it can happen that you have to accept high costs for medical treatment or pension payments.

In addition, damage to the inventory can only be settled with household or liability insurance with a registered cleaning aid.

Book a household help from a company – an overview of everything you need to know

If you want to make it easier for yourself and not act as an employer, it may be worth hiring a cleaner through a specialist company. A normal service contract is concluded with the cleaning company by stipulating the regularity, payment, etc..

You usually pay more here because the company already pays all insurance fees for you. You also have the advantage that at illness or vacation a replacement for the assigned cleaner can be available.

The disadvantage here is, of course, that you cannot select the domestic help directly and that an (as yet) unknown person will enter the house in the event of breakdowns.

What costs can be deducted from the tax??

If the cleaning service is subject to social security contributions, you can deduct one fifth of the costs from household-related services from the tax.

You get 20 percent of the total expenses (wages and taxes) back from the tax office through the income tax return. Here, however, there is an upper limit of 510 euros per year (or 42.50 euros per month).

Thanks to this tax advantage, the bottom line is that you only have to pay taxes of between 2 and 10 euros a month, since you get the rest back.

Find the right domestic help – checklist

Before you hire or book domestic help, you should clarify the following:

  • How often and for how many hours do you need domestic help?
  • Where can you find suitable domestic help?
  • Do you want to hire someone you already know and give them such a deep insight into your privacy?
  • Agree on the areas of responsibility (e.g. ironing, cleaning windows, washing ..).
  • Discuss with household help how much time is planned for which work and in what rhythm different Tasks to be done.
  • Check whether the relationship of trust between you and the cleaning assistant is correct. Is it reliable? You will have the necessary discretion?
  • Consideration is given to other household members and the inventory?
  • How much experience can the cleaning staff have? Perhaps she has completed special training?
  • How much can you pay? What can you expect??
  • Does the performance of the cleaner match your ideas? If you are unsure, you can start by cleaning together, instructing the household help in more depth, and coordinating your cleaning standards.
  • Be sure to register the housekeeping assistant (for private employment) with the mini job center beforehand!

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