Hiring domestic help in Luxembourg
Finding a balance between private and professional life can be tough, especially if you are working hard in your career. If it is your case, hiring someone to maintain your home, to take care of your children or to iron your clothes can be highly helpful. In Luxembourg, a lot of domestic helpers offer their services. But how does it work? What is the procedure? Do you have to pay social security contributions? Can you benefit from the income tax allowance? The procedure is very straightforward, sometimes more straightforward than finding a cleaner or a babysitter. Of course, there are a lot of websites and useful social media groups for Luxembourg. Home Help, for instance, lists cleaners, housekeepers, babysitters, catsitters, dog walkers, handymen, gardeners and other professionals looking for work and detailing their experience, contact details and language spoken. The problem is that it is always difficult to trust our children, our home and our personal belongings to someone that we don’t know. If you want to be sure that you hire a trustworthy person, you can ask your friends, your colleagues, your commune of your residence or in local expat Facebook pages or groups.  Pay attention to the fact that expenses for hiring gardeners, drivers or concierge staff are not deductible.
Drawing up an employment contract
Anyway, if you want to hire a domestic helper directly, you have to draw up with the person you are hiring a written employment contract. This contract will include the start date, the place and nature of work, the number of daily or weekly working hours, the normal working times and the basic salary. The salary must correspond at least at the social minimum wage: around EUR 14.5 per hour for a qualified worker, around EUR 12 gross per hour for a non-qualified worker and EUR 9 to 10 gross for young people between 15 and 18 (July 2019). However, if a member of your family or another close relation (friend or neighbour) is providing care and help to a legally dependent person, you don’t have to draft an employment contract. The worker is referred to as an informal carer (aidant informel), even where payment for the services is involved.
Registering the employee with the Joint Social Security Centre
You must also register your employee with the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale or CCSS). You only need to complete a declaration of employment in a private household (only available in French and downloadable here), including the net hourly salary or, where applicable, the fixed net monthly salary and send it to the CCSS. The CCSS then will calculate the gross salary, the social security contributions and the flat-rate tax (10%) to be withheld. So, by the end of each month, you pay your domestic helper the net amount directly, and you will receive from the CCSS an invoice for tax and social security. As a private household hiring an employee, you are automatically exempt from compulsory membership with the Employer’s Mutual Insurance Scheme.
We strongly recommend you not to employ domestic helpers illegally. Implications can be significant. What will happen, for instance, if your cleaner is injured when working and is not registered with the CCSS? Moreover, by doing so, you won’t benefit from the income tax allowance. If your domestic helper is registered with the CCSS, you will receive from the CCSS a special certificate that grants you the right to an income tax allowance for extraordinary expenses.
Using an agency
If drawing up an individual employment contract sounds too complicated and too time-consuming for you, you can use an agency. There are several agencies, for cleaning services in particular. Some of them even allow you to book a cleaner online!
Using an agency is more expensive and generally, you have to sign a minimum period contract, but you save time. You don’t have to deal directly with the domestic helper and with the CCSS and you don’t need to find someone else if your cleaner is off sick or decides to leave. The agency will provide you an alternative. And since 2010, as for the domestic helper hired by yourself, you can deduct the agency fees from your income tax declaration as extraordinary expenses.
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Immigration has always played a decisive role in the Grand Duchy’s economic development and and this trend is not going to stop. In 1961, the number of inhabitants in Luxembourg amounted to 314,900 people with a proportion of 13.2% of foreigners.
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