Many job seekers in Switzerland, especially in the hospitality industry, think that it is possible to get board and accommodation. But, offeringjobs with free accommodation in Switzerland has become a very rare practice, today.
Jobs with accommodation in switzerland
Why would they pay someone and offer them free room and board as well? This practice was common until the 1980s, when workers were brought in from abroad, paid little, put up in accommodations that were not always adequate, (to use a euphemism), and often even offered food. Always it was pretty mediocre.
Today, if an employer provides room and board, the cost is deducted from the salary. The prices for reasonable accommodation start at 600/700 CHF. This means that if a company provides you with a one-bedroom apartment whose rent costs 1,500 CHF per month, it can deduct this amount entirely from your salary. Also, do not believe that accommodation always comes with all options. People believe that everything is included in the accommodation, but often lack services that they consider essential today, such as Internet, the presence of a TV or parking.
The same is true for food: In many cases, meals are paid for by the workers themselves, costing about 10 Swiss francs per meal. And it is not even possible to choose the menu if you think you are a customer of the restaurant. Do not think of asserting your reasons by saying: “I am on a diet and have to eat 300 g of chicken breast every day”, “the doctor has prescribed me to eat legumes once a day”, “I cannot tolerate dairy products” , etc
So if you want to eat something of your choice twice a day, you pay a la carte like any other customer.
99% of hospitality companies looking for staff do not offer room and board options. So before you apply for a job in the hospitality industry in Switzerland, keep this aspect in mind.
Jobs with accommodation in Switzerland – seasonal work
The situation is somewhat different for seasonal jobs, which are temporary positions lasting from a few weeks to a few months (especially in tourist resorts).
Seasonal work allows applicants who do not have Swiss citizenship to work for a limited period of time. This type of work is mainly offered during the winter/summer season in the alpine mountain regions, and the hospitality industry is looking for many workers.
Other seasonal jobs, offered mainly in the summer, can be found in agriculture.
In this case, free or low-cost accommodation can also be offered, albeit to a much lesser extent than in the past. This allows the Swiss employer to accommodate the temporary worker free of charge or almost free of charge.
Work in Switzerland as Aupair
Another work opportunity in Switzerland with room and board is as an au pair. You can come and work in Switzerland as an au pair for a maximum period of 18 months. Your host family will provide you with food and accommodation in return for your work as a babysitter and small household chores, which will require you to work 30 to 40 hours per week. You are entitled to one day off per week, (including one Sunday per Month) and 4 weeks of vacation per year, (5 if you are under 20 years old). You will receive at least 700 francs net per month, (this amount may increase depending on the canton). In addition, your employer is obliged to enroll you in a language school. He pays the costs for health and accident insurance as well as for the language courses. Up to 10% of your salary can be deducted for these costs.
This type of work is considered a real work activity. Therefore, you must pay taxes on your earnings and, most importantly, you have to obtain a type L work permit. This type of permit is limited. In fact, each canton issues a certain number of permits each year.
If you want to know more about living and working in Switzerland, I recommend you to have a look at this page