A guide to how to arrange home help in France
How to get help in the home from daily tasks such as ironing and gardening to assistance with household members and more
Using an organisation
The simplest solution for help at home is to use the services of a dedicated organisation, such as a company or a self-employed auto-entrepreneur, as in this scenario you pay them as a client and not an employer.
If you do this and the organisation has been declared and/ or obtained an agrément (accreditation) for services à la personne from the prefecture or departmental council, you can benefit from a tax credit of 50% on the amount you pay.
You will be sent an attestation of how much you have paid for your tax return.
You can search for accredited organisations online. They can also be identified by the log below.
Do check, however, whether the organisation is a mandataire (agency) or prestataire (service provider). In the former case, you pay the agency for help to find an employee and then you become the employer. If it is prestataire, it provides the service directly.
Some 26 activities are included in the official list of services à la personne jobs in the home. They include gardening, housework, DIY, childcare, home tutors, support for disabled or elderly people, ironing, and help with IT.
If you take on someone directly, you become their employer and have to fulfil the obligations that involves, including paying social charges over to Urssaf on their work. In return, you are entitled to a tax credit of 50% on the amount paid out, including both the salary and the social charges.
In some cases, such as the care of young children, there may also be help towards the payment of social charges.
Anyone employing someone directly in their home should use the Cesu system (chèque emploi service universel), whether for full or part-time work, and even if it is only two hours a week.
This is a method for declaring payments and ensuring the correct social charges are paid to the employee, who also benefits from receiving a declared wage.
You have to create an account at Cesu online. Each month, employers declare how much they have paid. The Cesu service calculates the social charges and deducts it automatically from the employer’s bank account.
Nannies have to be declared at Pajemploi. This works in the same way as the Cesu.
If you employ a nanny registered with your local department for children aged under six, you may be eligible for the Complément de libre choix du mode de garde (CMG) benefit from the Caf.
The amount depends on your income, the number of children and their age.
You will have to pay a minimum of 15% of the salary and may also get some of the social charges paid as well.
The CMG will be automatically taken into account when you set up the Pajemploi system.
If a person is working for you regularly more than eight hours a week, or for more than four weeks consecutively in a year, an employment contract has to be drawn up to formalise the work. However, Urssaf recommends this even for occasional work.
This can be done before the first job or at the end of a trial period. What to include is set out at in this helpful pack.
Conditions of work
The rules governing authorised number of weekly hours, holidays and salary are fixed by the Convention Collective Nationale des Salariés du Particulier Employeur.
For example, the fixed holiday rate is 2.5 working days a month or four weeks (six working days a week) or periods equivalent to 24 days a year.
Pay and social charges
You have to pay at least the minimum wage. On January 1, 2021, this was €8.75 an hour net and €11.28 an hour gross, and includes an obligatory 10% covering holiday pay.
The amount of the social charges depends on many factors. Signing up with the Cesu reduces them automatically by €2. The example given on its website is €10 an hour paid to a gardener, which attracts €8.25 in social charges, reduced automatically by €2 to become an extra €6.25 an hour for the employer.
The overall cost to yourself as the employer is then reduced by the tax advantages.
You can calculate cost at the Cesu site here.
Finding an employee
The Cesu service has recently developed a platform with individuals or companies they work with.
You enter the type of work you are looking for and where you live to find a list to choose from.
You can get help and advice on how to employ someone in your home from the Fédération des Particuliers Employeurs de France.
This body has a website with practical advice, including what to put in a contract. You have to sign up, free of charge, to get the full information on the site.
The Cesu and Pajemploi websites also give clear advice.
Our main image was drawn for The Connexion by artist Perry Taylor.