One-fifth of households pay domestic help under the table

Author thumbnail
DDP/The Local - [email protected]
One-fifth of households pay domestic help under the table
Photo: DPA

Almost one-fifth of the 40 million German households has paid domestic help under the table at least once, according to a study published by opinion research centre TNS Emnid on Monday.


Despite Germany’s reputation for orderly conduct, 18 percent of the 2,091 people surveyed admitted they had paid a babysitter or housekeeper off the books. Some 79 percent said they didn’t feel guilty about doing so.

Even though Schwarzarbeit, or illegal employment, is not a trivial offense, many people still seem to pay their housekeepers in cash to avoid tax issues.

Some 27 percent said they thought they could save money with unregistered household help, but according to Erik Thomsen, head of the job centre of the German pension insurance fund, registering household help for under €400 per month creates very few costs for taxpayers. Since 2009, almost 20 percent of such expenses can even be claimed in tax returns instead of the previous 10 percent, he said.

The bureaucratic hassle is actually quite minimal for registering household help too, he added, explaining that employees also stand to profit from the corresponding accident insurance, leave and sick pay.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also