How much should you earn?

There is a sectoral collective labour agreement for housekeeper status, which determines the legal minimum wage per sub-category.

These minimum wages also apply to diplomatic housekeeping staff and to employees without legal residence. The latter are also entitled to a minimum wage and to an increase in wage according to their seniority.

Sectoral minimum wages

The official minimum wages provide for an increase in wages according to the level of seniority. The minimum wage must therefore be increased each year. Wages should be paid in euros (€) (not in a foreign currency) and the amount the employee is entitled to depends on the sub-category they belong to.

The following table shows the amount a housekeeper should earn per hour or per month (working full-time):

Payment in kind

The general principle is that as a housekeeper your salary must be paid in money, but for live-in housekeepers, the law allows some (not all) of the salary to be paid in kind.. However, this is only permitted if certain conditions are met:

  • The payment in kind must be mentioned in a written contract. If you have no written contract, payment in kind is not permitted.
  • This must be clearly stated in writing before you start work.
  • An employer is not allowed to profit from the situation.
  • All expenses must be calculated on the basis of current market prices.

Which costs can be deducted as payment in kind?

The law stipulates fixed amounts for the following costs:

  • The cost price for gas, electricity, water, heating and fuel.
  • Meals (the law provides fixed daily amounts).
    • Breakfast: €0.55
    • Midday meal (or your main meal): €1.09
    • Evening meal: €0.84
  • Accommodation (use of a bedroom): €0.74

The law determines that your employer may pay you in kind for a maximum of 20% of your total gross salary.

If your employer makes a whole house or apartment available to you, your employer may pay up to 40% of your wages in kind.

If your employer pays the full cost of your accommodation and meals, they are allowed to pay up to 50% of your wages in kind.