Despite the need for care, many people want to stay in their own homes. Relatives often face major challenges in coping with day-to-day caregiving. 24-hour care by an Eastern European caregiver is considered a feasible and affordable solution. In the following article, you will learn more about the legal requirements, the costs and the tasks, from z. B. Polish nursing staff.
What does 24-hour care mean?
- Weekly working time must not exceed 48 hours
- Daily working time of 8 hours, which can be extended to 10 hours in exceptional cases (maximum 60 hours per week, for which the nurse is entitled to a rest period compensation)
- 24 days vacation per year
Ideally, the care is divided among several people who take turns in everyday life. For example, the 24-hour caregiver supports caring relatives or several caregivers take over the tasks.
What are the options for employing an Eastern European caregiver?
A German caregiver often breaks the financial budget of the caregiver and their family. Many therefore opt for a 24-hour caregiver from abroad. In numerous cases, caregivers come from Eastern Europe, most of them from Poland. In general, therefore, the term "Polish caregivers" is often used.
There are several models for live-in care:
1. Direct employment of a 24-hour helper
Under the freedom of movement of workers, households are allowed to hire German or EU citizens, so the employment of Eastern European care workers is legal. Various requirements apply, such as paying the minimum wage and paying social security contributions. You also have to pay income tax to the relevant tax office and register the caregiver in the statutory accident insurance scheme. If you choose this option, you are the direct employer of the caregiver. This gives you the advantage of being able to negotiate the conditions of employment directly with the caregiver.
As a private employer, you must register the domestic help with the Employment Agency and the Central Foreign and Professional Placement Office ZAV. For this purpose it is necessary to present the work contract. The caregiver is now issued a work permit and a business number, which are required for Social Security registration.
2. Working with a foreign service provider who sends foreign care workers
In a secondment model, the care recipient hires a foreign company to send a caregiver to the household. In this case, the employer of the caregiver is not the household, but the foreign company. The caregiver receives the salary from this company, which pays taxes and social security contributions in its own country. Legal requirements such as minimum wage and working hours must also be adhered to in this employment arrangement. You do not have to worry about registration and work permits.
In contrast to the direct employment of a 24-hour nurse, you have no right to issue instructions in the case of a secondment. The caregiver is given the specifications for work content or hours by the company. If you want to make changes, it must be cleared with the appropriate provider.
If you hire a foreign company to send a caregiver, the A1 certificate should be provided. This proves the caregiver has social security in the home country and is eligible to work in another country.
3. Employing a self-employed caregiver
It is also possible to employ a self-employed caregiver in German private households. Within the EU, anyone is allowed to offer their services if a business has been registered in their home country or Germany. The consumer advice center points out that this model often involves bogus self-employment, where the caregivers are not protected by labor or social legislation. If you employ a sham self-employed caregiver, you can expect to pay back social security contributions and taxes, as well as penalties for moonlighting. Even working with an agency that provides 24-hour caregivers doesn't always protect you from the issue, as not every placement agency is reputable.
Caregiver from Eastern Europe – what are the costs??
On average, for a 24-hour caregiver from an Eastern European country, you will have to pay between 2.000 and 3.000 euros can be expected.