Andreas Schollin-Borg, founder of Batmaid: “Undeclared work is the worst form of insecurity” – rts.ch

Since 2015, the Lausanne-based company Batmaid has been active in the home cleaning sector: a field of activity where undeclared work is very present. Guest on Thursday on La Matinale, Andreas Schollin-Borg, director of Batgroup, the parent company of Batmaid, estimated that measures should be put in place to fight against this scourge.

“Every day, 75,000 people work undeclared in our field of activity (…) our market is corrupt. There is still 65% of the work that is done undeclared and we are talking about a billion wages per year who is paid under the table today. This is what we must fight for. For Andreas Schollin-Borg, the observation is clear. We must now find solutions.

Since 2021, the group’s business model has been transformed. From a platform that linked cleaning staff with customers, who became de facto employers for the duration of the service, Batgroup made the decision to hire the people who worked on the platform.

“With Covid, RHTs were refused to our clients for their employees. At that time, we said to ourselves that we had to provide more security for all the people who worked on the platform. On the 1st January 2021, we therefore became an employer of 2,000 people,” he explains.

>> Review the 12:45 p.m. report on this subject:

Batmaid will hire some of its 2,000 cleaning agents from January 2021. / 12:45 p.m. / 2 min. / August 24, 2020

Price increase

For Batgroup, going from 0 to 2000 employees proved to be a real challenge. But this change in model also had repercussions on customers.

“For our client, it was a price increase, because we have more costs when we are a direct employer,” explains Andreas Schollin-Borg. “But it was very well received, because ultimately, I think that for our customers, the societal impact matters since Covid,” he adds.

Putting pressure on companies will just make customers return to the side of undeclared work

Andreas Schollin-Borg, founder of Batmaid and director of Batgroup

This increase in price, however, raises the question of competition, particularly that coming from undeclared work. “With us, a customer will pay around 43.90 francs per hour,” says Andreas Schollin-Borg. A relatively high price for French-speaking Switzerland, when undeclared work costs 25 francs per hour.

Wages that remain low

Asked about the salary of employees, the founder of Batmaid explains that “the cost of an employee” is around 35 francs and that the salary differs a little depending on the cantons. “For Geneva, it’s around 25 francs,” he concedes.

An income which therefore remains very low for Switzerland, but which it is impossible to increase for the moment, according to Andreas Schollin-Borg. “We would like to be able to pay much higher salaries. But we just have to be realistic about the market and the work that is done undeclared and which is the worst form of insecurity,” he emphasizes.

A tax deduction would be one of the ways that would help the sector the most to reduce undeclared work.

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Andreas Schollin-Borg, founder of Batmaid and director of Batgroup

“As long as we don’t make an effort to resolve this problem, putting pressure on companies will just drive customers back to illegal work (..) We can’t increase prices: 43.90 francs compared to 25 francs, it’s already expensive,” he notes.

State aid

For Andreas Schollin-Borg, there should therefore be an incentive from the State. “A tax deduction would be one of the ways that would help the sector the most to reduce undeclared work (…) It would reduce the impact between the price of undeclared work and our price in a traditional company” , he specifies.

“It’s like for electric cars. If there is such enthusiasm, it is because we realize that all the States have put in place incentive measures for people to move from one system to the other. And today, we must be able to help customers change systems so that the work is declared,” he explains.

Finally, Andreas Schollin-Borg also believes that there is a need to raise awareness among customers. “When we want to make changes, we have to educate and explain why (…). I think Covid has greatly changed the morals and state of mind of Swiss citizens. It’s a good time to say to ourselves that “We have to take a step towards social, because that’s the future”, he concludes.

Comments collected by Pietro Bugnon

Web adaptation: ther

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