January 1, 2024

Difference between 24 Hours Live-In and Full Day Helper

Understanding the key difference — difference in functions and responsibilities

Understanding the key difference — difference in functions and responsibilities

  1. The basic difference between a 24 hours live-in domestic helper and the full-day helper is that the former lives within the home premises of the domestic employer while the full-day helper works for a decided period — 12 hours generally and then go to his/her home.
  2. In the case of the 24-hours live-in helper, job roles often get super-imposed. For example, a helper employed for household chores may also work as a part-time driver or gardener or cook for the family. It may be a regular thing or one-off case and mostly happens on an inclusive basis — meaning he/she is generally expected and assumed to do the extra work free-of-cost. With the full-day helper, the involvement is generally limited to the duties and tasks assigned initially and hardly get over-lapped with other duties — it can happen once-in-a-while but never regularly. If it happens regularly, the employer will certainly need to increase the monthly wage of the helper.
  3. A 24-hours maid can generally not take abrupt leaves or call in to say that she/he is sick, or a family member is not well and hence will not report for work for the day. This is because the helper resides with the employer under the same roof. For the full day helper, genuine or excuse, they can call in on a day to inform of a leave. Sometimes, they do not even inform and take leaves for days together.
  4. The 24-hours helper usually takes a long leave once a year or may not take any leave and collate the same for certain occasions and celebrations to go home. The full-day helper, on the other hand, will take monthly and annual leaves as and when required or suits them.

The responsibilities of the domestic employer are more in the case of the 24-hours helper and similarly, for the helper too, the tasks and accountabilities are more. In the case of the full-day helper, responsibilities on both sides are comparatively lesser.

Aspects of Security & Safety of Home and Members

  1. Having a 24-hours live-in helper entails a higher degree of security-related aspects. This means that the employer needs to have the background and the document verification done more diligently in case of this kind of a helper who will be staying with the family. With the full-day helper, the verifications should not be missed even though security is a matter of concern to a lesser degree.
  2. When a 24-hours helper resides with the family, each member is required to exercise caution and take care of security-related aspects to a greater degree as compared to a full-day helper who leaves the premises after job hours.
  3. The other security and safety issue are at night and when the family goes on vacation. This means opportunities when the 24-hours live-in helper has easy access to entry and exit points of the house and can indulge in nefarious activities. For example, inviting his friends at night for drinks inside his room or when the entire family is out, the maid has access to open rooms and other points inside the house. These issues typically exist to a lesser degree with the full-time helper.

Cost-Benefit Analysis


In the financial sense, the 24-hours live-in maid will be an expensive choice vis-à-vis the full-time helper. With the former, the wage will be high, there are other expenses including food, lodging, miscellaneous expenses like medication when the person is ill, etc.


Between the two, having a 24-hours live-in maid surely has higher degrees of comfort and benefits. The person is there round-the-clock even though he may not be on the job for all 24 hours. He/she can become a great means of support during times of emergencies. The same cannot be expected from a full-day helper. Even if the person does help, he/she will surely ask for extra charges.

Expected Availability of Helpers in your Neighbourhood

A 24-hours live-in helper is mostly available from maid placement agencies. Some household does hire through referrals, but the usual way is to source such a helper from agencies. The full-day helpers are usually referred via neighbourhood referrals and helpers or through direct contact.

Job Roles at Home

A 24-day live-in and full-day helper can be hired for all kinds of job roles that could range from generic household chores to specialized duties like taking care of elders and people with special needs, as a nanny, driver, etc. Job roles-wise the 24-hours live-in maid will have a more generic and wider range of duties as compared to a full-day helper who is generally hired for specific duties.