Dependence on full-day domestic helpers has risen, especially in urban India and metro cities with more than 50% of domestic households today employing maids on an 8-hour or 12-hour basis. These helpers are hired through different sources — either through personal references from other maids or by contacting a maid placement agency. Since security-related aspects with this kind of helpers are present to a lesser degree than a live-in helper, most people prefer to hire full-day domestic helpers to help out with routine work at home. As per statistics available from 2015, as many as 20 million households in major metro cities had full-time domestic helpers employed.
A full-time helper can be a big help. Some of the typical jobs that they do include — washing dishes and clothes, cooking, brooming, dusting, mopping, picking kids from the bus-stop, ironing, getting vegetables from the market, babysitting, looking after elders, work as drivers, gardeners, electricians, plumbers and so many multiple roles.
The need to hire a full-day domestic helper arises out of different compulsions and scenarios. Here we will visit some of the most common scenarios.
- Double income working couple is one of the most common need-based scenarios. With both the husband and wife working and with them out of the house for at least 8 to 9 hours in a day, having a full-time ensures that their household chores like washing dishes, cooking, mopping, brooming and washing clothes are taken care of by the maid in their absence. While the couples that do not have kids or elderly parents staying with them can still manage with a part-time maid, the ones that have younger kids and aged people staying with them undoubtedly rely on the full-time maid for assistance with household work, looking after kids and their parents. For couples who are part of nuclear families and do not have kids — the ease of having a full-time maid is about convenience with work at home where they come back to a neat and clean, well-maintained home at the end of the day.
- Bachelor pads young unmarried men and women now move to bigger cities in search of better prospects. The trend these days is for a group of such youngsters to stay together. For them, having a full-time maid is again a case of great convenience and help for the maid cooks and does all the routine household work — thereby the responsibility of errands at home does not fall on any individual member. It works well as these new-age employees share the wage of the maid which means that there is no financial burden on any one individual.
- For specific duties maids are hired for specific responsibilities like a nanny, caring for elderly people, providing care to sick people, disabled or family members with special needs. Sometimes, male helpers are hired who work as driver-cum-helper at home with the 12 hours model working well. In such cases, domestic employers usually prefer to go in for trained or semi-trained maids and workers.
- Housewives working from home/ businesswomen technological advent, many women are today working from home instead of working as full-time employees. For such women, having a full-time helper is a big aid. While she is working on her assignments or is busy with her business, the helper serves as a good backup for cooking, doing house jobs as well as looking after kids, elders and also contributing to menial tasks in their business. For example, a daycare centre being operated from home will have the maid help out with looking after kids and so on.
- Big families, big houses that need daily cleaning is a case that typically one gets to see with joint families where the presence of a fulltime maid helps with managing day-to-day household tasks. Also, families that live in big houses or even bigger apartments prefer to have a fulltime helper who can help the family with daily maintenance and cleaning work.
- People who feel that keeping a live-in helper is a question mark on their security is another common reason to hire full-time maids. These are families in urban India who can afford live-in helpers with money and space, not big issues. But they still prefer to go in with a full-time maid because they feel threatened to have a stranger staying under the same roof at night.