Live-in Carers: Working Hours & Breaks Explained

Aug 6, 2021

Live-in Carers: Working Hours & Breaks Explained

Working as a live-in carer in the UK is a rewarding career that pays well. Helping your clients to maintain their independence and stay in their own home is fulfilling for you and invaluable for clients. Read on as we answer frequently asked questions about the average live-in carer’s working hours and explain what sets ENA apart.

How many hours can a live-in carer work in a day?

You’ll work 8 to 10-hour days on average as a live-in carer (not necessarily consecutive hours), but you’ll also be on hand to help the client should they need you. You are not expected to work through the night unless that has been agreed through your employer. ENA offers live-in carers a three-hour break per day – more than the traditional two hours per day – to prevent fatigue and protect our carers’ wellbeing.

How many hours a week can you work as a carer?

All live-in carers work 56 hours per week (eight hours per day). The number of hours you work depends on the type of care the client needs. If you are passionate about your career in caring, then it is all too easy to lose yourself in a caring role, so it is vital that you plan daily breaks, weekends away and holidays.

Carers’ rights in the workplace


You are entitled to a legal minimum of 28 days of paid leave each year when working full-time (5.6 weeks pro rata).

The minimum wage

You are entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) whether you have a written contract or not. However, the law is constantly changing regarding ‘sleeping time’ and in March 2021, the Supreme Court established that sleep-in shifts should not be considered working time for calculating compliance with the minimum wage. A worker who lives in their employer’s home may not be entitled to NMW. It’s a grey area for live-in carers — and one that you must clarify with your employer before you start.

Night working

As a night worker, you should not work more than an average of eight hours in each 24-hour period, excluding overtime (which is calculated over the appropriate reference period, which is usually 17 weeks for night workers).

If you work as a live-in carer at ENA, you will have access to support and advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our care team includes qualified healthcare professionals, such as registered nurses, who support our carers in work.

Becoming a carer with the ENA Care Group

We understand the difference our live-in carers are making to the lives of our clients each and every day, so we reward our carers generously. As well as a competitive salary, there are numerous other perks and benefits to working with ENA. These include:

✔ Guaranteed Work Scheme

New carers are guaranteed to earn £6,000 before tax in the first 12 weeks of employment. So once you are cleared for work, you’ll begin to get paid even while you’re waiting to go into work. This is basically a standby service, where you will need to be prepared to go into work as soon as we need you. It provides security in terms of payment for the carer, and a quick response time for us as the care provider.

✔ Award-winning training

We won the Training and Development Expertise Award at the Homecare Awards 2021, and we are proud to offer complex care training, which enables us to care for a wider range of medical conditions to suit our client’s needs.

✔ No experience necessary

No previous experience is necessary as you will have access to our free, in-depth five-day induction training, which all of our new carers attend. Not only this, but you will also have the option to enrol on our free complex training courses to develop your knowledge and skills further.

✔ Wellbeing and mental health

We recognise that when you provide care to our clients, you don’t always prioritise your own wellbeing. We are proud to offer premium access to the Calm Health App to all of our employees, and an employee assistance programme with 24/7 access to the Mindful Employer telephone advice service.

To find out more about working for ENA Care Group, please call 01707 383 033 or email .