Employing a Personal Assistant
Employing a Personal Assistant
If you are receiving Direct Payments or self-funding your care, you may find that having a personal assistant works for you. A personal assistant can help you:
- looking after yourself (washing, bathing, getting dressed)
- around the home (cleaning and housework, cooking and preparing food)
- getting out and about (shopping, socialising and attending appointments)
If you do have a personal assistant you will become an employer and need to meet certain rules.
Employing a personal assistant yourself
If you have a personal assistant, (also known as a paid worker, staff member or PA), as part of your chosen care and support services you become an employer. This means you have certain responsibilities.
You are responsible for:
- making sure they are allowed to work in the UK
- paying them on time
- registering as an employer with HMRC (letting the taxman know)
It can be complicated becoming an employer and handling the extra responsibilities that you have to take on.
Someone is employed by you if:
- you decide what hours they work
- you are responsible for the work they do for you
- you provide them with the equipment to do their work
Skills for Care
The Skills for Care website has an online toolkit about employing personal assistants.
The Skills for Care toolkit is split into 6 separate sections:
- Benefits of employing a personal assistant
- Recruiting a personal assistant
- Before your personal assistant starts
- Managing your personal assistant
- Training and qualifications
- Sorting out problems
The government also provides advice on employing staff and what you need to do from the official Gov.UK website
Solihull Council also provides advice for employing personal assistants. The following documents will ask to be downloaded onto your computer.
- Personal Assistance Handbook 2014
- Employing a personal assistant: Things to take into consideration
- Personal Assistants: Developing Skills and Learning
- Personal Assistants: Keeping Safe
- Role of a Personal Assistant
- Personal Assistants: Stakeholder and Workplace pensions
- Personal Assistants & Employers: Statutory responsibilities of Employers as of July 2013
Advice from Solihull Council is also available for personal assistants or people considering becoming a personal assistant. The following documents will ask to be downloaded onto your computer.
Employing a personal assistant with a home care agency
You may find it is better for you to hire a personal assistant through an agency. This will give you less control and choice over who helps you and what they do but you will not have the responsibility of being an employer.
- You can find out about local home care agencies in Solihull by getting in touch with Ideal for All the Solihull Council direct payments partner.
You could also try:
- speaking to friends and other people you trust who get direct payments
- looking through The Solihull Directory
- visiting the Community Advice Hubs in:
- contacting the UK Home Care Association
Before deciding to work with a home care agency, you should visit the Care Quality Commission website and check their latest CQC inspection report.
Family members and personal assistants
You may like to ask close family members or your closest friends to help you be an employer.
If this person manages the payroll system to pay your personal assistant or carries out other administrative duties they may charge you for the work.
They cannot charge you if they help you manage your role as an employer.
Solihull Council will have to agree that you can use your direct payments to pay a family member.