Employing a personal assistant
When you employ a personal assistant, it means you become an employer. This can sound daunting as there are lots of things to think about.
The good news is there is lots of help available.
What do I need to know before employing a personal assistant?
Some of the things you will need to think about when employing your own personal assistant include:
- the recruitment process
- risk assessments and health and safety considerations
- registering yourself as an employer
- public and employer's liability insurance
- rotas and timesheets
- what to do if something goes wrong
- annual leave and sick leave for your personal assistant
- redundancy payments
- workplace pension payments.
There are organisations that can help you with these, for a fee. Some of the things listed are sometimes included as part of an insurance policy, for example some insurance policies can help you with dealing with disputes with your personal assistant.
Insurers who provide Employer Liability Insurance may also offer free advice to support you in your role as an employer. You will need to check the policy details issued by your insurer.
You can find more information about employing a personal assistant on our Employing a personal assistant - FAQs page.
The 2008 Pensions Act changed the law on workplace pensions. Starting from 2012 to 2018, all employers will be legally required to automatically enrol eligible staff (including personal assistants) into a pension scheme and make on-going contributions to the scheme. Eligible workers are those aged from 22 to state pension age and earning more than £10,000 a year. This duty includes individuals that employ workers for their own care and support.
Where can I get help online?
There are plenty of websites that provide information and advice on employing your own personal assistant.
A good place to start is the Employing Personal Assistants Toolkit available on the Skills for Care website.
Being the Boss is a website that shares information based on the experiences of disabled people who employ personal assistants.
The Jobcentre Plus can also provide support to become an employer. Visit their website www.gov.uk/jobcentre-plus-help-for-recruiters to find information on the recruitment process.
The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group have created a website called Disability and Tax that provides useful resources and information for people who have a Personal Budget and employ their own care workers or personal assistants.
The website has useful information on topics such as:
- paying wages
- tax status
- independent living
- employment law
- being a carer.
There are also useful tools such as the payslip tool which you can use to create payslips for your personal assistants.
For information, visit the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group website.
Is there any training available to support me?
Skills for Care provide information on how to access a variety of funding to support you and your personal assistant with any training needs.
Which organisations can help me?
There are a number of organisations that, for a charge, can provide support when employing your own personal assistant. The support available can include such things as:
- personal budget money management
- payroll service
- end of year tax return
- Disclosure and Barring Service check - previously known as Criminal Records Bureau check
- recruitment support
- support planning and brokerage
- financial returns support.
Here are a few organisations that can help, other organisations are also available, and we suggest asking for prices from a few different organisations before you decide which one to use: