Employing a Personal Assistant

Tips suggested by members of our online community about employing a Personal Assistant

Tips for finding a PA

Online care service Hometouch has a good list of top 10 tips to finding the right personal assistant for you.

Home care agencies

The Care Quality Commission has produced a leaflet for people looking for a home care agency. You can download this from their website: What can you expect from a good home-care agency.

Make sure you find the right person

It may seem like a great idea to hire your friend but this needs to be a business relationship and you need to make sure they have the skills and qualifications necessary to do what you need them to.

The Skills for Care website

Skills for Care has a great toolkit to help you with employing a personal assistant. It’s also available in an easy read format.

Disclosure and Barring Service

Don’t forget to get any prospective PA a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. The Gov website has a simple list of how to get this done.

Pay matters

Remember that any employee needs to be paid minimum wage and will be entitled to get holiday pay and sick pay. You will also need to factor in paying national insurance. You can organise to do this yourself or you can join a payroll scheme.

Employers’ liability insurance

It’s best to be covered! You must take out employers’ liability insurance to cover the cost of accidents in the workplace, injuries and illness. This is a legal requirement so don’t forget to have this in place before your new PA starts.  

Draw up a contract

To make sure you and your PA know what’s expected in the working relationship it’s important to draw up a contract. Things to think about are: Hours of work, pay, duration on contact, holiday entitlement, usually work location etc.

Paying your PA

Remember that any employee needs to be paid minimum wage and will be entitled to get holiday pay and sick pay. You will also need to factor in paying national insurance. You can organise to do this yourself or you can join a payroll scheme.

Insurance

It’s best to be covered! You must take out employers’ liability insurance to cover the cost of accidents in the workplace, injuries and illness. This is a legal requirement so don’t forget to have this in place before your new PA starts.

Contracts

To make sure you and your PA know what’s expected in the working relationship it’s important to draw up a contract. Things to think about are:
  • Hours of work
  • Pay
  • Duration of contact
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Usual work location
  • Specific tasks the PA will be expected to carry out.
If you employ a PA that requires additional training can you afford to provide this? It’s worth making sure you employ someone who has the skills you need.

Workplace pensions

If you employing Personal Assistants, you will have to consider whether they qualify to be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension. Read the Disability Rights UK factsheet on workplace pensions.

Employing personal assistants

A toolkit to help you employ your own personal assistants includes:
  • 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.

You’re the Boss

An interactive wizard for care if you're trying to:
  • make a plan
  • communicate your needs to someone
  • work out if you might be eligible for council funding
  • or contact the relevant local authority with responsibility for your care needs.
Looking for advice, support and friendship from people in a similar situation to you? Join our online community today.