Using a care agency
If the person you are looking after uses a care agency to purchase this service, then the care agency would be the employers, and the person you are looking after would not be taking on the responsibilities of an employer. If you, or the person you are looking after, wants to find care agencies in their area the local council/trust will keep a list of local care agencies. You can also use one of the following:
• In England, the Care Quality Commission is the Health and Social Care regulator and has an online directory of registered independent care services.
• In Wales, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate (Wales) is responsible for inspecting Social Care and Social Services and has an online directory of registered care services.
• In Scotland, the Care Inspectorate regulates and inspects care services and has an online directory of registered care services.
• In Northern Ireland, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority is the independent Health and Social Care regulator and has an online directory of registered care services.
Employing a Personal Assistant directly
If the person you are looking after employs a Personal Assistant directly (even if this is a family member or friend), then they will be taking on the responsibilities of an employer.
This can seem daunting, but Choices and Rights are here to support you. Call (01482) 878778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you live in the Hull and East Riding area.
Some examples of employer responsibilities include but are not limited to:
• Check the references of the intended employee, and find out if they have an up-to-date Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate.
• Make sure the intended employee has the right to work in the UK.
• Set up a system for paying wages, deducting Income Tax and National Insurance, and keep records for HMRC (the Inland Revenue).
•Ensure that the employee has, (i) the annual leave to which they are entitled under ‘Working Time Regulations’, (ii) any maternity/paternity/sick pay to which they are entitled, and (iii) that you comply, as the employer, with any auto enrolment duties.
•Undertake a Health & Safety Risk Assessment of your home, or the location where the employee will primarily work, so that the potential risks to an employee are either removed or identified as safe thereby protecting the employee.
• Make sure that you have suitable insurance cover (i.e., Employer’s Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance).
This is not a definitive list and if the person you are looking after is considering becoming an employer they should seek advice on their full responsibilities.
Employing family members
If the person you are looking after gets a Direct Payment to purchase a care worker they might want to employ someone they already know to provide the care, such as a family member. However, there are rules around employing family members which vary depending on whether the person you are looking after lives in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
In England the rules are:
• The person who receives the Direct Payment, or the person for whom you care for, cannot normally use the Direct Payment to pay a family member they live with to provide them with care. If the local council/trust agree, however, that this is the most effective way of meeting their needs then it is sometimes possible. For example, it might be necessary if there are religious reasons, or communication reasons (other reasons may also count as necessary).
• You, or the person you look after, can use the Direct Payment to pay a family member who does not live with you/them to provide you/them with care (as long as the local council/trust agree that the family member will meet their needs).
• You, or the person you are looking after, can use the Direct Payment to pay a family member (regardless as to whether or not they live with them) to provide the management and administration of the Direct Payments, where the local council/trust think this necessary.