A direct payment is made to people who are eligible to receive community care services from the council and who are willing and able to arrange their own services.

How direct payments work

Direct payments are used to buy services to meet assessed needs, as described in a care plan.

The person receiving direct payments takes responsibility for managing their own care arrangements on a day-to-day basis which could mean that they become an employer.

Support service can provide assistance with:

  • Setting up a payroll service

  • Arranging Employer’s Liability Insurance

  • Recruiting staff

  • Meeting the other duties and obligations of a responsible employer


Direct payments offer more choice and control over the provision of care.

The service user employs a personal assistant directly so knows exactly who will be providing the care.

The person employing the assistant can choose what they do and when, for example, to take them swimming or shopping.

Direct payments and benefits

Direct payments do not affect entitlement to benefits or tax liability.

Direct payments are not income but a cash substitute with which to purchase services.

People employed by the service user under the direct payment scheme are liable to pay tax and National Insurance just as they would if they were working for any other employer. Earnings may affect benefits.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulations, which is a new Europe-wide law that came into force on 25th May 2018 to replace the existing Data Protection Act. It sets out requirements for how people need to handle other people’s personal data.

What is personal data?

Personal Data is any information relating to a person, which could be used to identify them either directly e.g. name, address, date of birth, phone number, email address or indirectly e.g. social media posts etc. It can include data that is kept online as well as that kept manually.

Does it apply to me?

As an employer, you will be processing data about your employees, which means that GDPR will apply to you. Processing data means doing anything with it, including collecting, storing / holding, transferring it. What do I need to do to comply? If you process Personal Data, you must satisfy the grounds set out in the GDPR for doing so:

 Consent - has the person provided express, specific consent to the processing? If so, then you are entitled to process that person’s personal data.  Legitimate interest - do you have a legitimate interest for processing the person’s personal data? In other words, would the person be surprised or upset about the data processing?

 Contract Performance - is processing necessary to perform a contract with the individual? For example, an employer needs to process an employee’s address and payment information to provide them with a salary for the work done. The data must be processed only to the extent necessary to fulfil the contract. How do I gain consent? The person must be asked for consent in clear and plain language. They need to be told why the data will be processed and by whom i.e. if you use a payroll or managed account provider. They must also be told that they have the right to revoke that consent at any time and it must be easy for them to do so. You must keep a record of the consent that includes how it was obtained, the purposes for which you are holding the data and descriptions of the data. If consent has been revoked, then you must keep a record of this as well.

Can people access their data?

Yes, people can ask to access their data. Unlike existing data protection laws, there is no charge for this. You must respond to an access request within 1 month of receiving it. You must ensure that the data you hold is accurate, up to date and deleted or corrected without delay if it is inaccurate. Is all personal data treated the same? No, there are items classed as “Special Categories of Data”. If you process Special Categories of Data, it must satisfy additional criteria. Special Categories of Data include religious and political views, sexual orientation, health and genetic data. Where can I get further information?

Further information is available from the Office of the Information Commissioner or ICO at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/resources-and-support/getting-ready-for-the-gdpr-resources/

Please conatct Choices and Rights at Gdpr@choicesa

ndrights.org.uk for further information

What is a DBS Check?

A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, once known as the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, is becoming more and more important when working within the Private Household industry. Majority of positions will request all candidates to have a valid DBS certificate before starting in the role. The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. There are 3 tiers of DBS Checks available:

Basic DBS

The lowest level of disclosure which checks the Police National Computer for details of all current criminal convictions. Often used to support an immigration application, to vet prospective tenants or to volunteer.

Standard DBS

Covers those working in other occupations to children, vulnerable adults and the elderly but where they need to be of ‘good character’ and not have a criminal record. This could include someone applying to be employed as an accountant, working in a pharmacy or legal practice, someone applying for a firearms license or a senior manager at a bank or financial services organisation. Organisations employing someone in this sort of position want to assure themselves that the people they are considering haven’t got a lengthy criminal record for dishonesty, drugs offences or violent crimes.

Enhances DBS

The highest level of disclosure required for those positions that can involve caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. An Enhanced CRB will show the following offences: sexual, violence, the supply of drugs and safeguarding.

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