If you decide to use Direct Payments to employ a Personal Assistant, you will have legal responsibilities as an employer. It is up to you to comply with these responsibilities but there are many sources of help to advise you about being an employer and the legal responsibilities, some of these are listed below or you can find them on the Useful Contacts pages of this website. Your local Council will be able to give you advice and give you information about who can help you in your area.
In addition Skills for Care has updated the Personal Assistant toolkit, which we produced specifically for people who employ their own Personal Assistants.
The booklet gives advice from recruitment and interview to employment. It gives sample documents including blank advertisements, letters, job descriptions and employment contracts which you can download and use. These are just samples and can be added to or amended as necessary but please be aware that you must abide by employment laws. Details of these are in the booklets and explained in more details on this page. You can download the booklets as required from the links below.
There are also downloadable templates for you to use:
Sample job description and person specification
Blank job description and personal specification
Sample job advert
Sample application form
Interview checklist and sample interview questions
Sample letter inviting people for an interview
Sample letter telling people they are not being invited to an interview
Sample letter asking for a reference
Sample letter offering job
Sample letter turning down applicant
List of documents to prove the legal right to work in the UK
Sample contract of employment
Safety in the home checklist
Sample risk assessment
Sample disciplinary form
Sample grievance procedure
What are my Legal Responsibilities as an Employer?
These laws include:
- Providing Payroll services including paying wages, tax and National Insurance. There is help for you in providing Payroll services. For more information on who can help you to provide Payroll services go to the Payroll Services page‘.
- Workplace Pension. All employers will be required to enrol employees in a qualifying pension scheme, making it easy and attractive for people to save for their own pensions. Employees can opt out if they do not wish to save. The new pensions requirements will be phased in from 2012. You will be informed when you are expected to set up the pension scheme.Under the Pensions Act 2008, employers will be required to:
• choose one or more qualifying pension schemes and register it or them with the Pensions Regulator;
• enrol all employees aged from 22 up to the state retirement age who currently earn more than £5,035 a year;
• ensure that a contribution of at least 8% of gross earnings between £5,035 and £33,540 a year is put into each enrolled employee’s pension, made up of:
– an employer contribution of at least 3% of gross earnings The Pensions Regulator Website has an Interactive tool which helps employers to understand the basics of their new duties. For more information see the obligatory pension provision booklet ‘What employers need to know about their new duties‘.
- You must give your employee a written document containing the main terms and conditions of their contract of employment. The Business Link website has an interactive tool to help you produce a Written Statement of Employment.
- You must give your employee the legal amount of holidays and sick leave. ACAS can give you all the information you need regarding legal requirement of leave. You can call ACAS on their helpline 0845 6070143 or visit the ACAS website.Business Link also advises on how to calculate holiday entitlement if you employ someone part way through the holiday year.
- You must check the eligibility of the employee to work in this Country. Find out how to check that your selected applicant can legally work in the UK.
- You must make sure that you give your employee the legal amount of notice as details on Business Link website.
- You must have the appropriate insurance. Some household insurance policies include employer’s liability as part of the cover. It is also advisable to consider employment law cover to support you if you were taken to an Industrial Tribunal. If you need to purchase additional insurance, ask your local Council if they will fund this as a part of your Direct Payments, HSE has more information onEmployer and public liability Insurance.
You should ensure that you know the correct disciplinary procedures and should have a disciplinary policy which you should discuss with your P.A. If you do not go through the correct procedures you may put yourself in a position where you employee may take you to an Industrial Tribunal. ACAS has produced a Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. For more advice see the ACAS website.
It is advisable, once you have gone through the recruitment process and selected who you want to employ as your Personal Assistant, to have a CRB (Criminal records Bureau) check. Learn more about CRB.