Employing your own care and support
Direct Payments give you more choice and control over the care and support you receive and allow you to decide who provides it and when. This might include employing your own support worker – known as a personal (care) assistant (PA).
Finding the right PA is important and it can be difficult to know where to begin to find that person.
To support you in finding the right personal assistant, Haringey Council in partnership with RUILS has launched a new Find-a-PA web page. The site links Direct Payment Holders looking to employ a personal assistant with those looking for work as a personal assistant.
Being an employer
If you decide on employing your own care and support you become their employer and it is very important that you understand all the legal, financial, and practical issues that this involves. These include:
- using a payroll company to calculate your PA’s wages.
- having employer’s liability insurance
- providing your PA with an employment contract
- having a DBS check on GOV.UK (external link), to check if they have a criminal record. The council will pay for this.
- confirming your PA has the right to work in the UK on GOV.UK (external link)
To find out more about these topics, you can visit Employing your own care and support at Skills for Care (external link).
Vetting of Personal Assistants
The PAs registered on the find-a-pa site are not employed by Haringey or Ruils and have not been vetted by Haringey or Ruils.
It is the responsibility of you the employer to have a DBS check (external link) (Disclosure and Barring Service - previously CRB) to see whether they have a criminal record.
It is also your responsibility as an employer to ensure that references are obtained and checked and to satisfy yourself that the PA has the skills and suitability to undertake the role offered.
As the employer you also have a legal obligation to check that the person they want to employ is entitled to work in the UK (external link).
The Direct Payment Support Team can provide you with more information and support. Contact them by emailing Personal Budget Support or phone 020 8489 8456.
Find-a-PA also has resources – including the Recruitment Handbook (external link) page - which offers invaluable advice and guidance on the process of employing a PA and managing the PA relationship.
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