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Employer responsibilities

Direct payments offer you the opportunity to have support that fits with the way you want to live your life. If you are going to employ your own staff you must do this in keeping with the law.

By law you must provide your personal assistant (PA) with a written contract of employment that defines their terms and conditions of employment. We strongly advise you to consider using support from Penderels Trust who can provide information and advice about employing staff. The support provided is free.

You must pay your PA no less than the minimum wage. You will also need to keep up to date with any changes to this rate. Penderels Trust or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)will give you advice on these rates.

There will be occasions when your PA is unable to work because of sickness. The PA may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay. You will need to check the qualifying conditions with the Penderels Trust.

You must be aware of Working Time Regulations and your responsibilities as an employer. As an employer you will need to be aware that your PA is entitled to annual leave. It is advisable that you check the current entitlement and make sure you keep up to date with changes.

Becoming an employer

Penderels Trust provide the support as the contracted support organisation for recruitment, retention and employment. This support is free to you. You must as an employer pay tax and national insurance contributions on behalf of your staff. This is easier to manage when you use a payroll service, as they calculate how much you need to pay. We advise that you consider using Penderels Trust, the contracted support organisation, for payroll support.

Penderels Trust provide payroll without charge to you even if you choose to have no other support.

You must register with HMRC as an employer. Penderels Trust for payroll can do this. If you will be doing this yourself please contact the new employers helpline on 0300 200 3211 or you could contact your local tax office for advice.


The law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer with at least one member of staff now has specific duties, including putting those who meet certain criteria into a workplace pension scheme and contributing towards it.

This is called ‘automatic enrolment’. It’s called this because it’s automatic for your staff – they don’t have to do anything to be enrolled into your pension scheme. But it’s not automatic for you. You need to take steps to make sure they are enrolled.

Does the change in law affect me?

Yes, if you employ at least one member of staff, you’ll need to enrol them into a pension scheme if they meet certain criteria. Get started by following the Pensions Regulator step-by-step guide to automatic enrolment.

How do I nominate a contact?

You need to tell the Pensions Regulator who will be responsible for managing the automatic enrolment process by nominating a contact. They will send help and guidance to this person.

Right to Work in the UK

Legislation came into force in February 2008 that requires employers to make basic checks with every person you are considering employing to confirm that they can legally work in the United Kingdom.  The law says that you must do some document checks, and failure to do this may result in a fine.

We recommend that you seek advice from Penderels Trust Recruitment, Retention and Employment Support organisation to do this.

If you want to manage this yourself, without support, then you can look at the Home Office Guidance document ‘Preventing illegal working: guidance for employers, October 2013’ which will guide you with what you must do. You can get this from the Home Office helpline 0300 123 2241 or their website.

You must complete these checks before anyone starts working for you. You can offer them employment once the checks are completed and you are satisfied they can work in the United Kingdom. You must not employ anyone who is not legally able to work in the United Kingdom.

If you use a registered Home Care agency this law does not apply to you. Warwickshire County Council would recommend that you ask the agency if they carry out these employment checks.  Please contact the council’s Independent Living Team for more information if you are unsure.

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