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. The Rowan Organisation 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 support organisation or HMRC.
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.
You may have to enrol your PA into a pension scheme. This depends on how much your PA earns and you should check if this applies to you by contacting the pensions regulator or The Rowan Organisation or HMRC.
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 The Rowan Organisation, the contracted support organisation, for payroll support.
The Rowan Organisation provide payroll without charge to you even if you choose to have no other support.
You must register with HMRC as an employer. The Rowan Organisation for payroll can do this. If you will be doing this yourself please contact the new employers helpline on 08456 070143or you could contact your local tax office for advice.
Employing people legally
You must carry out document checks with every person before employing them to confirm that they are legally allowed to work in the United Kingdom (UK). Penderels Trust will advise you and support you to do this.
The law says that you must do some document checks and failure to do this may result in a fine.
If you want to manage this yourself, without the support from the recruitment, retention and employment support service, the Home Office has produced a guide to help you.
You can contact the Home Office helpline on 0300 124699.
You must complete these checks before anyone starts working for you.
If you use a registered home care agency this law does not apply to you. We would recommend that you ask the agency if they carry out these employment checks.
All employees will automatically get enrolled into the pension scheme and employers will need to opt out the ones that are not eligible. The Rowan Organisation will support you with this as part of the payroll service.