Employing your own Personal Assistant

Finding the right Personal Assistant (PA) is important and can be difficult to know where to begin to find that person. If you wish to employ your own Personal Assistant, and do not have somebody already in mind, you will need to recruit somebody to be employed directly by you.

Becoming an employer can be very daunting, but your Direct Payments Advisor can help you with advice and support on:

  • Advertising for staff
  • Interviewing for staff
  • References
  • Induction
  • Job descriptions and contracts of employment
  • Training available for staff
  • Disclosure and Barring checks

It is your responsibility to correctly determine the employment status of your workers – that is, whether they are employed by you or self-employed.
This is important because it affects the way tax and NIC are calculated for them. If you do not get this right you may have to pay tax, NIC, interest and possible penalties.

To determine the status of a worker you should contact HMRC on www.hmrc.gov.uk or telephone 03000 527 450.

If you receive confirmation that your worker is self-employed we require the following information as part of the audit and monitoring of your direct payments account:

  • Individual invoices for all periods worked / payments made from Direct Payments account
  • Name and address of worker
  • National Insurance number
  • Evidence of their Public Liability insurance
  • Copy of up to date enhanced DBS where applicable
  • Individual Tax Reference number (for this employment)

If your Personal Assistant is self-employed they will not receive the same terms and conditions that an employed member of staff would have i.e. holiday pay and sick pay. They would only invoice you for the actual hours worked.

If you become an employer then you are required to purchase Employers and Public Liability insurance as per your Direct Payments agreement. Your Direct Payments Advisor can provide you with application forms.

The Insurance is paid from your Direct Payments account and you must provide the Direct Payments Team with a copy of the insurance certificate. It is your responsibility to renew the insurance policy every year.

We recommend that you take the FULL insurance policy that includes EMPLOYMENT LAW SPECIALIST SUPPORT. They will provide you with a 24 hour employment law and Health and Safety advice line, should you require any support in relation to your Personal Assistants.

Some of the advice they could provide you with in relation to your employer responsibilities includes:

  • Redundancy payments
  • Disciplinary procedures and dismissal of staff
  • Statement of employment and job descriptions
  • Notice Periods

You should ensure that your Personal Assistant(s) have the appropriate training before using specialist equipment, refer to your insurance policy for further information. You can access Training for your Personal Assistants through the Direct Payments Team.

The Direct Payments Team has the facility to utilise Sefton Council’s training courses for Direct Payment’s Personal Assistants free of charge. Courses available include:

  • Health and safety
  • Basic first aid
  • Food hygiene
  • Moving and handling
  • General risk assessment

Your Personal Assistant will receive a certificate for all courses successfully completed. For further information contact your Direct Payments Advisor.


Last Updated on 28 January 2017

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