Taking on a PA as an employee, even for only a few hours a week, brings with it almost the same range of issues that exist for a business employing thousands of workers. You may think this is excessive, but all employees, whether they work for a large or small employer, are given many rights in law to prevent them from being taken advantage of. Matters such as employment contracts, pay, working hours, holiday entitlement and the rights of workers and employers in the workplace are all important areas for a new employer to get right.
Getting things right from the start, can prevent many problems from arising later. There is lots of help out there and you may even be able to access advice from your Local Authority or council. You can find the contact details of your Local Authority on the GOV.UK website.
If you are an employer or if the person you take on is a worker it is your responsibility to see that things are done in accordance with the law. A failure to do so can be costly. To help you meet your responsibilities, we set out some basic guidance about the subjects you need to know about in the following sections with information on where to find more help.
- Employment law status – is your PA an employee, worker or self-employed? Your responsibilities depend on the status of your PA
- Employing staff in more detail – find out more about employment contracts, pay, working hours, holiday entitlement and other rights and protections
- Employing people in your home – we explain some of the things you need to think about if you take on a PA in your home
Where can I get more help?
There is lots of information and some tools to help you in the 'Employing people' section of the GOV.UK website which we direct you to frequently. The other places we refer you to throughout this section are:
Disability Rights UK
Disability Rights UK is run by and for people with experience of disability or health conditions. Their website has a range of factsheets and helpful information.
Skills for Care
Their toolkit helps individuals employ their own personal assistants. An interactive version enables you to search and immediately access the information you are most interested in. It contains links to different sections within the toolkit and useful templates. There are also links to organisations you can access for more support and information.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have expertise on employment matters. They have a helpline that deals with issues relating to employment. Also, you can download some free information from their website.
Finally, Being the Boss (www.beingtheboss.co.uk) is a website for employers of PAs to share their experiences and information which you may find helpful.