Pay and conditions
When you employ someone, you will have to agree on pay and other working conditions
You are generally entitled to agree on whatever terms you wish to do with pay and other working conditions, provided the legal minimums are met. Basic information about three of the most important things that you will agree on are outlined below.
Please note that employment law is changing constantly. The information provided in our website about the various employment law rules and regulations should be taken as a guide only and not a comprehensive statement of the law.
You must pay your personal assistant (PA) in accordance with National Minimum/Living Wage (NMW/NLW) rates. There are different rates for different age groups of workers.
You can find our information about the National Minimum/Living Wage in the Paying Wages section of this website.
Under the Working Time Regulations workers have a right to various things like:
- work no more than 48 hours per week on average (unless they sign an opt out)
- 11 consecutive hours' rest in any 24-hour period;
- an in-work rest break (of at least 20 minutes) if the working day is longer than six hours;
- one day off each week.
You can find out more about working time on the Skills for Care website.
You should be aware that all employees have a right to request flexible working, for example ‘flexitime’ (this right used to only apply to employees who have children under the age of 17 (18 if a child is disabled) or who are carers). You have a duty to deal with any such request in a reasonable manner, however if you only have one carer and need full time care, it would probably be reasonable to reject the request on the basis that your care can’t be reorganised among other staff.
If a PA sleeps at your house but is on-call then this is likely to be considered night working time and some special rules apply to do with their hours and their health. You can find more on night working on GOV.UK.
Every worker (whether part-time or full-time) is entitled to 5.6 weeks annual leave (or holiday).
A week’s leave is the same amount of time as the worker’s normal working week. If your PA works five days per week then they will be entitled to 28 days' annual leave (five days per week x 5.6 weeks). If your care worker works three days per week then they will be entitled to 16.8 days' annual leave (three days per week x 5.6 weeks).
The leave entitlement is not additional to bank holidays. There is a tool on GOV.UK to help employers calculate their worker’s holiday entitlement.
There is lots of information about holiday entitlement on the ACAS website.
Workers must tell their employer if they want to take leave. Given the nature of the work, you might want to ask your PA to tell you in good time in advance of them wanting to take leave as this will give you time to arrange cover for their absence.
Employers can set times that workers are required to take leave. For example, you could tell your PA that they must take two weeks annual leave in the summer when you normally take your two weeks' holiday.
For information on paying your employee during their annual leave see our Paying Wages section.
If the worker’s employment ends (e.g. because they have resigned or you have made them redundant), the worker is entitled to be paid for any leave time that they have not taken.
For more information on these and other things you will need to agree on, go to the Skills for Care website.
We also outline other employee rights and protections in the next section.