Employing people in your home
Things you need to think about if you employ someone in your home
If you are taking on a personal assistant (PA) to help you in your home, then there are certain things you need to consider. We do not try and cover all of the issues in detail here but we list some of the things you should think about and find out more about.
Careful planning should take place in preparation for employing someone in your own home. For example, a detailed job description and person specification will help everybody involved get a clear understanding of what is expected and means it is less likely that misunderstandings about the nature of the job will arise later on down the line. See our recruitment section for more information on this.
Other things you may need to think about are:
- Potential damage to your property and possessions
- Your safety
- Safety issues for your PA. This might include things like moving and handling training and health and safety risk assessments.
- Ensuring you have adequate employer's liability insurance (and public liability if necessary). If you get support from the Government by way of direct payments you may receive extra money to cover the cost of any insurance you need. Some insurance companies also offer redundancy cover, health and safety advice and access to employment law specialists as part of the policy.
- Training and developing your PA.
Where can I get further help?
ACAS have a whole section on their website giving advice, in a question and answer style, to ensure a successful employer/employee working relationship. Some of the questions, to give you a flavour of what you can find, are:
- My employer is an elderly gentleman who employs three care workers. He has begun to criticise everything I do, constantly finding fault and undermining me. As a result, he makes me feel anxious and stressed. Is there anything I can do about this?
- I have been given a job by a lady to look after her mother. She insists that I have self-employed status. Am I an employee or self-employed?
- I'm thinking of employing a care worker but am confused about bank holidays. Do I have to allow time off on these days or do I pay overtime?
- My care worker has started turning up late and doesn't let me know what is happening. I'm finding this really difficult as without her help I can't get washed and dressed but am not sure how to raise this with her.
You can access the answers to these questions as well as others, on the ACAS website.
The ‘Training and qualifications’ Skills for Care toolkit has information on training and developing your PA and there are also useful templates you can download and use including a safety in the home checklist and sample risk assessment.