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.
As stated in our introductory section, 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 dedicated 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.
There are enhanced rights for young people (under 18 years old) some of which are described in the maximum weekly working hours section and rest breaks at work section of GOV.UK 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.
There are also some minimum wage considerations around night working and these are outlined in our dedicated NMW/NLW section.
Every worker (whether part-time or full-time) is entitled to 5.6 weeks' annual leave (or holiday).
For information on annual leave and paying your PA during their annual leave see our Paying Wages section.
You will also have to think about options for arranging cover when your PA is on annual leave – an agency, for example, may be able to provide cover. If you get support from direct payments you may receive extra money to cover the costs.
For more information on working time and other things you will need to agree on, go to the Skills for Care ‘Before your PA starts’ toolkit.
You can also find out more about pay and conditions in the employing people section of GOV.UK.
We also outline other employee rights and protections in the next section.