Responsibilities as an employer
If you choose to employ PAs using your direct payment there are a few things to consider. There are legal requirements and general good practice to adhere to, such as:
- Record keeping
- Using payroll and provide pensions where applicable
- Providing holiday pay and keeping a record of this
- Ensuring employer’s and public liability insurance is in place
- Safe recruitment practice, eg right to work checks and DBS checks
- Health and safety
- Access to training
- Providing contracts of employment
Skills for Care have a webinar that explains your responsibilities as an employer of personal assistants (PAs)
Employing your own care and support – information for individual employers
Skills for Care have developed an employing personal assistants toolkit that will help you to think about your responsibilities as an employer, and includes guidance, templates and resources about recruiting, training and managing your team.
Employer liability insurance
If you choose to use your direct payment to employ personal assistants, it will include funding for employer liability insurance. £61 will be included in the funding, and we recommend that you choose an insurance policy that includes a legal/HR helpline.
You must get employer liability insurance as soon as you become an employer - your policy must cover you for at least £5m. It safeguards employers against legal and compensation expenses from employee claims. It's a key type of insurance, because if one of your employees falls ill or sustains an injury in the context of the work they do for you, you could be held liable. It is compulsory because employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees whilst at work, and you can be fined £2,500 every day if you don't have employer liability insurance.
You're able to choose which payroll provider you use. If you'd like additional information, please speak to your social care practitioner or social worker. We'll add funding to the direct payment, typically between £6 and £8 per week, to pay for the payroll service.
Examples of what payroll providers do include:
- Provide payroll support, and answer any related queries
- Register you as an employer with HMRC
- Register themselves as the company agent with HMRC
- Provide payslips and payroll reports as required
- Provide full PAYE records, such as starter and leaver forms, including P45
- Issue P60 forms to employees at the end of the tax year
- Implement tax code notifications, including student loans, NI, and other statutory deductions
- Ensure that clients meet the current minimum wage and living wage rates where applicable
- Assist with auto-enrolment with pension regulation, including enrolling in a pensions scheme and managing deductions