Should I hire my own private carer?
Hiring someone yourself may give you more choice and control over who cares for you and what tasks they do, however before going down this road, there is a lot you’ll need to think about. Hiring your own personal carer immediately turns you into an employer, bringing legal, financial and practical implications. Read more about becoming an employer here.
Recruiting a carer or personal assistant
Unless you have a recommendation, or someone you know in mind for the job, you will need to advertise, interview and carry out checks. You won’t be able to pay a friend or family member unless they are a registered carer.
Checking someone’s right to work in the UK
As an employer, you must make sure that any prospective worker is eligible to work in the UK before you employ them. Ask to check people’s passports or other ID to prove they’re from the European Economic Area or ask for sight of their visa allowing them to work here. Remember to keep a copy of the paperwork. For more information on the right to work in the UK, visit the Home Office website.
To ensure your safety, you must get a copy of the PVG check (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) for applicants before you interview them or let them into your home. Find out more about PVG checks on the Disclosure Scotland website.
You will need to provide a contract of employment, narrating the specific tasks the personal assistant is to provide, identifying the place of work, working hours, rate of pay, duration of employment and holiday entitlement etc.
Pay and tax
You must pay your Care Worker at least the national minimum wage – but realistically, you’re talking about £10 an hour, or closer to £12 per hour if your care needs are more complex. You will also be responsible for deducting tax and National Insurance from their wages. Find out more about tax and National Insurance when employing people in your home on the HM Revenue & Customs website.
Time off, sick pay and holiday pay
Not only will you have to pay, you will also need to think about replacement cover in the event your care worker is unwell or on holiday, or otherwise unable to attend work. Your care worker has an entitlement to:
- rest breaks
- a maximum number of working hours in any week
- holiday pay
- sick pay (in most cases)
- maternity pay
As an employer, you are required to have adequate Employer’s Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance.