Should I hire my own private carer?

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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 home 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. As an example, check out what we look for in our companion carers, we pride ourselves on first-class carers, always there for your loved one.

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.

Background Checks

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.

Employment Contract

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
Insurance

As an employer, you are required to have adequate Employer’s Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance.

 

12 Quality Questions to ask when Selecting a Care Provider

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Finding the right care provider to look after a loved one could sometimes be a time consuming and confusing process. It can be hard to understand what really makes the difference between one care provider and the others. However, asking the right questions can easily improve the selection process and, often, allow the decision to be taken more quickly with full peace of mind. We have therefore listed below 12 key questions to ask to a care provider to have a clear understanding of how they operate, and to comprehend if they are the best choice for your needs.

 

1. What is the track record of the manager and what have they achieved in their post to date?

2. How does the organisation screen and recruit staff?

3. What characteristics does the organisation value most highly when hiring care staff? What characteristics would make someone unsuitable for working in your organisation?

4. How do they train new staff and what ongoing training occurs for existing staff?

5. What are the costs associated with the service? Is there any set up fees, on-going management fees, etc.?

6. How do we get in touch in an emergency?

7. Do they have a dedicated point of contact?

8. What were their Care Inspectorate grades and last inspection, and more crucially, which areas are they currently working on developing and improving?

9. How would you describe the culture of the organisation – what are their values?

10. How do we stay involved with my relatives care and how are we informed about things?

11. How do you maintain consistency in care staff? What happened if staff are ill or on holidays?

12. How do you ensure that your carers respect my relatives personal choices?

 

TOP TIP: The quality of a care provider always flows from the quality of the manager.  Trust your instincts!  If you believe you can work with the manager and the manager sets a great positive culture and is competent in their role, chances are they hire great staff and run a great service!

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