Being a good employer

Direct payments offer you the opportunity to have support that fits with the way you want to live your life. If you are going to employ your own staff you must do this in keeping with the law.

  • by law you must provide your personal assistant with a written contract of employment that defines their terms and conditions of employment
  • as an employer you must pay PAYE, Tax and National Insurance contributions. This is easier to manage when you use a payroll service. The Council would advise that you consider doing this. Penderels Trust (opens in a new window) a direct payment support service will provide this service even if you choose to have no other support from them
  • you must register with HM Revenue and Customs (opens in a new window) as an employer. A Direct Payment support service can help you to do this. If you decide to do this yourself please contact the New Employers Helpline on 0300 200 3211 or you could contact your local Tax Office for advice.
  • you must pay your personal assistant no less than the minimum wage. You will also need to keep up to date with any changes to this rate. HM Revenue and Customs (opens in a new window) will give you advice on these rates
  • There will be occasions when your personal assistant is unable to work because of sickness. The personal assistant may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay. You will need to check the qualifying conditions with HM Revenue and Customs (opens in a new window)
  • you must be aware of working time regulations and your responsibilities as an employer
  • as an employer you will need to be aware that your personal assistant is entitled to annual leave. It is advisable that you check the current entitlement and make sure you keep up to date with changes
  • You may have to offer a stakeholder pension scheme to your personal assistants. This depends on how many staff you employ and you should check if this applies to you. Please contact the Pension Schemes Services Helpline on 0845 600 2622.

Who can I contact for more advice?

You can contact the Access, Triage and Intervention Service (ATIS) please call 01905 768053.

Penderels Trust

Offer advice, guidance and practical solutions to enable people with disabilities and older people to live independently in their own homes, to achieve their goals in life and to help them play an active part in their community. For more help with personal budgets and direct payments visit the Penderels Trust website.