Can I be a Carer as well as a PA?

You may be working as a Personal Assistant (PA) and also have a caring role(s) in your life. It could be important to know if you are a carer as you might be able to access further support for yourself, or for the person you care for.

How do I know if I am a carer?

There is a bit of legislation in Scotland titled ‘The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016’. This sets out the definition of a carer and young carer in Scotland. This law came into effect from 1st April 2018.

The definition of a carer

You are a ‘carer’ if you provide (or intend to provide) care for another person, but not:

  • if this is only because of that person’s age (where they are under 18) or
  • if you are caring because you have a contract (such as being employed as a PA) or as voluntary work

The previous definition for being identified as a ‘carer’ no longer applies.

So for example:

  • You can be caring for someone for any number of hours
  • You do not need to be providing a ‘substantial’ amount of care for someone on a regular basis

The definition of a young carer

You are a ‘young carer’ if you are a carer (as above) and are also :

  • under the age of 18
  • 18 or over, but still attending school

The definition of an adult carer

You are an ‘adult carer’ if you meet the criteria for a carer above and are aged 18 or over and not attending school.

Kinship carers

A kinship carer (usually a relative or close friend looking after a child in place of their parents) can be a carer under the Carers Act, even where they have a Kinship Carer Agreement with the Local Authority.

This is only for kinship carers who meet the other requirements of the meaning of ‘carer’ above, so not where the care is simply because of the child’s age.

Next steps

Take a look at the Scottish Government’s ‘Carers’ Charter’ resource below to guide you in more detail.

Part of
Last Updated
13 July 2022
First Published
13 May 2022
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Please note that the information contained in this Handbook is provided for guidance purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Self Directed Support Scotland or any other contributing party.

The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal and professional advice from a lawyer about employment law matters, or an accountant/ tax specialist about taxation matters, and from HMRC and your insurers. You should not rely solely on the information in this Handbook. Support organisations listed in this Handbook can help you find appropriate sources of advice.