Inducting your PAs
When you recruit a Personal Assistant, it is a good idea to do a formal induction on the first day. Some things can be introduced as and when appropriate, but there are some basic things that all PAs should know right from the start.
This article gives you suggestions for things you could include in your PA’s induction.
Written statement of employment or contract of employment
You should give your PA a written statement that sets out the terms and conditions of their employment. You can find out more about what you should include in a contract, and how to get help to write one, in the link at the bottom of this page.
Regular work meetings with your PA
It is good practice for both parties to meet regularly to discuss how things are going and where either party can raise any work issues. Notes should be taken at these meetings that both parties should sign as being accurate.
Both parties should be confident that they are able to raise any issues that arise and that the other party will listen to them. It is a good idea to discuss with your PA how you will communicate with each other in case any difficulties or disagreements arise.
When you induct your PA it is a good opportunity to help them understand your values and what is important to you.
If your PA is on a regular shift pattern, you should let them know how much notice they need to give you if they need to change their shift.
When you induct your PA, it is a good idea to go over any house rules you have if they are supporting you in your home, for example when they are allowed to take personal calls. You should also explain what you want them to do if equipment or belongings are accidentally damaged.
Driving your vehicle and insurance
If your PA is required to use your vehicle (or a vehicle that belongs to someone else), explain any procedures for this during their induction. You also need to make sure your PA is fully insured to use the vehicle.
If you have a team of PAs, you should discuss how you want them to work together as a team. It’s a good idea to involve other PAs from the team in the new PA’s induction, if you can.
Explain to your PA the procedures for taking breaks during work.
Care plan or work notebook
If you would like your PA to use a care plan or work notebook to note down anything significant that occurs while they are working, explain how to do this during their induction, and the type of things you want them to record.
Explain to your PA what they should do if they are unwell, and what documents they need to give you if they are off for an extended period, eg. a sick note from their doctor. You should also explain how your PA can book holidays and days off.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your PAs receive any mandatory training required so they can do their job safely. You should discuss with your PA during the induction how the training will be provided and when. You can find out more about training in the link at the bottom of this page.
It is good practice to have a plan in place in the event of an emergency, particularly if your PA will be working on their own at any time. In the induction, make sure your PA knows where any emergency plan is kept and who to contact in an emergency. It is also a good idea to explain what to do if you, or the person being supported, is unexpectedly admitted to hospital and how this could affect the PA’s employment.
Health and safety
When you induct your PA, you should go over any health and safety measures you have in place. It’s a good idea to discuss and agree your PA’s responsibilities if an emergency eg. a fire occurs when they are at work. It is worthwhile to work with your PA on a personal evacuation plan that you both can become familiar with.
If you have an accident book where all accidents or near misses are recorded, let your PA know where this is and how to use it.
Induction should cover how you expect your PA to treat any information they may become party to in their work. If you have a confidentiality policy, share this with your PA and check they understand it. You should also explain how you will treat your PA’s information, for example their address and bank details. Find out more about confidentiality and data protection at work in the link to the article ‘GDPR’ at the bottom of this page.
Check out the articles below for more information on each of the topics. A local Independent Support Organisation may be able to help you think about and plan an induction process for your PAs. Search for their details using the Find Help search tool below.