Knowing Who Your Employer Is

Being a Personal Assistant (PA) means that you are employed by an individual, not an agency.

Most of the time you will be employed by the person that you are supporting. You are taking direction from them and are working to support their independence, participation in the life of their community and quality of life.

There can be times as a PA where you may be employed by a different person. This could be the parent or Guardian of the person you support. In the case of children and young people, that person if likely to be the child’s parent. Where it is an adult who lacks a certain level of capacity, you might be employed by that person’s Power of Attorney or Welfare Guardian.

In both cases, your employer is not the person you are supporting. This can sometimes make a difference when you are actively supporting the person who needs your support. Your employer may have given you clear instructions about how to provide the support needed, but the person you are supporting may like to do things in a different way. If you come across this situation, it would be helpful to speak to your employer about it, as they may be able to give you further guidance on what you need to do when providing support.

If you think there is any increased risk to the person you support or yourself, it would be helpful to let your employer know as soon as possible, as they might need to reconsider how support is provided and talk to the person you are supporting.

Next steps

If you’re not sure who your employer is, you can check in 3 ways:

  1. Ask the person you support
  2. Check your payslip, as this will have the name of your employer there
  3. Check your Contract of Employment, which should name your employer
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Last Updated
20 June 2022
First Published
01 April 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.