Payroll Services in Scotland

Payroll services support people who receive Direct Payments to employ Personal Assistants.

Direct Payments enable people to purchase services they need to lead an independent life, including employing their own Personal Assistant (PA). Many people with a Direct Payment will use a payroll service to help with their duties as an employer.

A payroll service can provide the following types of support:

  • Make calculations and do paperwork like calculate PAs’ take-home pay, including any holiday pay, and National Insurance, Tax and pension contributions
  • Calculate any statutory payments, such as statutory sick pay, parental leave, etc.
  • Prepare documents required of employers, eg. P60 and P45 when employees start or leave
  • Act as your employer’s agent with HMRC to register them as an employer. If acting as an agent with HMRC, the payroll service deals with all HMRC administration.

Some may also carry out the following on behalf of the employer:

  • Make payments on behalf of the employer to PAs, HMRC and a pension provider
  • Deal with the management of a workplace pension scheme, including auto-enrolment, opt-in and opt-out employees.

There are a range of payroll providers offering services across Scotland.

What if my employer is using a payroll service?

If your employer is using a payroll service either yourself or your employer will complete a timesheet for the days and times you have worked. Your employer will tell you how often this should be done (eg. weekly, 4-weekly, monthly). Your employer will share the timesheet with their payroll service provider. Best practice is to have a signature from both the employee and employer on the timesheet at point of submission.

You might receive your payslip directly from the payroll service, or from your employer. This will tell you how much you will be paid after deductions (what to expect to be paid into your bank account) and if any deductions have been made, what these are and how much for.

If you have a problem with your pay or your payslip, speak to your employer first. Your employer’s payroll service will usually contact your employer to help them resolve any issues.

Next steps

Sometimes Personal Assistants are unsure who their employer is because their payslip comes from a payroll service. Your payslip should have your employer’s name on it. See the article below “Knowing Who Your Employer Is” to learn more.


Part of
Last Updated
23 January 2024
First Published
01 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.