What Happens if There’s a Change in my Employer’s Personal Circumstances?

There may be a change in your employers life that could affect your employment in some way. These could include:

  • A change in the person’s health and well-being. This could be a deterioration in their health or an improvement
  • A change in family circumstances, such as moving home to another area
  • A change in a carers circumstances, where they might not be able to continue to provide the support they have previously
  • The person needing to move into residential or nursing care 
  • The person being admitted to hospital with the result that they cannot return home
  • The person no longer having capacity to manage the employment relationship
  • An adult protection concern being raised
  • The person not wishing to be an employer anymore and wanting to receive support under a different SDS option

The result could be:

  • The person no longer requires assistance or support to live at home
  • The person is no longer eligible for SDS funded support
  • The level of assistance or support they might need decreases
  • The type of assistance or support the person needs changes

The effect on a PA of such a change could be:

  • Reduction in the number of hours employed
  • Redundancy – as assistance or support is no longer required
  • A change in the type of assistance or support that is required, such as use of specific medical equipment

These potential changes could result in the employer looking to change the terms and conditions in a PAs contract. There are specific rules about changing employment contract changes and employers must inform:

  • You and other employees and workers who might be affected
  • Any relevant employee representatives, for example trade union or other elected employee representatives

Reduction in the number of hours employed

If the employer was looking to reduce the number of hours you work, this may mean a change in the terms and conditions of your employment. The employer would need to follow the requirements of employment legislation in relation to changing an employment contract.

The person you assist or support goes into residential care

If someone needed to move into a residential or nursing home, your PA role might no longer be needed. If this was the case, you might be made redundant from your PA role and the employer would be expected to follow the requirements of employment legislation.

The PA employer is no longer eligible for SDS funding

If a PA employers eligibility for assistance or support reduces to the point they are no longer eligible for SDS funding, they may be unable to pay for the assistance or support that the PA provides. Therefore, this might be a redundancy situation, unless the employer was able to continue to pay the PAs wages, but for a reduced level of support. This might result in a discussion about changes to the contract of employment.

If a PA employer chooses a different SDS Option

If the PA employer decides that they do not want to continue to be an employer and would prefer to change to another Option under SDS, for whatever reason, then there are other rules around employment that would have to be checked.

If the PA employer decided to choose an agency to provide their support instead, they may need to check if TUPE regulations apply. TUPE refers to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. This is where an employee may have the right to continue their employment, but for this to be transferred to another employer. This protects the employee’s rights and employment status. So for example in this case, where a PA employer has chosen an agency to provide their support instead, there will need to be a discussion to see if their PA employees can be transferred to the employment of the agency and to continue to provide support to the PA employer.

The employer moves to a different area

If an employer decides to move home, whether that be in the same Local Authority area or not, this might affect the PAs ability to continue to provide the assistance or support they do. Therefore, there might need to be discussions about possible changes to the contract of employment, or the PA being made redundant due to a change in the location of the work place.

Where an employer becomes ill and is unable to continue as an employer

There may be a situation where the PA employer becomes ill and is unable to continue to manage their PAs effectively, even with the support of other people. If this was the case, it might be possible to find someone else to take on the role of the PA employer, such as another family member or friend. In the case of an employers capacity diminishing, it may require another person to have the legal authority to manage that person’s financial and welfare needs. They might therefore need to apply for Financial and/or Welfare Guardianship. This person may then become the PAs employer, which would require a change to the contract of employment.

Where a PA Employer Passes Away

If an employer passes away, then their PA(s) employment comes to an end. In this situation, the rules around redundancy might apply and whoever is managing the employers estate will need to consider this issue.

Next steps

Take a look at the resources available below to guide you in more detail.

Part of
Last Updated
13 July 2022
First Published
02 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.