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

There may be a change in your employer’s 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 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.

If there is a change in your employer’s circumstances, they may wish to change the terms and conditions in your contract.  If they want to do this, they must inform you and other employees who might be affected.

Reduction in the number of hours employed

If your employer is looking to reduce the number of hours you work, this may mean a change in the terms and conditions of your employment. The employer needs 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 the person you support is moving into a residential or nursing home, your PA role might no longer be needed. If this is the case, you might be made redundant from your PA role and the employer would be expected to follow the requirements of employment legislation around redundancy.

If a PA employer chooses a different SDS Option

If your employer decides that they do not want to continue to be a PA employer and would prefer to change to another Option under Self-directed Support, then there are rules around employment that have to be checked.

If your employer decides to choose an agency to provide the 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 in this case, where a PA employer has chosen an agency to provide the support instead, there will need to be a discussion to see if their PAs can be transferred to the employment of the agency.

The person being supported moves to a different area

If the person being supported decides to move home, whether that be in the same Local Authority area or not, this might affect their PAs’ ability to continue to provide support. In this case there should be a discussion about possible changes to the contract of employment, or it may lead to the PA being made redundant due to a change in the location of the workplace.

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 is 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 employer’s 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 PA’s employer, which would require a change to the contract of employment.

If the person being supported passes away

If the person being supported passes away, then their PAs’ employment comes to an end. In this situation, the rules around redundancy apply, and whoever is managing the person’s 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
26 January 2024
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.