A Guide on how to set up as a Self-Employed PA

A short guide outlining key areas for PAs to consider if they are looking to become a self-employed PA.

Adult Support and Protection

PAs have responsibilities for preventing harm to vulnerable people, which could mean their employer, and should report their concerns. This article tells you when and how.

Advocacy Services

Hot topic
Advocacy is a way to help people have a stronger voice when talking about their needs so they can have as much control as possible over their own lives. Independent advocates don't work for the council and put your needs first and details on how to find one near you are here.

An Introduction to Self-directed Support (for PAs)

A basic introduction to what SDS is, how you can access support and the 4 options of SDS

Being Employed as a PA by a Family Member

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It is possible for a PA to be employed by a family member to provide care and support to them. However, this is still seen as an 'exceptional circumstance', which means it wouldn't normally happen unless it is for specific reasons.

Changing an Employment Contract: Employer Responsibilities

When it migfht be possible to change the terms of an employment contract and what the employer responsibilities are

Checking Your Employment Rights

To understand your employment rights you need to know what your employment status is and this provides further information on the relevant rights for different types of workers

Child Protection

Find out what your duties are as a PA, to protect children who are at risk of abuse.

Covid-19 guidance for Personal Assistants

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There are now no official Covid-19 rules or restrictions in Scotland. However, this page includes some things you may wish to consider around Covid-19 as a Personal Assistant.

Dealing with Pension Queries and Difficulties

Information about pensions, automatic enrolment in workplace pensions, and where to go for more information and help.

Description of the Personal Assistant (PA)

A personal assistant (PA) works directly with one or more disabled people, to support them with various aspects of their daily life so that they can live it in a way they choose. Find out more about the role of a Personal Assistant here.

Developing Your Relationship With Your Employer

Why it's important to develop a positive working relationship with your employer, which builds trust, openness and flexibility.

Disability Discrimination at Work

Increasing the understanding of what disability discrimination is and when an employer can make decisions based on disability

Disabled PAs and Reasonable Adjustments

What is a reasonable adjustment, what do employers have to do and what can employees expect

Employment Legal Advice

Sometimes when you think you've been treated unfairly, the good legal advice is important. You should always try to resolve an issue in the workplace if you can, and support networks can help. When this process fails you may need to find employment legal advice.

Exclusivity Clauses in Zero Hour Contracts

An exclusivity clause in a zero hours contract is when the employer prevents an employee from working for someone else, even though they themselves do not guarantee any hours of work. This article explains how this is relevant to PAs and PA Employers, and what to do next.

Finding out if a PA is Employed or Self-Employed

Hot topic
It is important for anyone considering taking on a PA to understand the difference in employment status between an employee and a self-employed PA. This can affect their legal relationship and financial agreements between them. Find out more about how to determine if a PA is employed or self-employed.

Help with Moving from Benefits to Starting Work

How a Job Centre Plus work coach can support you to move from benefits into paid employment when you start work.

History of the PA Role

The Personal Assistant (PA) role was developed by disabled people as they campaigned for equality. Find out more about the journey taken by disabled people with a specific focus on the development of the PA role here.

How to Manage Performing Duties Outside of Your Job Description (Or ‘Any Other Reasonable Duties’)

Understanding what 'Any other reasonable duties' means in practise and when to have a further discussion with your employer about this.


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.