Advocacy Services

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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 Employer’s Responsibilities to their PAs During COVID-19

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The legal responsibilities that an employer has when dealing with issues that relate to COVID-19 and the employment of their PAs. This covers areas such as Risk Assessments, Face coverings, enhanced cleaning and vaccination.

An Introduction to Self-directed Support (for PA Employers)

This is a short introduction to Self Directed Support, including the 4 Options and where to go for further information and support.

Annually Uprated Costs

There might be increases in the cost of certain things that a PA Employer would need to be aware of. A PA Employer can check on this themselves or they can ask a Payroll Company to do this for them.

Budget Considerations

A closer look at what costs a budget needs to cover when employing staff, like the basic rate of pay, and how to allow for costs that might or might not happen

Case Study: How an Independent Support Organisation Assisted Paul to Recruit 4 PAs

Paul has successfully employed PAs to fit his support better into family life

Changing an Employment Contract

Before you make a change to an employee's conditions or contract, this section tells you what you need to be aware of. Change is best undertaken when all options have been considered with the employee's involvement and agreement.

Changing Your SDS Option

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There are 4 Options under Self Directed Support. These are about how a person's care and support can be arranged and how the money that is needed to pay for this is managed. A PA employer could change their SDS Option at any time. However, each Option might change the way in which support is arranged for that person, so they need to think about how each Option relates to their own personal circumstances.

Employers’ Liability Insurance for PA Employers

This article explains what Employers' Liability Insurance is, why PA Employers need it, and how to get it.

Employing Family Members

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It is possible to employ a family member to provide support. However, this must be supported by the Local Authority's agreement. There are also other considerations.

Ending a PA’s Employment

If a PA Employer decides not to employ someone after their probationary period, there are certain things they need to do. If the PA Employer decides that they would like to bring someone's employment to an end, there are certain things they will need to do to make sure they comply with employment legislation. This covers areas such as giving PAs Notice and Dismissal.

Equality and Diversity Considerations

PA Employers need to treat their PAs fairly and not to discriminate against them on the basis of a personal or 'Protected Characteristic', such as their gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity or martial status.

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.

Finishing with Being an Employer

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There might be a number of reasons why someone no longer wants to be a PA Employer. This could because the employer's circumstances have changed and they would prefer not to be an employer anymore, or their needs have changed and they require a different type of support. Whatever the reason might be, there are a number of things the PA Employer needs to be aware of and manage when bringing the PAs employment to an end.


The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is concerned with respecting the rights of individuals when processing their personal information. A PA Employer has a range of responsibilities under GDPR in the way in which they store personal information about their PA.

General Employment Issues

A general outline of the employment issues related to becoming a PA Employer.

Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland Information

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland, was set up to administer ILF for existing recipients of the fund in Scotland. ILF Scotland provides financial awards to over 3,000 disabled people in Scotland and Northern Ireland to help them live independently. Their funding enables individuals to pay for care so that they can be supported in their homes and within their local communities. Many people receiving ILF Funding also employ their own PAs. ILF Scotland also administer other specific funds available to disabled people.

Introduction to Employer Responsibilities

Becoming a PA employer involves considering a significant amount of information. This can feel overwhelming, especially if people have several other commitments. It may not be as onerous a task as first anticipated though.

Introduction to Health and Safety

Working in a safe way is a legal requirement and an employer is responsible for the health and safety of their employees in the workplace which could be your home. The main areas to be aware of are listed here.

Is being a PA Employer for me?

Things to consider when deciding to be an employer and some case studies to share other PA employer's experiences.


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.