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 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

Case Study: Mary Takes on a PA for her Father with Dementia

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

Hot topic
Find out more about the different options you have for arranging your support. You can choose how much control and responsibility you want to take when it comes to arranging and managing your support.

Covid-19 guidance for PA Employers

Hot topic
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 an Employer of Personal Assistants. 

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

Hot topic
Find out whether you can employ a family member as a Personal Assistant, and what you need to consider.

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.

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.

Finishing with Being an Employer

Hot topic
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.

Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland Information

Find out more about the Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland, which enables people to purchase social care support to help them meet outcomes that are important to them. Many people receiving ILF Funding also employ their own PAs.

Inducting your PAs

What your new PA needs to know on their first day, and suggestions for things to cover with them so they get off to a good start in their role.

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.


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.