The PA Employer Pathway

Explore the path to becoming a PA Employer. This is broken down into 7 easy steps.

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.

PA Employers Employment Responsibilities

This outlines the types of responsibilities that PA Employers have towards their employees, covering the recruitment and on-going support of PAs, as well as the administration required as an employer.

The Law: Things You Must Do

When you become a PA Employer there are certain legal responsibilities that you take on. Whilst these might seem daunting at first, it is important to know that you can get a lot of support to understand these and to meet the responsibilities you have, from both an Independent Support organisation and your Council.

Training for PA Employers and PAs

PA employers have a responsibility to ensure that their PA(s) receive any relevant training related to their role. It is important that a PA adheres to the guidance given within training as this is often a legal requirement.

The Role and Responsibilities of a PA (for PA Employers)

The Personal Assistant (PA) role involves much more than personal care. There are many potential roles and responsibilities for a PA which should be specified prior to recruitment.

Personal Outcomes and PA Employers

PA Employers are likely to identify their Personal Outcomes in their Personal Outcomes Plan (or Support Plan). These will focus on what’s important to the Employer and what they would like to achieve.

Employing Family Members

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.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG): For PA Employers

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) is a membership scheme which makes sure its members are allowed to work with children or protected adults. Anyone who wants to work with children or vulnerable adults will need to have a PVG check first and become members of the scheme. PA Employers will need to request a PVG check for any new potential PAs they look to employ.

Covering the cost of PVG checks for Social Care Workers

The Scottish Government has agreed to cover the cost of PVG checks for Social Care Workers (and comparable roles in Justice and Children’s Services) from 1 October 2022 – 31 March 2023, as part of actions to support winter resilience across the health and care system.

The Role of Local Authorities (Councils)

Local Authorities have an important role in making sure that SDS works well and PA Employers have the information and support they need to meet their needs.

The Role of Information and Support Organisations

Local Independent Support Organisations provide free information and guidance at any stage of the SDS process, often from people who have experience of being a PA employer. Using a local organisation like this can help employers understand the process, prepare for their next steps and access services that make being a PA employer easier.

PA Employment Status

Learn about the PA's employment status and why it is important to understand the basis of the relationship with the paid worker.

Self-Employed PAs

It is important for PA Employers to understand the difference in employment status between an employee and a self employed PA. This is because it can be very difficult to identify someone as being a self employed worker. If this is not done correctly, this could lead to significant financial costs for the PA Employer, which could even happen many years after the PA had worked.

The Recruitment Process

When a PA Employer decides to recruit a Personal Assistant, there are a number of things they need to think about and plan for. So for example, it will be important to have a clear job written description for the PA, a plan to advertise the job and a plan to cover the interviewing of potential PAs. It is important that the expectations under employment law are followed during the recruitment process.

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.

Budget Considerations

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

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.

PAs Role in Helping to Administer Medication

It might not always be appropriate for Personal Assistants to administer medicine and in many cases training by professionals is required which will be the responsibility of the employer but PAs have responsibilities here too.

Pensions and Auto-Enrolment (Workplace Pensions)

Automatic enrolment was introduced in stages from 2012. Every employer with at least one member of staff now has a responsibility for putting those who meet certain criteria into a workplace pension scheme and for contributing towards it. This includes those who employ a PA(s).

Disclaimer

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.