The guide for people employing or thinking of employing a Personal Assistant.

A personal assistant (PA) in social care is an employee of someone typically receiving an Option One Direct Payment to pay for their support needs. A PA’s role is to provide support as their employer directs to help their employer live their day-to-day life and work towards their ‘personal outcomes.’

Within this handbook we have also provided some information on arrangements a direct payment holder may have to engage a self-employed worker. However, as a handbook for PA employers, most of the information relates to employment, including the risks in engaging self-employed workers who might still be regarded as employees under employment or tax law.


View the Personal Assistant Employer Handbook by type of information
Key information you need to know

Access free information or support

Anyone needing support, whether already accessing social care or just taking first steps, can access free information or support.

Find Help will locate organisations relevant to your needs and help you make contact.

Important links to your local authority, payroll services and Independent Support Organisations can be found here and this guide can tell you about what these organisation’s roles are in supporting you.

You can simply talk through this guidance and learn so much more by finding your local Independent Support Organisation.


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.