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Employing your own Personal Assistant (PA) is a popular choice for Direct Payment Holders, but as an employer you have to think carefully about the obligations you will have to your employee.Purple Direct Payment Support Service is here to support you through this process.

We offer independent information, advice and guidance to support you through the process of employing your own PA, assisting with:

  • recruitment of a PA
  • advertising
  • payroll service information
  • contracts of employment
  • DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checks
  • reference checks
  • employers liability insurance
  • budgeting
  • support with completing auditing information

Many Direct Payment Holders choose to employ a Personal Assistant (PA) as a solution to their care needs.  Managing pay is therefore an important part of direct payments.

As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that your staff are paid on time and any tax, National Insurance and pension contributions are deducted where applicable. You have the choice of how to manage this.

Firstly, you may decide to manage the payroll yourself, in which case you will need to register with the Tax Office (HMRC) as a ‘new employer’. You can call the new employer’s helpline on 0300 200 3211.

They will send you a starter pack with the forms you would need to complete each time you pay your staff. They will also enclose tables to enable you to calculate tax and National Insurance.

It is important to bear in mind that you, as an employer, may have to make Employer’s National Insurance contributions also.

➡ Alternatively, Purple DPSS can offer advice regarding payroll services who can pay your staff, 4 weekly, monthly or however you wish and they will send you a payslip to give to them. They will also inform you how much to send to the Inland Revenue, if appropriate, and will deal with the end of year tax return on your behalf.

Some payroll services can also pay your staff by BACS payment (from the direct payment account, or prepaid card into the PA’s personal bank account) and pay the Inland Revenue from your direct payment account or prepaid card, hence making the process easier to manage.

The payroll service will also assist you as an employer to comply with the Pension Regulations which require all employers to have available a pension scheme for staff who either qualify through earnings or elect to join a scheme.

➡ DPSS strongly advises the use of a payroll service and to pay all staff through the PAYE (pay as you earn) scheme. You can still do this even if the Personal Assistant you wish to employ states that they are ‘self-employed’*. A person may say they are self-employed, but if they do not declare their earnings received from you to HMRC, you will be responsible for any tax or NI due, this is why it is advisable to pay them through PAYE, preferably using a payroll service.

Our advisors can produce a budget to show how to use the direct payment taking into account all anticipated expenditure.

Our Employment Advice & Guidance Officers can be contacted on 01992 367297  and will assist to set up payroll with an approved provider.

A discussion around pay rate is for you to have directly with the PA you wish to employ. Please consider that national living wage is £9.50 per hour from April 2022 and many PA’s would expect more than this, especially if self-employed with other expenses. We have seen previous vacancies range anywhere from £11 to £15 per hour, dependent on the hours, support required, and other factors.

The Purple Match service is funded by Adult Social Services and is therefore available only to adults who hold a Direct Payment for themselves.

For enrollment to Purple Match, PA’s must have an enhanced DBS with adult barring list.

You are welcome to advertise that your PA may need to support with childcare. To reduce risk to you and your child, we will process a new DBS with adult and children’s barring list only if you decide to hire someone through Purple Match.

A PA can support you in many ways to assist you to be as independent as you possibly can in your own home and out in the community. During your assessment for your direct payments, you will have discussed your wellbeing outcomes and how a PA can help you.

Whether your goal is to become more active, attend more appointments and activities, eat healthy meals at regular times, or keeping on top of your household tasks, or general personal care support, the PA’s role is vital in helping you to reach those goals.

Watch our short video here to learn more