Your responsibilities when employing a professional carer
If you employ a carer directly, you will take on certain responsibilities as an employer. This is the case regardless of whether you employ someone for a few hours a week or full-time.
As an employer you may be responsible for deducting tax and National Insurance from your employee's wages and paying them to HM Revenue & Customs together with your employer's National Insurance contribution. Whether you will have to do this depends on how much your employee earns.
Your local social services department may be able to help you with the paperwork for HM Revenue & Customs.
Paying your carer
You must pay your carer at least the National Minimum Wage.
If your carer lives with you, there are special rules for calculating the value of the accommodation you provide. You can count this amount as part of your employee's pay, and it counts towards the National Minimum Wage.
Working hours, time off, sick pay and holiday pay
As an employee, your carer or personal assistant has an entitlement to:
- rest breaks
- a maximum number of working hours in any week
- holiday pay
- sick pay (in most cases)
You can find out more about your responsibilities for providing these things in the 'employment' section of nidirect.
As an employer, you must take out:
- Employer's Liability Insurance
- Public Liability Insurance
Employer's Liability Insurance covers you if your carer has an accident or is injured while working for you (in cases where you might be held responsible).
Public Liability Insurance covers you for any damage or injury you or your carer cause to anyone else while your carer is working for you.
You can sometimes include Employer's Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance in a comprehensive household insurance policy.
If you're getting direct payments to pay for your care, your local authority must include the cost of Employer's Liability Insurance in the amount it gives you. You can find out more about both types of liability insurance on the NI Business Info website.
Creating a written statement of employment
If you employ
your carer for one month or more you must give them a written statement of the terms and conditions of their employment within two months of them starting work for you. The statement must include:
- hours of work
- holiday entitlement
- sick pay arrangements
- notice periods
- information about disciplinary and grievance procedures
Respite care or short-term breaks
If you're usually cared for by a family member or relative, you may want to have a professional carer visit from time to time to give your regular carer a break. This is called 'respite care' and is usually provided by the social services department of your local trust.
You would not usually have any employment responsibilities for a respite carer.