FAQs / Employers
What is a Personal Assistant (PA)?
A Personal Assistant is an employed person who gives support with everyday tasks as directed by the Employer, these could include:
- assistance with personal care
- support with tasks at home
- accompanying someone to access the community/social opportunities
- enable the development of independent living skills
The PA should provide the right assistance at the right time, ensuring that the Employer has choice and remains in control of their life.
Who is the employer?
If you choose to recruit a PA, you will be the recognised employer. All recruitment responsibility lies with you as the employer and not with LinkMeUp or your local authority.
Is being an employer complicated?
Once the start up paperwork is completed, being an employer is fairly straight forward (although we recognise there are some exceptions to the rule). LinkMeUp can help you to complete the paperwork, including:
- setting you up as an employer with HMRC
- purchasing Employers Liability Insurance
- calculating rates of pay and holiday entitlement
- writing a job description and contract
- arranging your payroll/fund holding
How do I recruit a PA?
Look through the PA profiles, if you find one or more people that you think would be a good PA for you, note down their reference numbers and contact us to arrange an interview.
Alternatively you can recruit someone independently.
Can I recruit a friend or family member as a PA?
If you are receiving funding through your local authority to pay your PA, you are not allowed to employ a family that lives with you (apart from in extenuating circumstances). It's important to recognise that the rapport between employer and employer is very different to that of friends or family members, and this can change can put a strain on existing relationships.
Do I have to interview the PA?
It is strongly recommended that you are involved in the interview process, to ensure that you’re happy with your potential PA and they can support you as you choose. LinkMeUp can provide support including help to think of questions, arranging an interview room so you don’t have to do it in your own home, and being present at the interview.
How do I know that the PAs on the register have a history free of criminal behaviour and are allowed to work in the UK?
As part of the registration process, all PAs who apply to join the register are required to complete a DBS check (formerly CRB check) and a Right to Work check.
What is a DBS check and does my PA need one?
A DBS check provides information on a person’s criminal record. It is strongly recommended that anyone who is employing a Personal Assistant (even friends and family members) requests the completion of a DBS check. All PAs on the register have had a DBS check on joining and this will be renewed every two years. If you require a DBS check for someone independent of the register contact us.
How can I check that my PA has the Right to Work in the UK?
As an employer you are legally responsible for ensuring that your PA has the Right to Work in the UK. All PAs on the LinkMeUp register have already been vetted to make sure they have the Right to Work in the UK.
If you want to employ someone independently of the register it is important to carry out your own checks. Follow the tool to find out if your potential PA has the Right to Work in the UK. Alternatively contact Vibrance to help you through the process.
Do I need to issue a contract of employment?
Employers are legally required to issue a contract within two months of commencement of employment. Use our template (PDF) or we can support you to write your own (additional charge may apply).
How much annual leave should I give my PA?
All employees are annually entitled to 5.6 weeks paid leave, so if you have a PA that works 10 hours per week, they are entitled to 56 hours holiday per year (this can be inclusive of bank holidays). Calculate annual leave and complete a holiday form (PDF)
What is Employers Liability Insurance and do I need it?
By law all employers are required to have Employer's Liability Insurance - this provides cover if your employee has an accident whilst working for you.
There are a number of companies who provide Employer's Liability Insurance and, like any insurance, the level of cover varies from policy to policy. Companies include
Where can I go for Employment advice?
LinkMeUp can provide information, advice and guidance around employment. Alternatively you can access information through:
- Your chosen insurance provider
- ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
- HMRC (HM Revenues and Customs)
What if I have a problem with my PA?
It is advised that you deal with small issues before they escalate – this is why it is important to have a detailed job description and contract in place. Vibrance can provide advice about this. If the issue cannot be resolved informally, some providers of Employers’ Liability Insurance provide legal support as part of their cover. Alternatively ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) can provide employment support.
Do I need to provide training for my PA?
Training is an essential part of employee development, and it is important that training needs are identified as part of your PA induction and reviewed at 1:1s. Vibrance can provide information and advice to identify relevant training (for example moving and handling, administering medication and impairment specific training). Where there is a cost involved this would have to be agreed between you and your PA.
Skills for Care, who have kindly supported the development of LinkMeUp, provide a range of information for individual employers and PAs, particularly around training funding and opportunities.
Do I have to pay to use the LinkMeUp service?
If you receive a direct payment (DP), personal budget (PB) or personal health budget (PHB) and live in one of our contracted areas, you will be able to access the service free of charge. Alternatively you can use your DP, PB, PHB or own funds to access the service.