How do I recruit a private PA or carer?
If you’ve decided that privately employing a carer or PA is right for you, you may be wondering about the next steps as you begin the recruitment process. At Fish Insurance, we understand that this process can seem daunting. And that sometimes it will take place in an emotionally challenging time in someone’s life.
Supporting our customers is at the heart of what we do. So, to help, we’ve created a series of guides to help you throughout this process. The information you’ll find covers a wide range of topics from recruitment, to ensuring your and their needs are met.
Further support included with selected policies
On top of these guides, which are accessible to everyone, our Care Protect and Healthcare Protect policies include access to a 24hr Employment Law and Health & Safety advice line. Please note that this service is not included in our Basic Protect policy.
Also, our customers can access Aquarium. This is available with our 3 core Independent Living products; Care Protect, Healthcare Protect and Basic Protect. Aquarium is an online portal with useful training and management tools to help you through the journey of employment.
Where to begin?
Ad in the paper, interviews, and job offers – easy, right? In short, yes – it can be. But it’s worth considering a few other important steps to ensure things are completed safely and legally.
Registering with HMRC
When you become an employer in the UK, you must register with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This is a legal requirement and must be done before the first payday. The reason for this, is so that you can pay National Insurance and taxes for your employees.
You should note that when you have started registration, it can take up to 15 working days. It’s worth getting this process started before you start trying to find a carer to avoid any complications. You can find out more on gov.uk about how to do this.
How do I find a private carer?
The recruitment process can be straightforward if you know where to look. Try some of these places to recruit a carer near you.
- Your local Job Centre will advertise the role for you, free of charge.
- Word of mouth by asking friends and family for recommendations is a great way to find a carer you can trust.
- Online job sites such as Indeed and Jobsite.
- Community pages such as Gumtree and local Facebook groups are worth a look.
- Hometouch is a trusted partner of Fish Insurance. The company provides a resource for finding a carer. It is a dedicated live-in-care specialist. The organisation’s website contains the profiles of available carers in the UK for you to view and make employment enquiries. Visit myhometouch.com to find out more.
It’s worth coming up with a clear, written job description when you employ a carer or personal assistant. This will help you advertise, as well as build clear expectations.
Outline the duties you’d expect from the carer, and what you expect from their skills and experience. If you’re unsure where to begin, try looking through some of the above-suggested job ad locations. This way you can see what others have written, for inspiration.
In any employment, it’s useful to have a clear written agreement of your employees’ duties when they are working for you. For example, if a certain duty isn’t being completed, you can refer to your original job description to evidence the agreement between you.
How to interview a PA or Carer?
We felt this deserved its own section, so please see our guide on the interview processes and ideas for questions.
DBS Checks for PA and care workers
The Disclosure and Barring Service is a government body. It provides a background check on someone’s criminal record. Although it’s not required, it is wise to consider requesting a check on any carers you find before their employment. You may want to do this as you’ll be placing a lot of trust in your new PA or carer. So, getting a view of their background can help you to understand their character and ethics.
Different countries within the UK have different services. Although the premise is similar, it’s worth reading about your region. To find out more, use the following government website links below based on where you live.
Do I need my PA or Carer to provide references?
When you’ve offered someone a job, it’s worth asking for references. This could be a previous client or employer in the care sector. This is especially important to make sure they’ve been truthful and honest about their experience.
Right to work in the UK
Any UK employer must gain proof from their employees that they have a right to work in the country. There are a few ways which you can do this, and it is very important that you follow these steps correctly. Failing to do so can lead to prosecution for yourself, and/or your employee.
You can do this by checking the applicant’s original documents. Or check their right to work using an online service. For more information on how to complete either process, visit the UK Government’s website.
It’s important for both you and the employee to have a contract written up at the start of employment. Contract terms should set out the conditions of employment, duties, rights, and responsibilities. There is a useful guide on gov.uk to get you started.
Exploring insurance options
It’s important to make sure you understand the types of insurance available and what’s legally required. In April 2023, the UK government states that it is a legal requirement for employers to be covered up to at least £ 5 million. This cover must come from authorised insurers. There is more info on the legal requirements for Liability Insurance on the UK Government website. You can also find out more in the following guides within this series. You’ll also find our own offering of insurance products on our website.
More from this series
If you’re looking to hire a private PA or Carer, we’ve assembled a series of useful guides to get you started. Use the links below to browse: