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Your responsibilities when hiring a carer

Carers can provide extra help and assistance for those who require it, including older people and those with medical conditions or disabilities. By taking care of you in your own home, carers can help you maintain your independence and make difficult tasks more manageable.

Carers can assist with duties such as shopping, preparing meals, helping you take your medication, driving and personal care, including washing and dressing.

Employing a carer automatically makes you an employer, which means you will have responsibilities to your employee. Here are some things you will need consider before hiring your own carer.

Advertise the role

To find potential candidates, you will first need to advertise the job. You can use job boards such as Indeed and Reed to outline the role and attract people to apply. You’ll also need to create a job description listing all the tasks you’ll be needing help with, describing any skills or qualifications you’d like your carer to have, as well as providing an estimate of rate of pay and working hours.


You will need to pay your carer at least the National Minimum Wage, but some carers will set their own rates of pay. Wages can be negotiated based on experience, hours of work, qualifications and other circumstances.

You will also be responsible for taking any necessary National Insurance and tax reductions from your employee’s wages.

Time off is a legal requirement for carers
Time off is a legal requirement for carers

Time Off

Like any other employee, your carer will be entitled to sick pay, holidays and any other appropriate time off required by law. You can decide how many holidays to provide your employee with, as well as set their rate of sick pay, as long as it is in accordance with relevant employment law.

The working hours you set for your carer should also comply with the limits and restrictions on maximum working hours in the UK. You can find out more about working hours and time off on the Gov UK website.

Contract of Employment

When hiring a carer, you’ll be required to draw up a contract for both yourself and your employee to sign. The contract should set out the terms and conditions of employment, information on wages, hours of work, holiday allowance, sick pay and notice periods.

The contract should also clearly describe the job role, tasks and responsibilities and provide a job title for your employee. Having a contract in place can help to avoid difficult disputes that could be caused by your employee being unclear about what’s expected of them.


As soon as you hire a carer, you will need to get Employers’ Liability Insurance. This form of insurance is a legal requirement and you can end up being fined £2,500 every day that you’re employing someone but don’t have suitable cover. Employers’ Liability Insurance will protect you if your employee has an accident or injury at work and is entitled to compensation.

Public Liability Insurance is optional, but is still something you should consider having in place. This type of insurance will protect you against any damage or injury you or your carer cause to another person while they’re working for you.

For more information on the benefits insurance can offer you when you’re employing a carer, why not check out our Independent Living Insurance policy benefits?

Right to work in the UK

Before hiring a carer, you’ll need to make sure they’re eligible to work in the UK. During the recruitment process, you should be sure to check the documents of all your applicants. Documentation includes passports or other ID, as well as visas. You should keep copies of these in case you should ever need to refer to them.

Hiring a carer can bring many benefits
Hiring a carer can bring many benefits

Disclosure and Barring Checks

People who work with vulnerable people are required to undergo Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks (previously known as CRB checks). These will check if your potential employee has a criminal record and whether or not they are suitable to become your carer.

You should ensure that anyone applying for the role has a valid, up to date DBS check and obtain a copy of this before interviewing them.

Please note that this content was correct at time of publication (24.02.2020). From time to time, changes in regulation may impact the accuracy of the information provided.

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