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Employing a home assistant

Your home assistant will almost always work exclusively for your family during their agreed hours of work.  This means that, unlike many other care agency models, (who employ their staff directly and allocate daily), this form of companionship provides you with consistency and control.  Employing a home assistant directly means that you have a greater say in the type of support that you would like – for example the duties they will be required to carry out and their days and hours of work.
However, employing a home assistants also means that you need to understand the implications of being an employer.
Helen Mussen Owner Happy Families Nannies
Helen Mussen Owner Happy Families Nannies

Why employ a home assistant directly?

  • You have the control over the times and days that you would like them to work
  • You will work with them to decide on their duties and roles
  • Long-term relationship with one person
  • You will be paying them directly, so your money is not being spent on expensive on-going agency overheads
  • Employment protection for both parties (e.g. notice period, contract of employment)

Obligations as an employer

It is very important to choose your home assistant with care, as they will have a very important part to play in your/your family member’s life.  Before you start interviewing candidates, we will support you in writing  a simple ‘job spec’, setting out what your priorities are in terms of the duties you will expect of the them, and the qualities you would like them to possess.  

For example, is it your priority to ensure that your home assistant spends most of their time in companionship/social roles, or do you require more assistance with day to day functional activities?.  Do you want someone who is very proactive, or would you prefer to take control over the structure of their days?  What qualities are essential, and which could be compromised on?

As an employer you will have certain responsibilities such as:

  • paying the income tax and national insurance (both employee and employer) for your home assistant
  • providing them with payslips
  • ensuring that they have statutory employment rights such as paid holiday, sick pay, a pension etc.
  • having a formal contract of employment.  This protects you as the employer, as well as ensuring that your home assistant’s rights are protected.

Happy Families is very experienced at advising on the key issues to consider (such as costs, legal responsibilities) when deciding if employing someone directly is the right choice for you.  We can also provide support in drafting legal contracts and direct you towards payroll providers.

Helen Mussen Owner Happy Families Nannies