Employing a carer

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Mibs, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Mibs

    Mibs Registered User

    May 26, 2014
    73
    Derbyshire
    Yes, that's right, me employing a carer to look after my husband. This caring solution was suggested to me by my Alzheimer's Society contact (lovely lady) but I'm afraid she was a bit put out by my reaction.
    Lots of things came to mind immediately- Employment Act, pay scale, NI, tax, sick pay, holiday pay, risk assessment procedure, insurance, grievance procedure, disciplinary procedure, dismissal, length of notice etc etc.
    I couldn't see any positives in her suggestion, but she already had a couple of people in mind who she could send to me for interview.
    As if my life isn't demanding enough, I could branch out and add 'employer' to the list.
    Anyone else out there employing staff ??
     
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,547
    Female
    England
    I think Izzy does by direct payments and there are probably several others. Hopefully they will post their experiences.
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Depending on where you are, there are charities who could do the employment bit for you. They aren't everywhere but there are some.
     
  4. Leswi

    Leswi Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    120
    Bedfordshire
    If the carer works on a self employed basis they are responsible for their own tax,NI etc so would that help you a bit?
     
  5. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,903
    Female
    Dundee
    #5 Izzy, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
    You're right Jean I do. The thing is that I think we are in a bit of a different position here in Scotland. Fortunately we have free personal care for the elderly. That means that those over 65 (I think it is) get a number of hours of care free of charge if they are assessed as needing that personal care. The SW department pays their contribution into a designated account every four weeks. Bill's contribution (we are told what that is and it ends up more or less his higher rate attendance allowance payment) is paid into the same account.

    The Dundee Carers Centre organises the whole employment thing for me. I send them the 4 weekly time sheets and they send me the payslips for the carers. I then transfer the wages into the carers' accounts. I get letters which tell me when and how much to send to the tax people.

    At the moment they are introducing self directed payments in our area. I think that the difference is that this is more flexible for people who want it that way. People will be bow to mix employing their own carers with services from the council. The management of the system can be taken over for them or they can do the paperwork as I do. Personally I'm happy with what we have. I do the paperwork and it isn't overwhelming.

    If I had to do everything from scratch (like a real employer) I doubt if I would do it.
     
  6. Mibs

    Mibs Registered User

    May 26, 2014
    73
    Derbyshire
    This suggestion was definately me being the employer with all the additional responsibilities that carries. When I spoke to one of the applicants, he said he thought he could earn more money than at an agency
    If this idea is a by product of direct payments, it should come with a detailed description of an employer's responsibilties.
     
  7. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,903
    Female
    Dundee
    #7 Izzy, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  8. Mibs

    Mibs Registered User

    May 26, 2014
    73
    Derbyshire
    On a lighter note, I'm more and more taken with the idea of moving to Scotland. Is it the 'Nicola Sturgeon' effect, elderly care seems to be completely sorted!
     
  9. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,244
    Male
    North Manchester
    "...This suggestion was definately me being the employer with all the additional responsibilities that carries..."


    I think that technically Izzy is the employer but all the legal formalities and accounting are handled by a third party ( Izzy please correct me if necessary).

    You need to find an organisation, or preferably a charity as suggested by jenniferpa, to take on this task. Perhaps the 'lovely lady' from Azheimers could suggest one.
     
  10. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,903
    Female
    Dundee
    From what I can recall it was introduced in 2002 but I'm prepared to be proved wrong. I wish it was available across the UK.
     
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,863
    Kent
    #11 Grannie G, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
    I received Direct Payments to employ an agency carer but the agency did all the paperwork.

    All I had to do was open a separate current account to receive the direct payments and then write a cheque when the invoice came in.

    The agency did everything else.

    I think your best bet mibs would be to contact a local agency and discuss the pros and cons with them. It might turn out to be easier than you thought, just another case of using a hammer to crack a walnut.

    PS I could have been a proper employer but like you didn't have the energy or mind set to cope with the stress. The agency way was much better.
     
  12. Mibs

    Mibs Registered User

    May 26, 2014
    73
    Derbyshire
    Thanks to all for your responses.
     
  13. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,675
    North West
    Presumably your priority is to find someone who is good at the job and trustworthy. If they are good they will probably be working with other people already. You are not required to become a formal 'employer', with all the bureaucracy and other tedious stuff that comes with that. You can pay them just as you might pay a cleaner or a window cleaner.
     
  14. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,475
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Isn't it different if you are using Direct Payments ie funds provided by LA? With all the auditing requirements for public bodies I would be surprised if it could be as simple as when you are using your own money to pay a cleaner, gardener etc.
     
  15. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,675
    North West
    Yes, I expect direct payments complicate the issue. Sorry - I missed that in Mibs' post.
     
  16. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,289
    SW London
    Yes - unless you would be employing someone full time their tax and N.I. etc would surely be their own, self-employed concern.
     
  17. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,475
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Just looked up the guidance on what makes someone an 'employee'as opposed to a 'worker' or self-employed, at least as far as HMRC is concerned. It does seem like bit of a minefield!

    I'm thinking that to protect myself if I were employing a carer I would want the person to provide me with documentary proof that HMRC were satisfied that they had self-employed status.


    https://www.gov.uk/employment-status/worker
     
  18. Yasmine

    Yasmine Registered User

    Apr 9, 2015
    12
    Yes, as Witzend stated, hiring a carer fulltime would mean they're using their own tax id
     
  19. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    In our area Leonard Cheshire run courses telling you what you need to do regarding the admin. I went to this and once I found out how much was involved then agree with you Mibs- I do not know where I would find the time for all this extra admin as my husband needs such a lot of care. Here you get help setting everything up in the first year then you are on your own.Lots of people on the course had already gone down the direct payments route and not one of these was aware of all the complexities of what they had taken on.
    One of my carers who comes via an agency told me that her friend, also a carer, was privately employed under direct payments when she injured her back two years ago. She has been unable to work since and has received no payment following this injury. I think there may be cover for domestic staff under household contents insurance but I am unsure as to whether this would cover a carer employed under direct payments.
    Tre
     
  20. Tara62

    Tara62 Registered User

    I employ two part-time carers for my father. I do it privately (not through an agency). I just do what a previous poster said - pay them like I'd pay a window cleaner. I haven't done any special legal or tax stuff.
     

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