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workplace pensions - Carers UK Forum

workplace pensions

All about money
I access carers for my mother from two sources - one Bluebird Care carer and 2 from South Thames Carers managed by the Greenwich Carers' Centre. The Direct Payments Budget is held by the council who remunerate these via the Carer's Centre.

I have had a letter from the council asking that as an employer I enrol my 'employees' in workplace pensions.

I am completely foxed by this - anyone else grappling with it?
Hi Denise
Who has the letter come from? As you may know I do some paid care work for an agency alongside caring for Dad. I have been enrolled by the agency who employ me for a work placed pension. You should not be having to do this as a client so far as I know.
I would be interested to know a little more as I employ agency staff for Dad (who are all enrolled on their work place scheme that their agency pay for). I also employ a lady who has her own independant care web site to do some odd jobs for me, so I presume that means she is self employed and would take care of her own pension. She has never mentioned pensions but I have only just started arrangement and don't want to get stung later on.
She raises an invoice for me which I pay, rather than me paying her a wage and producing a payslip. I assume this means no need to worry about paying pensions?
The letter comes from the 'Adults & Older People's services' section of the council. It says 'As the employer you will need to pay a contribution from your Direct Payment budget towards your qualifying employee's pension'
I think I will have to ring them tomorrow - feel horrified that the pittance mum gets will probably be drained even more :cry:
Hi Denise

I remember hearing about this earlier in the year; I've had a look on the DWP website but couldn't find much there, although I did find this BBC report http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32935827
And many elderly or disabled people - whose carer is organised through the local authority - may find the pension contributions being paid for them.

But it is far from clear whether all local authorities will be prepared to take on the extra costs of a pension.

All the Department for Work and Pensions will say is that councils "should consider" the costs.

In the meantime, warning letters sent out by the Pensions Regulator have come as a surprise to many people who employ carers.

"It's come out of the blue, and they've just been unaware of it," said Edward Graham, head of advice and information at the charity, Carers UK.

"It's caused a very high degree of anxiety amongst many people who've received these letters."
I'd suggest that you contact the Carers UK Adviceline (probably best by email as the phones are always oversubscribed) as I know CUK probably has more up-to-date information on the situation

Surely if a person uses an agency for carers the care workers are employed by the agency. If Social Services were funding the care then SS would pay the agency and the care worker would still be employed by the care agency.
I would have thought that direct payments just enable the client to choose which agency is their care provider and cut out the SS involvement, in a similar way to those who are self funding.
I can see that if you advertised privately to recruit a care worker and paid them a regular wage then there would be a liability, but not via an agency or self employed person .Maybe I am wrong?
Not obvious to me how to email the carers UK helpline - am I being particularly dim?
email address is
Hi Denise,

Our Advice and Information team have just produced a page on our website about auto enrolment and how it affects people employing personal assistants: https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... -enrolment

If you want to talk through this information and how it will affect you, you can contact the Carers UK Adviceline on 0808 808 7777 (Mon-Fri, 10am to 4pm) or email them at advice@carersuk.org

Hope this helps,

Denise Hi
If she's invoicing you then she is self employed. Just keep the invoices to show the direct payment people. Google "employed or self employed" for more clarity.