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Carers UK Forum • Pay scale for self employed carers?
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Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:22 pm
by Hugs
Hello, i'm looking for some advise please regarding how much we can pay a self employed carer from direct payments.

We have finally been awarded direct payments for my Dads care. We will be using an agency for some care but would like to use a self employed personal assistant for some of the hours and i'm unsure what we can pay her.
The agency charge £21.00 ph for care, which is understandably high due to the cost involved to them, however are we able to pay a self employed person similar rates? We want to make sure we are paying a fair rate but would the council expect us to pay a lot lower than the agency rate?
thoughts please.
Many thanks

Re: Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:34 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Hi Kay.

Employing someone direct ?

Fraught with danger UNLESS you bone up on Employment Law to ensure that the " Employer " ... your caree ... is protected from any claims , for whatever reason , under said laws.

If you employ someone direct , the LA drops out of the equation.

Totally different ball game IF it is the LA who is the employer.

Payment ?

Minimum wage will apply together with the standard range of employee benefits ... sickness / holiday pay ... not forgetting any contributions towards his / her pension plans.

Perhaps seek advice so that a precis contract of employment maybe drawn up ?

Templates aplenty on the Internet ... provided the correct one is selected to match the precis terms of employment ?

Needless to add , paperwork .... for the HM Revenue and Customs for starters.

Re: Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:40 pm
by Hugs
Thank you for your reply.
Sorry but i don't think i made myself clear.

I don't want to be an employer, and have no intention of employing someone, it just would not be worth it for the hours involved.

I am looking to have someone who is self employed to come and cover some of dads care. I am just unsure if i am able to pay a personal assistant (self employed) similar rates as an agency from the direct payments.

thank you

Re: Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:47 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
If your caree receives direct payments from the LA and , in turn , employs a pa , your caree becomes the employer.

If the direct payments are NOT used , and you employ a pa to assist you / your caree , you will be the employer.

If the LA or local agency supplies a pa , THEY will be the employer.

From your posting , a self employed pa is being sort ... in which case , either your caree or you will be demned to be the employer.

Pay scale and other ancillary concerns ... as previously posted.

Re: Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:05 pm
by Hugs
Thank you for your advice,

This is not a question about the merits of employed vs self employed, i understand the distinction as I have been self employed for a number of years, none of the people i have done work for have employed me or been my employer as i am self employed. As such I pay my own taxes, NI and don't receive sick/holiday pay and pay my own pension.

There is no issue with using a self employed person for my dads care i'm just asking if anyone has any advise on pay scales and if any councils have questioned pay rates for PA's?
thank you.

Re: Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:24 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
On the pay scale side , only the national rates are relevant.

Any LA willl be bound by those rates ... most significant being the national minimum wage.

Demand and supply ... in some areas , particularly the cities , rates maybe higher given the competition for skilled labour ... social care , for once , not excepted.

On the social care front , some areas are paying higher rates ( Not the LAs ) ... more affluent ones with individual carees seeking better qualified staff ... Southern England / London / North Yorkshire being good examples.

On the self employed / national wage element , the self employed tend to set their own rates and are not governed by the minimum wage.

That has always been " Fun " , especially considering the disadvantages in sectors of the economy suffering as many are in this day and age.

A race to the bottom to stay afloat ?

Re: Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:48 pm
by Melly1
Hi Kay,
In our LA they have two rates for direct payments - one for agency support and one for a PA. The direct payment amount paid for a PA is lower than for amount paid for support through an agency. It is possible for a PA to be employed on a self employed basis, but you do need to be very careful re national insurance, tax and pensions - even for just a few hours a week! We use a payroll service for this and the cost is covered in the direct payment. Even so, I'm deemed the employer on S's behalf - even though I don't want to be - for 3 hours support 39 weeks of the year. As regards your question, most PA's are paid the Living Wage, if you google it, you can find out how much it is for each age band.


PS in case you haven't seen it there is a fact sheet here on DPs https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... t-payments

Re: Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:31 pm
by Henrietta
Hi Kay
My understanding re direct payments is that you are free to choose where you pay for the care and who you pay to do the work.
If I were looking after someone's personal budget , I would think paying agency rates £20- £28 per hour was very pricey and if I were self employed getting that rate I should be rubbing my hands with glee.
Bearing in mind, as you know s/e people who will invoice you an hourly rate will have additional costs to meet from their wages as previously discussed , I would offer them about 3/4 of the going agency rate. If they were agency employed , they would receive about half of what the agency are paid from the customer or the LA. You need to be very careful they are fully trained and DBS checked. Are they fully insured? If they are off sick or on holiday have you made alternative arrangements for cover? If you have any complaints , are you prepared to challenge them face to face and replace them?
As to what the LA think- I believe with direct payments it is not their concern although if they feel care needs are not being adequately met they may have something to say.

Re: Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:03 pm
by Hugs
Thank you, that's helpful advice.
I'll have a read through the link too.

This forum really has been so so helpful.
Thank you all.

Re: Pay scale for self employed carers?

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:40 am
by bowlingbun
Hi Kay,

The council should have told you how they calculate the Direct Payments, e.g. 10 hours @ £10 an hour. Go back to them and ask what figures they used.

Employment Status is a big, complicated subject I've studied formally as part of a degree. I've also managed a large Direct Payments for my son. Then there is the added complication of pension payments.
I would suggest you ask the council to include a budget for a "Payroll Service" to manage the tax payments etc.
The council should be able to advise on who to use.

As to whether or not you are an employer, it's ultimately what HMRC thinks, not what you think, that counts.
I know someone who had one view on who he was employing, and his legal status. HMRC had a different view, and all sorts of problems, and fines, followed. Be very, very careful and check with HMRC or take legal advice before finalising anything.