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What’s involved in employing a care worker directly? 

If the person you are looking after doesn’t need to go into residential care, but does need some care and support to help them in their own home, you might decide to employ a care worker directly instead of using a care agency.  

If so, you or the person you are looking after will be taking on the responsibilities of an employer. 

Examples of employment responsibilities

  • Checking the references of the intended employee and finding out if they have had an up-to-date Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. 
  • Making sure the intended employee has the right to work in the UK. 
  • Setting up a system for paying wages, deducting tax and national insurance and keeping records for the Inland Revenue. 
  • Ensuring that the employee has the annual leave they are entitled to under ‘Working Time Regulations’, any maternity/paternity/sick pay they are entitled to and ensure you comply with auto enrolment duties. 
  • Checking to ensure that there are no potential health and safety risks to the employee because of the care they will be providing, as well as removing any potential dangers in your home that could put them at risk. 
  • Ensuring that you have suitable insurance cover (ie employer’s liability insurance and public liability insurance). 


Further information and support 

This is not a definitive list and if you are considering becoming an employer, you should seek advice about what your full responsibilities would be. Contacting ACAS or your local Citizens Advice centre may be good options as a starting point. 

The prospect of becoming an employer can seem daunting, however, in many areas of the country there are organisations that can help with these responsibilities, and your local council or trust (if you live in Northern Ireland) should also be able to tell you about any relevant organisations in your area. 

If you have decided that, you would prefer not to take on the added duties of an employer, you may want to explore hiring care support through an agency instead. See our page ‘Finding care agencies and care workers’. 


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