What Annual Leave Entitlement Does My Personal Care Assistant Have?

If you have employed a personal care assistant – often known as a Personal Assistant (PA) – either privately or via direct payments for yourself or someone you are a guardian for, you are legally seen as their employer.

That means that you have a responsibility to inform yourself on things such as annual leave entitlement, the correct insurance you are required to have, and fair pay for your employee.

In this guide, we’ll cover the annual leave entitlement (also known as paid time off / PTO) your privately employed care worker is entitled to while in contact with you.

You should agree things such as paid time off, sick pay, contracted hours, and core responsibilities in your contract with your care worker. This guide will help you calculate what annual leave entitlement to agree with your care worker when drafting up your contract.

If this responsibility is beyond what you feel capable of, you can also request government arranged direct payments who will find a care worker for you, or you can work with an agency to find a care worker suitable for your needs.

How much annual leave is my self-employed care worker entitled to?

Full-time employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday each year in the UK, which is the equivalent of 28 days. Employers can choose to either include bank holidays as a part of this annual leave, or to add bank holidays on top of the 28 days paid holiday.

For part-time employees, this annual leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of hours/days worked.

If your employee has set hours, either full-time or part-time, this can be easier to calculate but if you need assistance, check out the gov.uk holiday entitlement calculator.  

Carers working irregular hours 

Some carers may work irregular hours, but this does not mean they forgo holiday entitlement rights. If you employ a carer that works these types of hours, individuals are entitled to paid time off for every hour they work for you.

The gov.uk holiday entitlement calculator linked in the section above is the best way to find out how much leave you should give your employee. 

Workers rights to annual leave

It is important to note as an employer that your employee has specific rights to annual leave that cover:

  • They must receive paid annual leave.
  • Employees can build up or accrue holiday entitlement during other leave such as maternity, paternity, or adoption leave.
  • Holiday can still be accrued while off sick.
  • Annual leave can be requested at the same time as sick leave.

Periods of absence and annual leave entitlement 

If you employ a carer, there will be periods of absence when the individual is on holiday, sick, or absent from work. In this period, you may also decide to employ another carer to fill the gaps. 

In this instance, it’s important to consider the temporary employee will also be entitled to paid annual leave. Some may accept the extra pay instead of taking the holiday days, but some may not. This can make the situation more complicated the more carers you use. While this is a hypothetical situation, planning for absences, including last-minute sickness, is vital. 

Hiring private carers and becoming an employer has both pros and cons. Still, it is essential to learn about the responsibilities as an employer to meet the needs of your employee and legal requirements.

Employer’s Liability Insurance

If you have privately employed a care worker to assist you or a family member, whether through direct payments or privately funded means, you are legally required to have employer’s liability insurance to protect you and your employee.

Find out more about the insurance you need and get a quick quote to begin.