Managing Your Personal Assistant: Direct Payments

This guide covers:

  • The Contract of Employment
  • How to be a Good Employer
  • Sorting out Problems
  • Insurance

When recruiting a personal assistant with your direct payments, it can be daunting to consider the reality that this now makes you the service user, an employer and with that comes responsibility.

With the range of employment-related topics we have covered, you should finish these resources feeling confident that you have the essential knowledge to become a thoughtful and effective employer.


The Contract of Employment

Once you have completed the process of recruiting your personal assistant, you must now provide them with a contract of employment. This isn’t something that you are expected to create solely by yourself, there are several templates online to assist you with this. Below in the Useful Resources section, you will find we have linked to an ACAS contract template and a contract template from Skills for Care to help you get started.

Creating an employment contract will allow a point of reference for both you and your employee to ensure that you are both doing all that is expected of you.

It is important to note that if an employment contract is not provided, standard employment rights as mandated by law will apply.

Within this contract, you should outline the following: 

Before Your Personal Assistant Starts

Once this has been signed by both you and your new employee, it is time for them to start work. If you currently have a carer or a family member assisting you, it might be a good idea to give your new carer an induction day to ensure they know exactly what is expected of them.

Skills for Care have created this useful resource going into further depth surrounding everything you need to know before your personal assistant starts.

Download Before Your PA Starts Access this file via Skills for Care

Defining the Tax Status of Your Personal Assistant

This may be a topic that you haven’t considered as an employer or you may think it is not your responsibility. However, understanding your personal assistant’s tax status is crucial as their employer to save you from encountering some sticky situations with the HRMC later down the line.

Even though you are classed as an employer, it is important to work out whether your carer is technically classed as self-employed or employed as this affects how they pay tax and whether it is your responsibility as their employer to deduct it from their wages.

How to be a Good Employer

Knowing how to be a good employer is a difficult task, especially if the concept is new to you. We have outlined some things you may want to consider before you take on this role. 

Understanding how to be a good employer and managing your PA correctly has been outlined in these next downloadable resources by Skills for Care.

Download Managing Your PA Access this file via Skills for Care

Download Easy Read Version: Managing Your PA Access this file via Skills for Care:

We have also created our own resource, answering some frequently asked questions around the topic of becoming a good employer.

Download Surewise: Becoming a Good Employer

Managing Issues

Sometimes you may encounter problems with your carer and knowing how to handle a workplace dispute appropriately will help you keep a great working relationship. 

We have described some issues you may face and how you can combat them.

Skills for Care has created these booklets outlining the topics we touched on above and provides further sources of information to assist you.

Download Sorting Out Problems Access this file via Skills for Care

Download: Easy Read: Sorting Out Problems Access this file via Skills for Care

Insurance for Direct Payments

Taking out a direct payments insurance policy when employing your personal assistant is a legal requirement. This is to ensure that you have employers liability cover, public liability & legal expenses. This will protect you against any claims that may arise due to you receiving care.

There are a few different insurers will offer direct payments insurance. When making your decision there are some things to look out for: 

Useful Resources

Full Time & Partime Employment Contract Template

This is a template example created by ACAS to give you an idea about how to put together an employment contract.

Acas Contract of Employment Template

Skills for Care Contract of Employment Contract

Disciplinary Procedures

Understanding disciplinary procedures is vital to ensure that you are protecting yourself as the employer and following the correct protocol.

Acas Disciplinary Procedures Access this file via Acas

HMRC Starter Checklist

This is a standard checklist that most employers will require when starting a new job. It is where your employee can give you their national insurance number and payment details.

Download HMRC Starter Checklist Access this file via

Agreeing How We Will Work Together

This document has been created by Skills for Care to assist you with navigating being a good employer to your personal assistant. It can be used as a point of reference throughout their employment with you to help.

Download Agreeing How We Will Work Together Access this file via Skills for Care

A Guide to Whatsapp

You may already be familiar with the messaging application, Whatsapp. Now one of the most popular messaging apps on the market and known for its end-to-end encryption, meaning that not even Whatsapp can read your messages! We have linked to a guide from Skills for Care if you aren’t familiar with the service and want to start using it to communicate with your PA.

Download A Guide to Whatsapp Access this file via Skills for Care

Useful Websites

To assist you with employing a carer with your direct payments , we have compiled a list of useful websites that provide valuable guidance on key aspects of being an employer.

Right to Work Checks– Before employing a new service user it is vital to carry out ‘Right to Work Checks’. The Government outlines the documents that your employee needs to have in order to work in the Uk.

Paying Your PA– The Living Wage Foundation has a mission to encourage employers to pay their staff fairly by paying the real living wage.

Employment Advice– Acas offers employers and employees free and impartial advice with regard to workplace rules, rights and best practise.


The information and files provided are intended for signposting purposes. We strive to keep them up-to-date, but it’s the user’s responsibility to double-check the latest versions and information directly on the referenced websites.

Websites used include: Skills for Care,