Employing Your Own Live-in Care Worker

Many disabled people who need live-in care decide to employ their own care worker and similarly many families who have elderly relatives consider going down the same route.

Becoming an employer of a live-in care worker can be a successful arrangement, but as an employer there are certain legal obligations that must be complied with:

  • Insurance, both Employers Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance, will need to be taken out.
  • You must have a written job description and a contract of employment for your care worker.
  • It is likely that you will need to deduct tax and National Insurance contributions and forward them to HM Revenue and Customs. You can do this yourself or employ a payroll company to do the work for you.
  • You must pay the Minimum Wage Rate and be aware of the maximum number of hours per week that your worker may work. Rest breaks must be given.
  • Holiday pay is a legal obligation and it is likely that you will be responsible for sick pay.
  • Information about disciplinary and grievance procedures must be given.
  • References should always be obtained and checked upon receipt.
  • It is advisable that a CRB check is obtained.

The DirectGov site at http://www.direct.gov.uk is a comprehensive website with full, helpful information and guidance.

Potential Problems With Employing Your Own Live-In Care Worker:

Should your live-in carer become sick you may not have access to any replacement live-in carers. Whereas this may not be a problem for a few days, if the worker is sick for longer, this may cause a problem.

It is advisable to have an option in place for when your live-in carer is having annual leave, currently a minimum of four weeks.

Health and Safety issues with reference to personal safety for yourself and your live-in care worker have to be considered not only with reference to the work to be carried out but with reference to the fact that your home becomes a workplace.

The disciplinary procedures must be followed in the case of any dispute and this can in a home situation sometimes cause problems.

There are statutory agencies and charitable organisations throughout the UK who can offer advice and guidance with reference to employing your own live-in care worker and a call to any social services or Age UK office can direct you to such assistance.

The Alternative To Employing Your Own Live-In Care Worker:

Able Community Care has been providing continuous and short term live-in care packages since 1980. If you think we may be able to help, please call 01603 764567 for further information or visit our services page to find out what we can offer you.

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