1 - Employment Overview
Easy guide to employing a personal assistant
Things to think about when employing a PA.
Job description and person specification. Think about the type of person you want and the things you want the person to do for you.
Advertising for a person assistant. Think about the best way to do this, for example by speaking to someone, at the job centre, local shop or local newspaper.
Employee’s right to work in the UK. It will be your responsibility as an employer to check all staff have the legal right to work in the UK and keep photocopies of documents e.g. visas. Advice can be sought at www.gov.uk/check-an-employees-right-to-work-documents
Disclosure and Barring Service Checks. It is a legal requirement if staff are engaged in “regulated activity” which includes providing personal care or unsupervised access to children. Although not always essential it is recommended. Your payroll company can help facilitate this and the costs are taken from your DP www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about
Contract of Employment. This details what you expect from your personal assistant and what your PA can expect from you. You have to have two copies signed by both of you; one for your records and one for your PA.
Employers Liability Insurance. You must have this insurance cover if you employ staff. This is purchased as an annual policy.
Annual Leave. All staff, regardless of the hours they work, are entitled to paid annual leave. Currently this is 5.6 weeks pro-rata annually www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights/entitlement
Paying staff. Your staff cannot be paid in cash so pay must be transferred directly into their bank account or pay them by cheque. All employed staff must have a National Insurance Number. You will also have to provide staff with a payslip every time they are paid. You can work out an hourly rate to pay your staff, and we recommend the London Living Wage which is £11.95 per hour (2023/24)
Money you need to keep aside. As well as wages you will also need to keep money aside to pay for annual leave cover, sickness cover, employers National Insurance and Pension (where applicable)
Tax and National Insurance. It is important that you pay anyone who works for you correctly. HMRC provide factsheets and help on their website: www.hmrc.gov.uk It is your responsibility to ensure that you are paying people correctly. If you pay staff more than the threshold of £123 per week or they have a second job, then you must calculate deductions via PAYE (Pay As You Earn). If you pay more than £175 per week you will need to calculate Employers NI. (2023/24)
Payroll services. HMRC produce software that will allow you to calculate any necessary deductions from pay, but this can be a complicated process that has strict deadlines and potential fines. Alternatively, you may purchase a payroll service from a provider who will take care of everything and produce payslips.
Support for staffing issues – You can contact ACAS or the Citizens Advice for guidance. Your insurance company or payroll provider may also offer support. You can also access online resources for support e.g. www.skillsforcare.org.uk/individualemployers/