You can hire a live in carer who will offer you all that you’ll get from an agency worker, but you’ll also get the continuity, familiarity and ongoing relationship with your assistant.
However, if you employ a personal assistant, you will then have the legal responsibility of an employer. This will include arranging cover for their illness and holidays.
If you employ a live in carer privately, you will not be obliged to use the DBS scheme, but you can use it if you choose to. You need to ask social services or the police to make the checks on your behalf. The care worker must have already applied to be vetted, and must consent to the check.
If you have concerns about the suitability of someone you employ privately to work with a vulnerable adult or child, you can ask social services to investigate the matter. They can refer the worker to the ISA on your behalf.
GOV.UK has more information on becoming an employer, whilst Which? Elderly Care also has advice on employing private individuals.
Homecare from charities
Charities such as Age UK and Carers Trust can provide home help and live in carer services. The Carers Trust supports carers by giving them a break from their caring responsibilities through homecare services.
Marie Curie Nurses can provide practical and emotional support for people near the end of their lives in their own homes.
Violet Care’s top tips
Becoming an employer of a live in carer 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 live in carer.
- References should always be obtained and checked upon receipt.
- Have a back-up plan for your live-in worker who is familiar with your care needs in case of absence for sickness.
- It is likely that you will need to deduct tax and National Insurance contributions and forward them to HM Revenue and Customs.
- 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 and hours of work agreed.
- Holiday pay is a legal obligation and it is likely that you will be responsible for sick pay. Employers must also contribute to pensions by 2016.
- Information about disciplinary and grievance procedures must be given.
- Training should be given in your own needs as well as Health and safety.
The alternative to employing your own live in carer
At Violet Care Agency LTD, we can help you to find the right live in carer to suit you and your care needs. We have a team of carers managed by a highly experienced live in carer manager. Our live in carers are vetted, trained and supported weekly whilst on placement. See our services page to choose your package.
Call our office for further information and advice 01279 434444.