PocketCarer Family Guide on Navigating the World of Self-Employed Carers

Download the PocketCarer Family Guide on Navigating the World of Self-Employed Carers, for concise and comprehensive advice on employing a private carer. Arranging a self-employed carer for your loved one is often a task filled with questions and uncertainty for families who have never had to deal with this before.  Primarily, you as a family, or the person taking responsibility for overseeing the hiring, will have to decide exactly what level and type of care is required. For some, this might be helping with personal care, such as washing and dressing, administering medications, or making meals. For others, your loved one may be fine with personal care, but need assistance in getting out and about, household tasks like shopping and cooking, and light cleaning duties. Some self-employed carers may also be required to help your loved one pay bills or manage their personal budget.

Advantages of hiring a self-employed carer

There are many advantages to hiring a self-employed carer yourself, as opposed to going through an agency. Flexibility and choice are two prime advantages, as you interview and choose a carer you feel is the most compatible for you and your loved one.  You will also save money on agency fees, and, have more control over exactly what care you want your loved on to receive. By choosing your own self-employed carer you or your loved one will benefit from consistency of care.  Often if an agency is involved, you may not have a single assigned carer, so you may end up having different people in your home each day or week.

How to find a self-employed carer

Finding a self-employed carer can seem daunting if you have never done this before.  You want the best care for your loved one, but how do you go about finding it?  Word of mouth recommendations are fantastic, of course, or you could put an advert out or use an introduction agency.  But what other ways are there, and how do you go about making legal checks and getting references?  The PocketCarer Family Guide on Navigating the World of Self-Employed Carers covers everything you need to know about how to find a self-employed carer.

Conversations to have before hiring a self-employed carer.

Having a really good conversation with your self-employed carer is a good idea to discuss all the nitty-gritty details upfront.  This will help ensure your relationship runs as smoothly as possible from the start.

4 Things to discuss when working with a private carer
  • Who will find cover if your carer is unwell at short notice – will it be them, or you?
  • Does the carer have any holidays booked or time they want to take off? Again, who will find a replacement to cover care for these periods?
  • Self-employed carer rates vary depending on location, type of care, duties involved, experience and areas of speciality of the carer.  You may wish to interview and discuss rates with 2 or 3 carers before making a choice.
  • If the contract will be a regular ongoing arrangement, how much notice will you need or want from your private carer if they choose to move on, or if you decide the arrangement isn’t working for you?

Should I have an official contract with my self-employed carer?

It’s certainly important to have an official contract with your self-employed carer.  An official contract will help tie up a lot of loose ends and protect you and your carer.  Remember that NACAS, although an organisation for self-employed carers themselves, can also assist you regarding contracts and other subjects including, having to deal with disciplinary issues and possibly the dismissal of a person you hire you turns out to be unsuitable, for example. The PocketCarer Family Guide on Navigating the World of Self-Employed Carers gives you tips and advice on what areas to cover in your contract.

Tax, National Insurance, and sick pay

Who is responsible for paying the tax, national Insurance, and sick pay if you use a self-employed carer? If you hire someone to carry out care for you or your loved one at home, paid by you personally, or with direct payments from a local authority, it’s your responsibility to establish their employment status. In short, is the carer self-employed, or will you be their employer? You will need to ensure their employment status with HMRC – either as a sole trader, or, they may be registered as a business. It is important to be sure of your role, as there could be ramifications with tax, national insurance contributions and sick pay, amongst others.

Download the PocketCarer Family Guide on Navigating the World of Self-Employed Carers

PocketCarer has produced a family guide to answer all your questions and help you go about your search in finding a self-employed carer for yourself or your loved one.  We know this can be a daunting time for families, and so we have produced the Family Guide on Navigating the World of Self-Employed Carers to cover all areas on how to go about hiring a self-employed carer.

The PocketCarer Family Guide includes information on:

  • Deciding what care your loved one requires.
  • How to find a self-employed carer.
  • Due diligence, references, and DBS checks.
  • Legal issues.
  • Rates, sick pay, holiday pay, annual leave or last minute cover.
  • What questions to ask when interviewing a self-employed carer.
  • And many more queries and subjects you may or may not have even thought about.

You can download our concise and comprehensive Family Guide on Navigating the World of Self-Employed Carers by signing up with your email here.

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