Who pays for travel expenses?

Travel expenses are not usually covered by the Direct Payment, so you would need to discuss this with your employer before starting working for them. You would normally be expected to cover the cost of getting to and from your place of work, (typically the family’s home). However, it is common for your employer to cover the cost of you taking their child out.

How do I calculate how much paid holiday I am owed?

It will depend on how many hours you work. Please speak to your employer and they can or get their payroll provider to work this out.

Do I get paid holiday?

Yes. Your employer must follow employment law and holiday pay is a statutory entitlement for an employee.

Do I have to pay for my DBS check?

No, there is no cost to you or the employer.

Will I need insurance?

No. Your employer has a wide range of legal responsibilities and liabilities and they need to have adequate insurance in place. This will provide protection should you be injured whilst working for your employer and they are held responsible. It will also provide protection should you and/or your employer be held legally responsible for injury to other persons, or damage to their property.

You will, however, need business class insurance if you job requires you to drive.

Am I responsible for getting a DBS check?

No, this is done by the Direct Payment Service. Please ask the family to speak to their Support Worker if a DBS check is needed.

Who is responsible for paying my tax and national insurance?

It is your employer’s responsibility to check to see if your need to pay tax and/or national insurance and they make the necessary deductions.

What do I do if I have a problem with my employer?

If ever you feel a problem is developing, you should speak to your employer as soon as possible to try and resolve the issue. If this does not work, advice can be gained from an organisation such as ACAS.

Can the child I look after come to my house?

Yes, if the family feel it is a suitable and safe environment.

If the child I look after comes to my house, does everyone resident there need to be DBS checked?

No, you have sole responsibility for caring for the child you look after and only you have to be DBS checked. However, if the child will come into regular contact with other people in your house, then ask the family to speak to their Support Worker about more detailed checks available.

Who is responsible for risk assessments?

You employer is responsible for providing a safe working environment and making you aware of any risks involved with the role.

Who can be a PA?

Anyone, as long as they are not resident at the same address as the child receiving the Direct Payment. All PAs must have a satisfactory, enhanced DBS check.

Can I get any training?

Yes, there are a number of training opportunities for PAs. Please ask your employer about opportunities available to you.

When will I get paid?

You will usually be paid every 4 weeks, in arrears. Please speak to your employer for exact dates.

What documents should my employer provide?

Your employer is responsible for providing you with a written pay slip and annual P60.

Who has to be DBS checked?

If you are employed as a PA using a Direct Payment you need an enhanced DBS check, even if you are family or are very well known to the child’s family. In most cases this needs to be done by the Direct Payment Service, unless you have been checked elsewhere within the last 18 months and can provide a certificate to evidence this (in which case please ask the family to speak to their Support Worker for guidance). The DBS must be received back before you can work unsupervised with a child. However, if you have a valid, enhanced DBS check that is less than 12 months old, you may be able to work in a supervised role until the new DBS is received back, with the permission of Social Services. Please ask the family to speak to their Support Worker for more guidance.

How much paid holiday do I get?

Employees are currently entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday per annum, including any public holidays. Employees that are not full time will receive a pro rata amount of paid holiday, depending on the number of hours they work.

Should I have a written contract?

Yes. Your employer should provide you with a written contract within two months of you starting working with the family.