Hiring a personal assistant | Oxfordshire County Council

Hiring a personal assistant

A personal assistant can help you live independently.

If you have eligible needs for care and you choose to receive a direct payment from the council, you might consider hiring a personal assistant to help you meet those needs.

What are personal assistants?

A personal assistant is someone who can provide you with support to help you live independently. Personal assistants carry out a wide range of tasks, for example, they can help you to get dressed, cook, or can support you to go out and about.

Employing your own personal assistant

If you hire a personal assistant you become an employer and there are a number of responsibilities that come with this, including:

  • drawing up a contract of employment
  • checking and signing their time sheets
  • making sure they work to their job description and the hours agreed in their contract
  • putting alternative support arrangements in place when your employees take their holidays or are off work due to sickness
  • ensuring up to date Employers’ Liability Insurance is in place
  • processing payroll and paying your employee(s)
  • issuing payslips for your employee(s)
  • paying a pension contribution, where applicable
  • and liaising with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to make sure you have paid the appropriate tax and submitting all HMRC monthly and annual returns.

Some people find these responsibilities quite daunting, if this is the case, a council-approved organisation called Purple can help you with information and guidance.

Deciding how much to pay your personal assistant

You must pay them at least the National Minimum Wage. The calculation for the minimum wage is based on the full amount (gross) before any tax, National Insurance and other deductions have been taken off.

Find out more information about the National Minimum Wage and the rates you must pay, or call the National Minimum Wage Helpline on 0845 6000 678.

On average the typical hourly rate for a Personal Assistant is around £8.50 per hour, which is above the national minimum wage.

You need to make sure that the hourly rate you choose is affordable, based on your direct payment amount, and can be maintained in the long term. You will also need to factor in:

  • tax and National Insurance
  • sick leave
  • holiday pay
  • insurance (required by law)
  • training costs
  • contributions towards a work pension – more information.
  • maternity payments (if applicable).

Self-employed personal assistants

It is your responsibility to make sure your personal assistant’s employment status is correct and you should think carefully before treating them as self-employed.

The council cannot accept liability in the event of penalties or fines being imposed by HMRC. You can find out more about determining whether or not your personal assistant’s employment status is correct by visiting www.gov.uk and entering 'employment status' in the search field or phoning 0300 200 3300.

Further information about employing a personal assistant

The organisation Skills for Care, have information and toolkits which provide detailed information for people employing personal assistants

Support with Confidence scheme

The Support with Confidence scheme was developed by Oxfordshire County Council with Trading Standards. It aims to give peace of mind to people wishing to employ a personal assistant.

The Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers (OACP) is running the scheme in Oxfordshire and details can be found at http://oacp.org.uk/support-with-confidence/ or you can email supportwithconfidence@oacp.org.uk

Personal profiles of approved personal assistants

You can view details for each approved personal assistant below, helping you to find and compare candidates. The details include:

  • approval number
  • telephone number and location
  • date of their Enhanced Criminal Records Check Clearance
  • all training undertaken with dates
  • availability
  • approximate charges.

North Oxfordshire

West Oxfordshire

South Oxfordshire

Oxford

Vale of White Horse

Banbury Area

Other - see profile for further details

Finding your own personal care at home support

Find home care agencies near me.

Enter a postcode or place name:

 

Further help

If you have not found what you were looking for today, you can speak to our team on 0345 050 7666 to discuss your options.

Last reviewed
07 June 2017
PrintPrint Give us feedback on this pageFeedback form, opens in new window.
Access key details Skip to main content Home News Sitemap Search Website help Complaints Terms and conditions Website feedback