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Hiring a personal assistant

A personal assistant can help you live independently.

Personal assistants

You might consider hiring a personal assistant to help meet your eligible needs meet if:

A personal assistant is someone who can support you to help you live independently. Personal assistants carry out a wide range of tasks. For example, they can:

  • help you to get dressed
  • cook
  • support you to go out and about.

Your responsibilities when you hire a personal assistant

If you hire a personal assistant, you become an employer. There are some responsibilities that come with this, including:

  • drawing up a contract of employment
  • checking and signing their timesheets
  • 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.

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.

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:

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.

Warning We cannot accept liability in the event of penalties or fines being imposed by HMRC.

Find out more about determining whether or not your personal assistant’s employment status is correct on GOV.UK.

Where to get advice about employing a personal assistant

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

A council-approved organisation called Purple can help you with information and guidance.