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Paying your personal assistant carer

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You will be responsible for making sure your PAs are paid correctly. This is true whether you are directly employing a personal assistant or using a self-employed or agency worker.

Directly employed personal assistants

When directly employing a PA, you are responsible for:

  • Registering with HMRC as an employer and registering personal assistants as employees
  • Paying your PA at least the National Minimum Wage
  • Calculating holiday pay entitlements and paying holiday payments
  • Managing employee sickness, checking sick pay entitlements, and arranging sick pay
  • Calculating maternity and paternity leave and making required payments
  • Managing other absences from work
  • Providing your employees with a workplace pension
  • Mileage allowance 

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to. A worker's minimum wage depends on their age and if they're an apprentice. It's against the law for employers to pay workers less than the National Minimum Wage, or to falsify payment records. 

Find out the current rates for the National Minimum Wage and National Living wage on the GOV.UK website.

Norfolk County Council personal assistant rates of pay

1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025

Directly employed PA

Day rate when working between 8am and 10pm

  • Personal assistant - £11.68 per hour
  • *Employer related on costs at 26.08% - £3.05 per hour
  • Total amount credited to bank account - £14.73 per hour

PA hourly negotiated "waking hours"

Night rate when working between 10pm and 8am

  • Personal assistant - £11.44 per hour
  • *Employer related on costs 26.08% - £2.98 per hour
  • Total amount credited to bank account - £14.42 per hour

*This money builds up in the bank account and is used to pay for holiday pay, sick pay and employer payroll related costs.

Agency rate

£19.22 per hour

Holiday pay and entitlement

Almost all workers are legally entitled to at least 28 days paid holiday per year. If we're providing you with a payroll service, we'll calculate holiday entitlement and pay on your behalf. If you have any queries regarding holiday pay and entitlement you can contact us on 01603 223392.

You can also find out more about holiday pay and entitlement on the GOV.UK website.

Managing sickness

If your employee cannot attend due to sickness, they should contact you as soon as possible.

They should send you a medical certificate from a doctor (MED3 Statement of Fitness for Work from GP or MED10 from hospital) if their absence is likely to be longer than seven days.

If the Statement of Fitness for Work says they 'may be fit for work', talk to your employee about possible changes that may allow them to return early, such as altering their hours or duties.

Long-term sickness

This is any absence longer than four weeks on one occasion. You should:

  • Keep in regular contact with your employee about sickness payments and entitlements
  • Continue to get certificates for sickness
  • Make documented changes, if possible, to help them return to work
  • We can offer you advice in managing an employee's long-term sickness, as there are statutory procedures you must follow.

Statutory sick pay

Your employee might be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Find out more about SSP on the GOV.UK website.

Maternity and paternity pay and leave

All pregnant employees are entitled to take up to 52 weeks' statutory maternity leave around the birth of their child, where appropriate notice has been given. If an employee's partner is having a baby, they may also be eligible for paternity leave. You can get advice from us in managing maternity and paternity leave and pay, as there are legal procedures you must follow as an employer.

You can also find more information on both maternity and paternity leave and pay on the website.

Other absences

Aside from annual holiday entitlement, an employee might need time off work for reasons including:

There is more information available about other types of leave on the Citizens Advice website.

Workplace pensions

The Pension Regulator writes to all new employers to advise them of the responsibility to set up a pension for each of their employees. The Pension Regulator will also ask you to nominate a contact. This can be yourself or a third party such as DPSS.

Any employee from age 22 up to state retirement age earning about £192 per week must be enrolled on a pension scheme. Find out more about setting up a workplace pension scheme on the GOV.UK website.

Self-employed and agency workers

If you choose to engage services of a personal assistant carer who is self-employed or you opt for an agency worker, they will complete and submit an invoice to you for the hours/services provided. Self-employed workers are not paid through PAYE, and they do not have the rights and responsibilities of an employee. You can find more information about employment status on the GOV.UK website.

We would recommend that you ask the self-employed workers for a copy of their Public Liability insurance, enhanced DBS, and a copy of their HMRC UTR number to confirm their self-employment status.

Make sure that your personal assistant carer has completed the HMRC status indicator tool correctly to ensure that their employment status is correct. If their status is incorrect, you may be found responsible for any tax or National Insurance payable.


When you engage services from a Self-employed worker/agency then you should receive an invoice requesting payment.

Find out more about customers payment obligations.

Find out more about invoicing and taking payment from customers


Your personal assistant may incur expenses while working for you, such as mileage. Your care assessor may, as part of your support plan, have added an amount of money that can be used to pay towards expenses like these (for example, 45p per mile, 5p per passenger). The amount and expenses agreed should be recorded on your adult's care plan, or children's short breaks plan.

Get in touch

If you have any queries, you can contact the Direct Payment customer services team by emailing or calling 01603 223392.

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