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Responsibilities of being an employer

Building blocks

If you've chosen to directly employ a PA or carer through your direct payment, that makes you their employer.

This means you'll have various responsibilities.

If you have chosen a supported bank account, the DPSS employment services team can help. Call us on 01603 223392 (option 2), or email

Proving an employee's right to work

When directly employing a PA you must check that a job applicant is allowed to work for you in the UK before you employ them. Find more guidance on what documents to check and how applicants can prove their right to work on the GOV.UK website.

Employment contracts

You will need to sign an employment contract with people you directly employ. Find out more about employment contracts.

DPSS Employment Services can support you with creating and issuing the right contract for your employment needs. We recommend that you also seek advice about employment law.

You have a duty to keep records such as:

  • Inland Revenue documents
  • pension payments

Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called 'automatic enrolment'. If you employ at least one person you are an employer, you have certain legal duties.

If you choose to use DPSS payroll service, we use the government workplace pension scheme, Nest Pensions.

Employment and public liability insurance

Employment liability insurance provides cover in the event that your personal assistant carer is injured whilst carrying out support duties for you. It does not cover injuries where you're not judged to be at fault.

Public liability insurance covers you for bodily injury to other people or damage to other people's property. It does not cover personal property damage or bodily injury to you.

Those who directly employ a PA will be auto-enrolled for Independent Living Insurance as per your signed direct payment terms and conditions. 

We work with Fish Insurance (opens new window) for Independent Living Insurance.

Health and safety

It's your duty, in law, to protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees. 

This means making sure they're protected from anything that may cause harm, by controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace.

The Health and Safety Executive website (opens new window) has more information on this subject.

We've also provided a sample risk assessment to help you. You can download  sample risk assessment as a Word document (Word doc) [18KB] or  sample risk assessment as a PDF (PDF) [116KB].

Cover for illness and holidays (adult services only)

A family member may be able to provide support for a short period if your PA is ill or on holiday.

If this is not possible, you can request interim support via SWIFT Carers. For more information contact our social care team.

Resolving disputes

There are two main types of dispute which can arise with your employee:

  • Grievances - when your employee raises concerns, problems or complaints with you 
  • Disciplinaries - when you have concerns about an employee's work, conduct or absence

We've produced a sample grievance policy (download the  sample grievance policy Word document (Word doc) [17KB] or  sample grievance policy PDF (PDF) [62KB]) and a disciplinary policy (download the  disciplinary policy Word document (Word doc) [29KB] or  disciplinary policy PDF (PDF) [73KB]). These will help you if you do need to raise any concerns with your employee.

The GOV.UK website also has guidance on how to deal with disputes

Dismissal and redundancy

Dismissal is when you wish to end an employee's contract. 

It may be because of their conduct: for example, they are always late for work or take leave without telling you. It may also be because something has happened legally that makes them unable to do the job, such as getting a driving ban. You must make sure you have valid reasons to dismiss your employee and do it fairly and sensitively.

Redundancy is when you dismiss an employee because you no longer need anyone to do their job. You must demonstrate that their job will no longer exist for the redundancy to be genuine.

The GOV.UK website has advice on how to dismiss someone (opens new window), as well as more information on making staff redundant (opens new window).

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

You must protect the personal data of those that work for and with you. 

There is more information in the GDPR policy on the GOV.UK website (opens new window). You'll also need to have a privacy notice agreed with your employee.  

Relevant legislation

You must keep up to date with the laws that affect you as an employer.  

The GOV.UK website has a guide to employing people (opens new window) and it's updated as the law changes. 

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Sample letters and forms

We've provided some sample letters and forms to help you through the recruitment and selection process. All the documents are available as a PDF or Word document: 

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