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Short breaks direct payments: coronavirus update

This information relates to short breaks direct payments for children. If you have a personal budget for adult care, please see Employing a personal assistant: coronavirus update.

Download our Easy Read Coronavirus FAQs.

We also have coronavirus information on our Short Breaks team coronavirus update and Coronavirus updates for SEND Local Offer pages.

I arrange my own care or employ a PA. How do I get my support needs met if my PA is affected by coronavirus?

You should think about how you would manage if your PA or other support is impacted by Covid-19. It might be that your family network can support you as a family. If this is not possible, please contact your social worker if you have one, or contact the Short Breaks Team on 01603 692455.   

I use my direct payment to employ a PA. What are my responsibilities as an employer if my PA is off sick?  

  • If your employee is absent from work due to sickness, then normal sick pay qualifying rules apply.  
  • If your employee is self-isolating, they can claim statutory sick pay (SSP) if they qualify. Please tell DPSS on the timesheet they are sick and we will see if they qualify for SSP. If your employee doesn’t qualify you can offer them the option to use their holiday entitlement for the time they are required to take. 
  • If your employee is not sick but you have asked them not to come into work, this is at your request so you'll need to pay your employee for their normal working hours   

If you have any questions about this call DPSS Employment Services on 01603 223392 (option 2).   

If I ask my PA not to work because I am self-isolating, can I still pay them even though I didn’t receive my services? 

If you ask your PA to stay away from work, then your PA will continue to get paid for the normal hours that they work.    

Can I get my PAs timesheets to you without having to go out to post them? What if the post gets delayed? 

If you and your PA have an email address and a smartphone you can download the DPSS Payroll App instead of using paper timesheets and posting them.

The app is directly linked to our payroll system and once you have approved the hours on your phone we see it straight away.

It’s quick and easy to setup and we have lots of information, including training videos with voiceover, subtitles and BSL, on our website. Find out more about the DPSS Payroll App.  

Alternatively, if you only have an email address you can scan or take a photo of your paper timesheet and email it directly to the payroll team at  

How can I keep up to date with the latest information about direct payments?  

You can get regular updates and Easy Read information from DPSS on our Facebook page.    

You can also find more information about direct payments online at and about paying your personal assistant carer at    

General advice on keeping safe during coronavirus

Remember that our teams are here to support you at this difficult time so if you have any questions about anything, call us on 01603 223392 (option 1), or email   

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