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Luton Borough Council

Employing a personal assistant with direct payments


If you or your suitable person is intending to use the direct payment to employ a personal assistant to meet your care and support needs, you will assume all responsibilities of an employer, which include the following:

  • recruitment process, including Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
  • issuing and retaining contracts of employment, timesheets, payroll records and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) correspondence for six years
  • compliance with all HMRC employer requirements including payment of all taxes such as Income Tax and National Insurance and pension contributions (where relevant)
  • putting in place adequate employer's liability and public liability insurance
  • meeting the cost of any redundancy

The direct payment amount will be calculated so that it enables you to cover some of the additional costs associated with acting as a responsible employer.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

The Disclosure and Barring Service carries out checks which allows employers to access the criminal record history of people working, or seeking to work, in certain positions, especially those that involve working with children or adults in specific situations.

The check will need to be undertaken on anyone you wish to employ if you are receiving direct payments and should be repeated every three years.

Before appointing a personal assistant, it is important to decide what kind of person you want to care for you.

You can do this by preparing a list of:

  • tasks that the personal assistant will need to carry out
  • their skills and experience for them to complete the tasks effectively
  • you may need someone that can drive

Training for your personal assistant

Training will support your personal assistant to meet your assessed needs. As an employer, you are responsible for the training of your personal assistant. This is to ensure both their and your safety while they are caring for you.

If you do not do this and an accident occurs, your insurance may be invalid.

The training depends on your needs. You will need to discuss this with your social worker at the start of your direct payments, if there is a change in your care needs.

Support with your employer responsibilities

You can contact the companies below who will be able to support you with your employer responsibilities:


Ivan Peck House
Ground Floor
1 Russell Way
T: 01245 392300
E: [email protected]

PayPacket Ltd

2nd Floor
The Hub
40 Friar Lane
T: 0800 848 8998
F: 0800 848 8997
E: [email protected]

Disability Resource Centre

Room 1
The Rufus Centre
Steppingley Road
MK45 1AH
T: 01582 470900
M: 0782 636 6477
E: [email protected]

Employment law and record keeping

As an employer, it is your responsibility to be aware of, and keep to, employment laws. This includes making sure you understand the rules to do with employing someone from overseas. Your personal assistant must be eligible to work in the UK.

All paid workers have certain rights by law. These include the right to:

  • protection against discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, marital status or membership of a trade union
  • be paid at least the minimum wage
  • equal pay (men and women should be paid at the same rate for the same job)
  • not to have any unlawful deductions from their pay

If you employ your own staff, you will need use a payroll service. A payroll service will keep a list of people who work for you and how much you have paid them for the purposes of HMRC.

You will need to set aside a sum of money in order to pay HMRC directly when they bill you annually. You cannot use money from your direct payment to pay yourself for this work.

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