Responsibilities of being an Employer

These information sheets have been provided as a guide only and should not be used as substitutes for specialist advice. We try to keep them updated, however, this cannot always be guaranteed.

If you use a Direct Payment or Personal Health Budget to employ a Personal Assistant you take on certain responsibilities.

Minimum Legal Requirements

You must:

  • Pay Tax and National Insurance Contributions on behalf of your employee to the Inland Revenue. Click here for a factsheet on tax and national insurance.
  • Do not deduct anything from your employee's salary without their consent (other than tax and national insurance contributions) unless it is written in the employee's Contract of Employment or you have an order from a court.
  • Treat employees equally in terms of pay scales, benefits, promotion opportunities, working conditions etc.
  • Give your employee minimum paid holiday. Click here for more on this.
  • Pay your employee Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) if due. See our factsheet on this subject for more information.
  • Pay redundancy pay if you make an employee redundant who has been with you for two years or more.
  • Pay at least the national minimum wage. You may find, however, that in order to get a personal assistant who is experienced and professional you will have to pay a higher hourly rate of pay. If your personal assistant has sleep-over duties you need only pay the minimum wage for the hours they are actually awake.
  • Ensure you do not treat anyone unfairly or unequally depending on their age, race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or any disability.
  • Ensure that you protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees and assess, reduce and inform your employees of any risks in their work. Click here for more information on this.
  • Ensure that your employees receive any training they require to reduce risks to their health and safety.
  • Ensure that anyone you employ is legally entitled to work in the UK. You need to see original documents as listed in home office guidance. Click here to access that guidance, or call the employers helpline on 08450 106677.


Best Practice

  • Pay a fair wage. How much and how often you pay your employee can be negotiated between you before they begin their employment. These decisions will form part of their Contract of Employment. You will also need to negotiate unsociable hours (e.g. bank holidays, weekends), overtime, holiday and sick pay.
  • Pay your employee regularly and on time.
  • Keep a clear record of the hours they have worked and monies paid. Keep payslips and give employees a copy. Click here for more information on paying your employees.
  • Cover any expenses that your employee may incur on your behalf.
  • Give your employee a Contract of Employment. This can vary the terms of employment to improve on the minimum requirements. Click here for more help on this.
  • Be open about any fears and concerns relating to the job.
  • Keep your employees personal information confidential.

Working Time Regulations 1998

These protect the employees rights regarding the amount of work they are expected to do. They cover:

  • Working time limits e.g. you can not force your employee to work more than 48 hours per week (the employee can opt out of this restriction)
  • Night working e.g. night workers can not work more than 8 hours per day
  • Rest periods e.g. there must be a break of 11 hours between each days work, employees must be able to have one day off per week and anyone working for more than 6 hours is entitled to a 20 minute break
  • Holiday e.g. all employees, whether full or part time, are entitled to five weeks and three days (pro rata) paid holiday per annum.

To enter the Dti website for more information about the Working Time Directives click here