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Essential checklist for employing a paid carer

Posted on 19/11/2015

If you are self-funding your own care, or receiving a Personal Budget from your local authority, then you can use the money to hire your own paid carer or support worker.

This is a flexible option, as it means that you can find exactly the right person to suit your needs, you will have continuity of care by engaging with the same person every time, you can manage your costs better and find someone within your budget, and you will have a contract so you know that the carer will turn up when they say they will (barring illness).

We take a look in more detail at the process of hiring a paid carer in this article, and you can look at the advantages of employing your own help here, to help make your decision.

If you are decided that you want to employ someone to help you at home, in whatever capacity, then here is an essential checklist of things to remember.

Advertising your position

·      List the qualities that your paid carer should have, which could be personal (sense of humour) or practical (driving licence)

·      List any formal qualifications or experiences that are important to you

·      List all the tasks you want your paid carer to undertake

·      Include contact details to apply for the position – you may wish to use an email address, for example, rather than a personal telephone number

·      Consider the best places to advertise – local shops, newspapers, dedicated homecare job sites online

·      Be clear about the days, times and pay that you are offering

·      Do not list your address or any personal details, but do give a general location for potential applicants

·      State clearly whether you will be undertaking a DBS check, and what references will be required

Holding an interview

·      Shortlist the potential candidates and invite them for an interview – it is best to do this in a public location and not your own home

·      Take someone with you to the interview to make notes, so you can look back on them later

·      Prepare questions in advance about their skills, experience and expectations. Also find out what attracted them to the position and why they think they are suited to the role

·      Ask them to bring ID so you can verify their identity

·      Interview at least two people so that you can compare, but don’t just settle. If none of the applicants are right, it’s better to hold off for the right person 

Making a decision

·      You will need to let both the successful and the unsuccessful applicants know your decision

·      For the unsuccessful applicants, they may wish to have a little feedback about why you felt they weren’t right for the role

·      Offer employment to the successful person in writing, but say that it is pending references and checks

Before the employment starts

·      Perform the DBS check

·      Check references of the applicant and if possible, talk to former employers over the phone to discuss their previous role. Usually you would ask for two references 

·      You will need to get Employer's Liability Insurance before your new employee can start

·      Draw up an employment contract, which should include important details likes days and times of work, rates of pay, holiday and sick pay terms and more. You can buy a template employment contract to amend

·      Be aware of all your legal responsibilities as an employer

·      Register as an employer with HMRC and set up a payroll system. You can have an external company do this for you – You’re the Boss offers this service

If you have completed all of the above steps, then you will have successfully hired your own paid carer or support worker. Of course, as an employer, your responsibilities don’t end there – you will need to manage your employee, keep records and ensure they are paid in a timely manner.  

We have a detailed section on the website to help you through the next stages. 

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