-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

How Much Do I Pay My Personal Assistant?

Make a donation and support this factsheet

Disability Rights UK Factsheet F50

Your feedback wanted

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have recently launched their new ‘Tell Us About Your Care’ partnerships with a number of national charities, of which Disability Rights UK is one. This involves Disability Rights UK gathering feedback from disabled people about their experiences of using health and social care services. The CQC would welcome feedback on your experience of using any of the services they regulate. Please click here to do so.

Introduction

If you have decided to become an Individual Employer and employ Personal Assistants, part of your legal responsibilities will be to ensure you pay your employees at least the minimum wage. 

The National Minimum Wage rate per hour depends on the person’s age and whether your employee is an apprentice – you must be at least school leaving age to get it.  You will need to check the minimum wage rate every year as it usually updated on an annual basis every October.

There are currently four age based national minimum wage rates and an apprentice rate, which are usually updated in October each year:

The current minimum wage is:

  • for workers aged 25 years or more: £7.83 per hour
  • for workers aged 21-24: £7.38 per hour
  • for workers aged 18 to 20 inclusive: £5.90 per hour
  • for workers aged under 18 (but above compulsory school age): £4.20 per hour
  • for apprentices aged under 19: £3.70 per hour. This rate is for apprentices aged 16 -18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.  All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their year.

From April 2019 the minimum wage will be:

  • for workers aged 25 years or more: £8.21 per hour
  • for workers aged 21-24: £7.70 per hour
  • for workers aged 18 to 20 inclusive: £6.15 per hour
  • for workers aged under 18 (but above compulsory school age): £4.35 per hour
  • for apprentices aged under 19: £3.90 per hour. This rate is for apprentices aged 16 -18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.  All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their year.

More information about the current Minimum Wage Rates can be found on www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates or www.minimum-wage.co.uk/

See also www.gov.uk/employ-someone

You can, if you wish, opt to pay the living wage to your PA. The rates are:

  • UK rate:              £9.00
  • London rate:       £10.55

For more information see  www.livingwage.org.uk/

If you employ a “live in carer” you are able to take into account any accommodation when calculating the minimum wage.  The offset rate for accommodation charges is currently set at £6.40 a day or £44.80 a week.  Where an employer charges more for accommodation, the higher the accommodation charge the lower the employee’s pay, if the accommodation charge is at, or below the offset rate it doesn’t have an effect on the employee’s pay. If the accommodation is free, the offset rate is added to the employee’s pay. The average ‘live in care’ rate ranges from £85.00 to £130.00 per day. For more information on live in care see the Commons briefing National Minimum Wage - sleep in care

See also the section on sleep in shifts in the Minimum Wage guidance at www.gov.uk/government/publications/calculating-the-minimum-wage

No other kind of benefit counts towards minimum wage.

More information can be obtained from the Pay and Work Rights helpline which provides help and advice for workers and employers on workers’ rights at work

Telephone 0800 917 2368  (Monday to Friday 8a.m. – 8p.m.)

Textphone 0800 121 4042 (Monday to Friday 8a.m. – 8p.m)

If you are not on direct payments and you are thinking about changing to a direct payment so you can have more choice and control in order to employ Personal Assistants, you will need to ask your local authority worker (or your health care worker) for a review of your needs or request the social services to give you direct payments rather than having services directly commissioned by your council. Some councils may offer a start-up fund to assist those who wish to employ workers directly to cover recruitment and advertising costs, payroll service and employer’s liability insurance.

Also check with your local authority worker or health care professional whether there is support available for you in order to calculate your hourly rate in accordance with your budget allowance. The direct payments support services can provide such services (cost breakdown for personal care) to you. If you are going to get carers from care agencies or other service providers, the average hourly rate that care agencies charge could range between £11.00 and £19.00. That is because all associated costs (incurred in securing the care provision) are already included in the agency’s rate.

For further information about “the living wage” please check www.livingwage.org.uk

Further information about employment rights and responsibilities can be found at www.acas.org.uk

ACAS helpline on 0300 123 1100 (8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday).

Where can I get more help or information?

This factsheet is a basic overview of paying a personal assistant. We have other publications concerned with independent living in our shop at https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/shop

You can also place orders by contacting Disability Rights UK.

For further help and information please contact our Advice Line- 0330 995 0404.

You can get more information about where to get personal advice from our Factsheet F15 - Getting advice. All our factsheets are free to download on our website at disabilityrightsuk.org. We have a number of independent living factsheets.

To find out more about an organization in your local area that is run and controlled by disabled people check out Disability Rights UK membership on disabilityrightsuk.org

Organizations run and controlled by disabled people in your area may be able to support you to have more choice and control in your life and support your journey to independent living.  Further information is available to secure independent living through disabilityrightsuk.org/how-we-can-help/independent-living

20 November 2018

Was this factsheet useful - Yes or No?