Information Regarding employment of personal assistants
Are Personal Assistants and Carers key workers?
Personal Assistants (PAs) and carers are considered key workers and allowed to be out and about when working.
If challenged they might need to carry a copy of their contract of employment, their job description or a letter of employment.
What if the DP employer ot cared-for person is self-isolating?
You should carry out a new risk assessment for your PA to ensure it is safe for them to provide your care. They should follow Government Guidance on when to self-isolate
You should ensure your carer has the right personal protective equipment to support you safely.
Your PA may not be able to continue to support you if they have a particular underlying health conditions or is in a high-risk group. They may be able to continue working and should take precautions as outlined in government guidance.
What if my PA has symptoms of Covid19?
Your PA will need to self-isolate if they have symptoms which might mean they have COVID-19. This is flu like symptoms.
- fever - a temperature more than 37.8°C and at least one of the following symptoms, which developed rapidly:
- persistent cough (with or without sputum),
- nasal discharge or congestion,
- shortness of breath,
- sore throat
If your PA / Carer has symptoms then they are able to access Covid-19 Testing through the government
Furlough and Job Retention Scheme
This scheme is not applicable to carers that care for clients in receipt of a Direct Payment. If you are choosing to ask your carer not to work you should continue to pay them as normal from your Direct Payment.
Self Employed Carers
If your carer is self-employed and has submitted a tax return for 2018/19 they may be eligible for the Job Retention Scheme. If they are eligible they will be contacted by HMRC mid May 2020.
What if I don’t want my PA to come to work?
You may feel it is safer for your PA not to come to work, for example if you are in a high-risk household.
If this is the case, your direct payment will continue to be paid during this period so you should continue to pay your PA.
You may want to record the number of informal care hours that are provided, in case this information is useful at a future point.
Can be PA or Carer access support for statutory sick pay?
If they earn above the Lower Earnings Threshold then statutory sick pay would apply from day one. More information
If they do not quality for statutory sick pay please signpost them for possible financial support i.e. Universal Credit or Employment Support.
What if my Personal Assistant isn’t ill but they don’t want to work?
If the Personal Assistant self-isolates through choice, when current guidance does not require it and they are not high risk to you or themselves, you are within your right not to pay them as essentially there are no grounds for why they have not turned up for work.
Please bear in mind this is an exceptional time which people are going through, the options are:
- Annual leave is agreed between the client and the carer
- Unpaid leave is agreed between the client and the carer
- The carer continues to work following health guidelines
My Personal Assistant cannot work due to childcare
PA’s and Carers are key workers and are therefore in the priority group that can send their children to school
If your Personal Assistant’s children need to stay at home because of school closures, they can apply for a reasonable amount of unpaid dependent’s leave to care for children.
They may also be able to take unpaid parental leave (up to four weeks per year per child) or you could ask them to take annual leave.
Information on how to keep safe
How do I protect myself or people I support from Coronavirus?
The government has published guidance to project the most vulnerable against Covid-19. New adult social care guidance
What is Shielding and does it apply to me?
If you are on the vulnerable persons / shielded list you will have been informed through a letter or via your local GP.
Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.
We are strongly advising people with serious underlying health conditions which put them at very high risk of severe illness from Coronavirus (COVID-19) to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe.
How do I know what Personal Protective equipment (PPE) my PA or Carer has to wear?
Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is being updated regularly.
The current guidance is that PPE should be used at all times when providing direct support to someone with the home. This includes wearing a surgical face mask.
Government guidance on PPEE is updated regularly.
Please check also NHS England for the latest guidance about what to do when a resident or someone you are supporting has Covid-19.
What if I don’t have PPE?
If you are a carer and currently do not have access to PPE then you can contact your DP Monitoring Officer and they will arrange for you to pick up some PPE from the Council.
Guidance Quick Links
- Covid-19 social care guidance collection
- Guidance for admission and care of residents during Covid-19 in a care home
- COVID-19 guidance on personal protective equipment
- Self Isolation advice
- Shielded Guidance