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FAQ's for Personal Assistants

What kind of relationship should/can I have with my employer?

As a personal assistant you have a unique relationship with your employer and at times it can feel like a friendship. However, the relationship with your employer should always be professional. There are no standards or codes of practice for personal assistants, but it may be relevant for your role to follow the Dignity in Care and the Code of Conduct on the Skills for Care website. You should discuss this with your employer.

Do I have to have my own insurance?

It is the responsibility of your employer to have insurance. The types of insurance they are likely to have are public and employer’s liability insurance. However, if you are using your car in relation to your employment you will need to ensure your car is insured for business use. Please note: If you are self-employed you will be required to have your own insurance.

What happens if I am ill?

As an employee you may be entitled to statutory sick pay, the details of which should be included in your employment contract. Your employer should have something in place if you are unable to work and for planned holidays. You should speak to your employer if you are not sure about this. More information can be found on Direct.gov

Who is responsible for my health and safety?

All workers are entitled to work in environments where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Under health and safety law, the primary responsibility for this is down to employers. You also have a duty to take care of your own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by your actions at work. You must co-operate with employers and co-workers to help everyone meet their legal requirements. If you have specific queries or concerns relating to health and safety in your workplace, talk to your employer.

If you think your employer is exposing you to risks or is not carrying out their legal duties in regards to health and safety and this has been pointed this out to them and no satisfactory response has been received, in the first instance you should speak to POhWER. If you have a complaint, please contact the Health and Safety Executive.

Can I work for more than one person?

Yes.  You could choose one employer where you pay your tax and national insurance contributions. However, it would be best to tell your current employer so they can make sure they follow any regulations, like The Working Time Directive.

My employer finds it difficult to give me holidays, can I find cover for them?

That depends on what your employer wants to do. Sometimes employers could ask you to find cover but it is not your responsibility. You can and should say no if you are not able to do this. If you did know of someone who would cover holidays it remains your employer’s responsibility to ensure this person is interviewed and suitable for the work and have a contract.

What do I do if I think someone is being mistreated?

Each local authority has a policy which helps the public and other professionals know what to do if they suspect an adult or a child is being mistreated. This is usually called safeguarding. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with what safeguarding and how to report suspected abuse via the Shropshire Council website.

What hours can I expect to work?

Your working hours will be decided by your employer and will be set out in your contract of employment. This can range from a few hours a week to a full working week. Quite often employers are looking for some flexibility within an agreed number of hours.

Will I have to sort out my own tax and national insurance?

No. You will be employed directly by your employer who will sort out your pay, tax, national insurance and pension contributions. Some employers use a wages/payroll agency/ bureau to sort out your pay every month.

What do I get paid?

Your employer will agree with you the rate of pay and how often you will be paid (for example, monthly or weekly). However, the employer will be made aware of minimum wage requirements by Shropshire Council or POhWER.

Who pays me?

Your employer will be responsible for paying you, however they can choose to do this through a payroll service.

 

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