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Martin Searle Solicitors

Employment Contracts for Professional Deputies

Employment Law

Professional Deputies deal with complex care needs and require teams of carers to support their clients at home, often 24 hours a day. We provide contracts, consultancy agreements, policies and handbooks to specifically deal with employing or hiring carers in the home, including live-in carers.

What are the benefits of using an agency v employing directly and paying for care at home?

Agencies can be convenient as they employ the carers directly and can provide cover if a carer leaves or is ill. If the quality of the care is good this may be a stress-free option. But if there are problems with some of the carers the Deputy or family will have less control in dealing with this. Agencies are also more expensive than employing carers directly.

Employing carers can provide a higher standard of consistent care, from a smaller bank of employees, but employment and regulatory legislation must be followed. This will include setting up an auto enrolment pension, deducting National Insurance and income tax and ensuring that Working Times Regulations are followed in relation to the 48 hour working week and holiday.

Can I hire a self-employed carer to provide care at home?

It is difficult to use self-employed carers as the main carer as there will be a need for carers to work particular hours to cover specific care needs. This requires more control over a carer than is allowed for someone truly self-employed. This is likely to result in there being an employment relationship. Read Ten Top Tips To Avoid Consultants Becoming Employees.

However, if this person is just filling in as a back up to the main carer, as and when needed, while working for other clients this would pass the criteria as to what constitutes self-employed status.
If the carer is self-employed what must I ensure goes in the contract to protect my client?

The self-employed carer will be responsible for paying their own tax and National insurance. They might have the right to substitute someone else to do the caring if they don’t want those hours as they should be able to turn down work. Substitution may not be a suitable or safe arrangement for your client. Even if the carer is self- employed they are still workers and entitled to holiday pay as they provide personal services.

How we can help you

We will guide you on the pros and cons of using agencies, directly employing or hiring self-employed workers so you can choose the best option. This will dictate the type of contract(s) you need us to prepare.

Our Employment Law solicitors can guide you on the most tax efficient and legally compliant way of contracting care services at home. We can also help you decide how to improve a current care at home package to make sure your client’s needs are being met.

For expert advice on hiring or employing carers directly rather than through an agency, contact our Employment Law team today on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk.

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