Personal assistants

A personal assistant supports their employer with a wide range of tasks, helping to increase their independence and make a real difference to their quality of life.

They are usually employed by people who are either:

  • directing their care through a direct payment or personal budget from the council
  • are funding their support

These types of employers are often referred to as individual employers.

Individual employers have employer’s liability insurance and where necessary are registered with HMRC. These employers should offer the necessary training to do the duties required and fulfil all of the other responsibilities that employers have to meet.

Personal assistants can be employed directly by one employer, work for several different people or be self-employed.

What the role of a personal assistant involves

The job can be very flexible, offering part-time and full-time work on different days and at different times.

Some people become a personal assistant part-time whilst also working in an entirely different job.

Duties can include:

  • personal care, including assistance with feeding, bathing and toileting if required
  • assisting with taking food, refreshment and medication
  • mobility
  • bed making
  • monitoring and recording temperature, pulse, respiration etc.
  • healthcare tasks such as dressings, catheter management, administration of medication
  • supporting the person while at work
  • helping to look after children and pets
  • supporting the person in their chosen activities such as shopping, meeting friends, going on holiday or gaining an education

They can support to assist with living independently as far as possible. This can include assistance with:

  • meal preparation
  • cooking
  • cleaning and domestic activities
  • shopping
  • social and leisure activities
  • generally assisting with overall comfort and well-being

How to employ a personal assistant

You can make a private arrangement with someone yourself. You will need to make sure that the employment and payment of your personal assistant are properly dealt with in line with HMRC requirements.

It is recommended that you appoint a payroll and pensions provider to assist you with the HMRC and Pensions reporting tasks as these are quite complex but you can choose to deal with these responsibilities yourself.

People often use Direct Payment funding to employ personal assistants and we can support you with this and provide all of the advice and support you will need with employment, payroll and pensions via our Personal Budget Support Service team.

How to get support

We can give you information, advice and guidance to help you remain independent. Where you may require additional help we can assess you to see if you have eligible needs or to review your current care package.

Get social care help

Last updated 15 November 2022