For Personal Assistants

For Personal Assistants

Please note that while we support our clients to recruit Personal Assistants, as a Personal Assistant you are employed by the person you provide care and support for. You are not employed by DASL. DASL is not a recruitment or home care agency.

The role of the Direct Payments Support Service is to support direct payments recipients. We are not able to provide support to Personal Assistants. Any issues you have regarding your employment as a Personal Assistant must be addressed to your employer.

Employment Issues
If you are having issues in your employment as a personal assistant you can get support and advice from ACAS through their website and helpline number 0300 123 1100

It may be possible for your employer to organise training for you that is related to your role as a Personal Assistant. From time to time there may also be funded training opportunities available for PAs. You can find out more here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is my employer?
DASL provides support to people to set up and manage their direct payment. We are not a home care or recruitment agency. We support people to recruit personal assistants but we do not employ them.
Your employer is the person you provide care for, or a representative for them. The name of your employer will be on your employment contract.

I haven’t been paid, what should I do?
Your employer is responsible for ensuring you are paid on time for work done. If this does not happen ask your employer if there is a problem. Your employer can then contact their payroll company, if they use one, or Lambeth Council if there has been an issue with receiving their direct payment.

I’ve been paid the wrong amount, what should I do?
If you think you’ve been paid the wrong amount ask your employer to check it for you. They can either correct this for themselves or ask their payroll company to do so. Please bear in mind you may have tax or national insurance deductions.

Why do I not receive the full direct payment amount given to my employer?
Your employer incurs costs that arise due to being an employer. They must set some of their direct payment money aside to cover these costs. These costs include insurance, holiday cover, contingency money and others.

How much holiday can I take?
Every Personal Assistant is entitled to 5.6 weeks of annual leave per year. You can work out your exact entitlement by multiplying the number of hours you work per week by 5.6 weeks to get a total in hours. For example if you work 5 hours per week: 5 x 5.6 = 28 hours per year.

Do I get sick pay?
You must earn over £116 per week before you are entitled to statutory sick pay. Your employment contract will have information in about any entitlement to statutory sick pay and you should speak to your employer about this.

Do I get maternity or paternity pay?
You must earn over £116 per week before you are entitled to statutory maternity or paternity pay. You should speak to your employer about this.

Do I get a pension?
If you earn over £192 per week your employer will automatically enrol you in a pension scheme. If you earn between £116 and £192 per week your employer will give you the option of taking part in a pension scheme.

How can I get more hours to work?
An individual employer can only offer you hours based on their direct payment package. If you would like to be working more hours we would advise you to look for other Personal Assistant roles as you are able to work for more than one direct payment employer. You can check existing vacancies for employers we are working with here.

My current employment is about to end, what can I do?
If your job is ending and you want to find other work as a Personal Assistant you can check current vacancies for employers we are working with here.

Where can I get a reference?
When you leave a position and get a new job and require a reference you must ask your employer. As a Personal Assistant you are employed by the person you care for, or a representative for them. They need to provide a reference for you. DASL does not employ Personal Assistants so please do not list DASL as a reference on any applications. We cannot respond to any requests for references to PAs due to the fact we do not employ you.

I have been asked to get a new DBS check. How do I do this?
If you have been offered a job as a Personal Assistant, Lambeth council will be able to organise a DBS check for you. You will need to contact Lambeth HR on 020 7926 9821 to make an appointment to visit their office in Brixton to complete the DBS application and provide the correct ID. The most appropriate ID is usually a passport, driving licence and utility bill within the last three months. You should check with HR what you need to bring. Once the application has been completed, you will receive your DBS certificate in the post and need to show this to your employer as they do not receive a copy directly.

A Day in the Life

My day starts when I'm sitting on the bus making my way to my client's house and looking through my diary to prepare for the day ahead. Most days are pretty straight forward: attending hospital appointments, cleaning, shopping, making phone calls, sorting through letters and assisting with other household chores. Other days involve going out into the community. In this case, my clients attends tai chi classes for the over 50's and a wellbeing centre, where she enjoys having acupuncture and reiki.

On occasions, I am there to support and give a listening ear as well. That bit is not so easy but once we've had a cup of tea and a chat, things don't seem too bad. Knowing that I've made the difference between someone having a good day or a bad one makes the job all the more rewarding for me.

Many PA's have more than one client, which just means pacing and adjusting yourself to the individual needs of each person you work with. I keep a diary, which I feel is really important, as I can refer back to things if I need to and make a note of upcoming events. Being patient, open minded, flexible and having an empathetic nature is what's needed for a job like this.

J. Matthews (PA)