For some people being an employee of your service user will be the easiest way of being a paid carer. You approach this like any other job; you would be interviewed by the person looking for a paid carer along with other candidates, and if you get the job, you have the same employment rights as in any other job role.
The benefits of being an employee
- The biggest benefit is that you are employed, which means that you are entitled to certain rights, for example, at least the national minimum wage, holiday and sickness pay and a contract of employment. You can find out more about your employment rights below
- As you are employed, you don’t have to worry about finding your clients, and you are guaranteed an income. This is good for people who need to know exactly when they are working and what they are earning, which is good for those who need to arrange childcare, for example.
- Your employer will be responsible for making sure that a contract and the right insurances are in place, so there is less pressure on you to worry about the business side of things. You don’t need to invoice for work or worry about doing your own tax or National Insurance, as this is all covered by your employer.
The drawbacks of being an employee
- The pay will be set by the employer and it can be harder to negotiate than if you were self-employed. Bear in mind, as with any job, travel to and from work is not included. Its also keeping in mind that you will probably get paid a slightly lower hourly rate as your employer takes over some of the costs from you (such as paid holiday, training and insurance).
- The working hours and duties will be in your contract, so there is less flexibility than if you were self-employed. You will be expected to be there on time for your scheduled hours, unless you are ill or otherwise incapable of working.
It is worth noting that it is not simply a ‘choice’ over whether you’re deemed employed or self-employed. There are strict guidelines which determine your employment status. Have a look at our article ‘Are you employed or self-employed’ or for Premium members our more in depth look at the specifics for Paid Carers here [LINK]
What are your Employment Rights
If you are considering becoming a paid carer and working directly for a service user under a contract of employment, you should be aware of your employment rights
Employers have a number of responsibilities in terms of compliance with employment legislation, and it is important that you are aware of your rights as this will help you and your employer establish the ground rules at the start of your working relationship.
From the start of employment with an employer you would expect the following:
- At least the National Minimum Wage
- Enrolment onto a Workplace Pension through automatic enrolment (if eligible)
- For your employer to make the necessary deductions for tax and NI from your gross salary
- To be provided with a payslip showing your gross wage, net wage and any deductions
- A contract of employment within two months of starting work
- Paid holiday
- To be paid statutory sick pay, assuming you meet the qualifying criteria
- To work no more than 48 hours per week on average
- Not to be discriminated against because of race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or belief, transgender, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership or age
- Your rights to leave and pay in accordance with maternity, paternity and adoption
- To be provided with the relevant protective personal equipment (PPE) that you need to do your job
- Not to be dismissed for an unfair reason (after two year’s service)
- Redundancy pay (after two year’s service)
If, having read all of this, you think that you are likely to be, or would like to be a Paid Carer who is an employee then why not have a look at our booklet giving more information on Employment rights [LINK]