I’m a Self-Employed PA with around 10 years experience in SDS, who supports a gentleman to manage his package and employees. I’m also a community worker for Support Choices, which is an organisation who works closely with Local Authority and the community to improve knowledge and accessibility surrounding SDS options.
As it is coming up to the end of the current tax year, I have had a few conversations/queries from people who are experiencing difficulties regarding PA holiday entitlement, and the calculations provided to them by their accountants.
From my discussions, PA’s are being declined holiday pay by the managed accountant, who states that they have not yet accrued the holiday pay that they are requesting. This in itself is entirely legal and correct, however due to the personal, and often essential, nature of a PA’s role in peoples lives, these timescales and rules surrounding how and when holidays are paid are not very helpful.
By the end of the tax year the PA will have worked enough hours to receive this pay. Basically the PA has to accrue the holidays by FIRST working the hours, before they are entitled to that pay. This therefore forces the PA to either take unpaid leave due to not having accrued enough to date, change their holidays to a date right at the end of March, or give up their holidays entirely due to having to cover other PA’s who have been forced to take holidays all at the same time (or risk losing them themselves). All of which can cause distress, disorganisation and put pressure on other PA’s and families.
1 - If all PA’s (particularly those who work as part of a larger package of care for someone) were to take their remaining holidays only after they are accrued at the very end of the tax year, this would leave the employer in crisis with minimal/no staff to their provide support.
2 - A PA is not allowed to carry unused holidays into the following tax year, so they either must use holidays at detriment to the employer due to inconvenient timing, or lose their holidays at detriment to themselves.
3 - If a PA intends on taking a holiday early on in the tax year (e.g. a weeks holidays in April), they would be unable to do so, due to not having worked enough hours to accrue one week of holiday pay, therefore restricting PA’s to the time of year when they are able to book time off, and also how much time they can afford to book off.
I feel that these difficulties could be at least partially remedied by allowing PA’s to take holidays whenever they like throughout the year, and if an overpayment occurs (like holidays taken early and a staff member leaves, or fails to work the minimum predicted/contracted hours), the amount could be deducted from the employee’s final pay. Also, this would give more flexibility to be able to spread out holidays throughout they year, which would significantly lower the risk of PA employers encountering a crisis at the end of the year, because all staff are trying to take holidays.
Any feedback would be appreciated. I would love to hear how others manage this dilemma, and if there are/will be measures put in place to remedy this issue?