Policies, procedures and guidelines

I am in the process of recruiting a PA to help for 6 hours a week to support my 8-year old who has a learning disability. I’m really concerned about how I communicate ‘the rules’ to the new PA. For example, in my job I have a raft of policies and procedures that tell me basic information, such as, I can’t use my mobile phone when working (except emergencies), health and safety procedures and so on. However, there isn’t anything forthcoming from the SDS company that’s helping me set this up. Is this all my responsibility? For example, one of the prospective new workers was saying she would take my daughter out with her friend for a day trip and I’m not comfortable with that. I don’t know the friend, there’s no PVG and also this is my daughter’s one-to-one time. All I can see at the moment is an endless list of potential issues and my daughter is incredibly vulnerable and can’t talk yet. Any advice please as I feel utterly lost

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Hi Carlo,
Many thanks for the post - welcome to the SDS Forum.

I totally appreciate that becoming a PA employer for the first time can be a big step to take, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of other things. You mentioned that you are in touch with an ‘SDS company’. I wonder if this might be one of the Independent SDS Information and Support services funded by the Scottish Government? If you wanted to check if it was, you can use the ‘Find Help’ button in the top right hand corner on our website and do a search for your Local Authority area. You can find this here: https://www.sdsscotland.org.uk/

One of the first things I would have done was to connect you with your local support organisation, as they are often providing support to people who are looking to become PA employers. This support can often cover any aspect of getting set up as an employer, so this might include:

  • Helping to decide if being a PA employer is for you and what this involves

  • Putting together a Job Description for a PA

  • Drafting a contract for your PA (or making use of a model contract that’s already available)

  • How to manage PAs - use of probationary periods etc

  • Using a payroll company to calculate and pay wages, make tax and NI payments etc

If the organisation you’re in touch with can’t support you with all of these things, there may be another organisation that can. If you could let me know what Local Authority area you live in I could check to see who else might be available to support you.

There is also a very useful online resource that has lots of information for anyone starting out as a PA employer. This is called the PA and PA Employer Handbook which you can find here: https://handbook.scot/

You can do a keyword search and this will come up with specific information in Articles and Resources within the Handbook.

There is also some free online training that you can access, which is focused on PA employers and people receiving and managing direct payments. The training has been developed by Dundee Carers Centre and you can find this here: SDS Learning Modules now LIVE! - Direct Payments

I hope that this helps but do come back to me if there’s anything else that I can do.

Many thanks,