Advice hub

The Independent Lives advice hub has all the information you need to get started and to manage your Direct Payment and to employ your own personal assistants.

Scroll through our informative advice articles or use the filter and search options to find the exact information that you need. If there is anything you can't find or you need clarification on anything then please don't hesitate to contact our advice team.

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01903 219482 (option 3)

Filter topics

Introduction to the Direct Payment support service

Guidance 1.0

This factsheet introduces what you will be required to do to employ a PA using your Direct Payments. Independent Lives will take you through these processes and provide you with the knowledge and paperwork to become a good employer.

Read more →

Direct Payment bank accounts & financial record keeping

Guidance 1.1

As a recipient of Direct Payments you will either need to set up a bank or building society account to receive your Direct Payment (DP) or in some areas a pre paid card will be set up for you by your funder.

Read more →

Preparing your employer budget

Guidance 1.2

Once your support plan is complete and you have planned how you will spend your direct payment (DP) you will need an employer budget to make sure that your planned costs are affordable and sustainable. This factsheet will guide you through the process of drawing up a workable and affordable employer budget to suit your specific circumstances.

Read more →

Employers liability insurance

Guidance 1.3

By law, all employers in the UK must have Employers’ Liability (EL) Insurance. However, if you employ close family members to provide your care or support you may be exempt.

Read more →

Constructing a staff rota

Guidance 1.5

Putting together an effective and workable staff rota will enable you to organise your personal assistance in a way which best supports your lifestyle. The aim of a staff rota is to ensure you have a good balance between flexibility for you and practicality for your PAs.

Read more →

Payroll options

Guidance 1.4

All employers must have a payroll. This is the process of calculating how much you should pay your Personal Assistants (PAs) including relevant deductions such as National Insurance and Income Tax and any additions such as expenses and mileage payments.

Read more →

Working time regulations

Guidance 1.6

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (‘the regulations’) govern the number of hours that your Personal Assistants (PAs) can work in any given period as well as other rights including their right to paid annual leave.

Read more →

Acting as an authorised person

Guidance 1.7

Councils and the NHS have a duty to offer Direct Payments to all eligible people. This includes people who lack the mental capacity to consent to them; where there is an ‘Authorised Person’ to receive and manage such payments on their behalf; and where it would be in their best interests to have Direct Payments.

Read more →

Getting started – supporting documents

Here you will find all the supporting documents for the ‘Getting started’ section of the advice hub.

Read more →

Writing a job description and person specification

Guidance 2.1

To successfully recruit a Personal Assistant (PA) you will need to carefully define the requirements of the job (‘tasks and responsibilities’) and the type of person you need for the job e.g. skills, knowledge and experience. This is called a job description and person specification, ultimately it will form part of your PA’s employment contract.

Read more →