Direct Payments: Becoming and Employer
Becoming an employer inevitably bestows additional responsibilities upon you and, as such, you will need to:
- Employ staff
- Manage them
- Pay them
- Train them
- Create a safe environment for them to work in
- Get insurance
- Pay tax to H M Revenue and Customs
- Comply with employment legislation
You will also need to provide the employee with a written job description, statement of employment particulars and employment contract within eight weeks of employment commencing. Please see our check list below – we can help with all of these necessities.
- Prepare a job description
- Prepare a person specification
- Prepare a job application form
- Decide how much you will be able to pay in salary
- Prepare a job advertisement
- Place the job advertisement
- Deal with enquiries from applicants
- Shortlist suitable applicants
- Interview applicants
- Obtain references from previous employers
- Obtain Criminal Records Bureau checks
- Organise induction training and development plan
- Set up a payroll bureau to pay the staff
- Inform you of tax and National Insurance to pay to H M Revenue and Customs
- Prepare a staff rota and organise a contingency plan
- Help you with staff meetings
- Prepare a home diary to record the care provided
- Organise employers’ liability insurance
- Organise on going staff training
Direct Payments: Choosing a Care Agency
If you decide that becoming an employer would be too complicated for you, then you may decide to use a care agency instead.
The care agency may be able to provide you with a more flexible service but you may not be able to choose your carer, who may change from time to time.
Choosing an agency can also be a difficult process. It is important that the agency is registered and has a good reputation for reliability and providing good care services. We can help you to shortlist suitable care agencies and will make sure that the care agency provides you with the following:
- A proper care contract, which we will review prior to signing
- A person-centred care plan
- A series of risk assessments that have been used to assess your care
- A series of policies and procedures that they are required to comply with for National Minimum Standards
- Details on how to complain
- A diary for them to record the care they provide
- Dates of the first 28 day review and subsequent reviews of your care
Some care agencies will require you to sign a timesheet for the carer they provide. Some care agencies use electronic monitoring. At the end of each month the care agency will send you an invoice for payment. We can check the invoice against the records held by the care agency so that you will only pay for the care that you receive as part of the care contract that you have signed.
Direct Payments: Finance Support
When you become an employer you must ensure that you have enough funding to pay your staff each month and that the records you keep show a true account of how you have spent the Direct Payment.
We can help you to:
- Set up a simple accounts system so that you continue to be accountable - These will include payroll records and a simple record of your income and expenditure, including evidence of each invoice, for example.
- Access all available funding, prepare for assessments, and manage your fund.
- Prepare an annual budget covering all your staff costs, insurance, tax and National Insurance and help you fund this either by Direct Payment, an Independent Living Fund or through your own personal contribution (if required).
- Deal with sick pay and annual leave.
Direct Payments: Third Party Supported Accounts
Third Party Supported Accounts are used when a person finds it difficult to manage their own finances, or for an individual who may have been the victim of financial abuse.
We will set up a trust account in your name, but to which we are a signatory. We will then pay your staff or care agency from that account and make a three-monthly summary available to you, your social worker and Direct Payments. We will monitor all transactions and operate the trust account in a way which gives you complete choice and control.
Direct Payments: Payroll Bureau
When you become an employer you will need to pay your staff and make appropriate deductions from their salary for tax and National Insurance.
Our payroll bureau will prepare calculations of staff salaries and make deductions as required by law. A payslip will be prepared and sent to the employee by e-mail. We will advise you of the net amount that you are required to pay the employee and arrange for that payment to be made directly into the employee’s bank account.
Tax and National Insurance
We will inform you of the amount of tax and National Insurance you must pay and arrange for this to be paid on a quarterly basis via the internet. We will prepare quarterly returns to H M Revenue and Customs and prepare and submit the annual return through using the internet. We will advise you of any adjusting payments or overpayments. We will also provide your employees with a P60 each year end.
Each week you will need to check and sign the employee’s timesheet in order for us to calculate their pay. The time sheet is also used to make sure that the employee is attending to your care on time.
We will keep records of your employees’ annual leave entitlement and the leave taken, and advise you of the annual leave position twice a year.
Sometimes an employee may become ill or pregnant. We will calculate the salary, including statutory sick pay or maternity pay, and monitor their entitlement on a regular basis.
If an employee decides to leave your employment we will prepare a P45 so that they can supply their new employer with details of their previous employment, gross wages and the tax deducted. We will send the P45 once the final payment to the employee has been made.
We are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and ensure that only people who have the legal right to access your data can do so. We do not share your or your employees’ personal data with anyone outside our firm, unless you give us the authority to do so.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information and advice – we will be delighted to assist you.