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Resources for Employers

For new and existing Individual Employers

What is an Individual Employer?

What is an Individual Employer?

An Individual Employer (IE) is someone who employs a Personal Assistant (PA) to support or help them. There are various ways that an Independent Employer can fund their Personal Assistant, such as through a Personal Budget, Direct Payment or self-funding. 

By employing their own Personal Assistant rather than receiving care from an agency, Individual Employers can have more choice and control over who cares for them, and the kind of support receive. This page contains useful resources for both new and existing Individual Employers.

Personal Budget

Getting An Assessment For A Personal Budget

If you believe you require support or help but do not currently receive it from Sheffield City Council, visit then visit this page to Get a care and support assessment.

Carers UK have also produced the Assessments: Your guide to getting help and support in England Factsheet which details how both carers and those who require care and support can get an assessment to assess their needs.

Using Your Direct Payment

Using your Direct Payment

Direct Payments can be used for a wide range of support and services, including the employment of a PA. That’s where the Sheffield PA Register comes in! Here you can advertise for either a PA, or advertise that you are a PA looking for employment. It’s a place for PAs and Employers to make connections, helping them find the PA or Employer who is right for them.

But employing a Personal Assistant isn’t the only thing you can use a Direct Payment for. You can use it for the following:

For more information on Direct Payments visit our Direct Payments Resources page.

  • To employ a Personal Assistant
  • To employ a care agency to manage your care and support
  • To pay for respite care

  • To attend activities and services that support our overall wellbeing, such a sports club, a lunch club or a day centre

  • To pay for a piece of equipment that is not available to you through NHS equipment services

  • To pay for transport to services or activities if the price of the transport is significantly higher than most people would normally pay

Recognised Provider List

Sheffield City Council's Money Management Recognised Provider List

This is a list of companies that have agreed to meet the Council’s minimum standards and follow a clear quality framework. More information about the award and how companies can apply is available on the Council website.

All of the companies in the list below have this award:

If your Direct Payment includes support from a money management service the Council will arrange this with one of these companies.

There are other services on the Sheffield Directory that can provide payroll and money management advice and support for adults, children and families. To view these organisations visit: Payroll and Money Management


Employing a PA

Employing a PA

Being an employer for the first time can sometimes feel daunting, but there are some great resources out there to really help you fully understand what being an Individual Employer is all about, introducing you to your rights, responsibilities and some useful tips to get you started.

Sheffield City Council

Sheffield City Council’s Employing a Personal Assistant webpage contains information and support resources for people hiring and employing a Personal Assistant.

It contains helpful guides, information and support resources, including:

This handbook is an excellent starting point for anyone looking to employ a Personal Assistant, guiding readers through the  process, from creating a Job Description to carrying out an interview. The handbook also includes details of useful organisations and links to support resources. The guide includes:

  • Creating a job description
  • Advertising the role
  • Carrying out the interview
  • Checks and offering the job

Link: Employing a PA Handbook: Part 1: Recruiting a Personal Assistant

This guide details your responsibilities as an employer, as well as the tasks you will need to complete, including:

  • Creating a contract
  • Payroll services and HMRC
  • Wages
  • Hours of work
  • Holiday Pay
  • Bank Holidays
  • Pensions
  • Employers Liability Insurance
  • Redundancy
  • Travel
  • Employing someone from outside the UK
  • Confidentiality
  • Record Keeping

Link: Employing a PA Handbook: Part 2: Becoming an Employer

This guide helps you to think through what you need to do once your Personal Assistant (PA) has been recruited. It will help you consider some of the best things to do from the PA’s first day at work to maintaining a long successful working relationship, including:

    • Working together
    • Identifying training needs
    • Resolving problems
    • Keeping yourself and your PA safe

Link: Employing a PA Handbook: Part 3: Being a Good Employer

This document contains answers to frequently asked questions about employing a Personal Assistant.

Link: Employing a Personal Assistant FAQs

This document contains samples and blanks of the documents you will require when employing a Personal Assistant, including:

    • Sample job description
    • Sample job adverts
    • Blank job application form
    • Sample letter inviting someone to interview
    • Sample interview questions
    • Preparing for your interviews checklist
    • Sample job reference letter and job reference form
    • Sample letter offering someone the job
    • Sample content for a contract of employment
    • Sample discipline policy and grievance procedure
    • Sample payslip
    • Blank timesheet
    • Blank safety at home checklist
    • Sample risk assessment

Link: Employing a Personal Assistant: Samples and Blanks

This factsheet takes you through the process of getting a DBS check for your Personal Assistant, answering questions such as:

    • When should a DBS check be carried out
    • How do I carry out a DBS check
    • The 3 levels of DBS check

Link: Getting a DBS check for your PA Factsheet

This factsheet explains Employer’s Liability Insurance and why you require it if you employ a Personal Assistant.

Link: Employer’s Liability Insurance Factsheet

This tool will help you to pay consistent pay rates for your Personal Assistants, and make sure PAs across the city receive similar rates of pay. Answering the questions in the form will help you decide what rate of pay is most suitable, so it’s best to complete the form with your social worker before you advertise for a PA. If you haven’t used the tool before this guide details how to use it: Personal Assistant Rates Decision Making Tools Guidance

Link: Personal Assistant Wages Rates Tool

Some people who use Direct Payments choose to employ relatives, friends, and neighbours. This factsheet asks you to consider these and work out what’s best for you.

Link: Employing a Friend or Relative as a Personal Assistant Factsheet

This guide explores what being person-centred means as well as what can make supervision effective. The guide contains five work charts to support Managers to develop person- centred thinking and approaches with Employees through supervision.

Link: Being Person Centred: A Guide for Supervision and Appraisals in Adult Health and Social Care

If you or someone you know are interested in being a personal assistant you can find out about the job in Sheffield City Council’s Personal Assistant Information pack.

Link: Personal Assistant Information Pack

This film from Equal Voices looks at what it’s like to have a personal assistant to support you if you have a disability or a mental health condition or are elderly. The film contains real stories, experiences and advice from individual employers and their personal assistants.

Link: Make it Personal with a Personal Assistant

This Factsheet explains what we mean by the word restraint, the various types of restraint and who you can talk to if you are unhappy with something relating to restraint and your Personal Assistant.

Link: Let’s Talk About Restraints

This video created by Disability Sheffield’s self Advocacy project Sheffield Voices, gives an example of unacceptable restraint and the effect it has on people.

Link: Understanding Restraints Video

This factsheet helps you to consider how you might reduce the risk of infection. You and your Personal Assistants (PAs) should discuss personal preferences for keeping everyone safe.

Link: Preventing Infection Factsheet

This factsheet explains how and when you and your Personal Assistant should wash your hands.

Link: Washing your Hands Factsheet

This video created by Disability Sheffield helps you understand the issues around data security for Individual Employers and what can be done to keep your data safe.

Link: Data Security for People who Employ PAs

Skills For Care

Skills for Care: Employing PAs Toolkit

The Skills for Care: Employing PAs Toolkit is a comprehensive toolkit which explains and offers useful information and advice on employing PAs. The toolkit is an extremely useful resource, whether you have already employed a PA, or you are thinking of employing one. In the toolkit you’ll find valuable insight and information on topics such as:

Advice and information on topics such as writing a job description, carrying out an interview, writing a job advert and doing the right checks before offering someone employment.

Link: Recruiting a PA

Advice and information on how to be prepared for when your PA starts their employment with you. This section covers topics such as Contracts, pay, redundancy, health and safety, insurance and keeping records.

Link: Before your PA starts

Useful templates including Job Description, Application Form, Contract of employment, Risk Assessment, Disciplinary Form.

Link: Templates

Advice and information on topics such as what to do if your PA is absent, if you are not happy as an employer, if your PA is not happy or if you are being abused.

Link: Sorting out Problems

Advice and information on topics such as planning an induction for your PA, implementing supervision, managing your PA and making sure your PA has the right training and qualifications.

Link: Managing and developing your PA

This guide explains what people with autism and their families think is important to consider when employing a Personal Assistant (PA), a great guide for those who either are autistic and thinking of employing a PA, or for PAs who may be working for an employer on the autism spectrum.

Link: How to be a great autistic Individual Employer PDF

As an individual employer you can apply for the individual employer funding to train yourself and your personal assistants (PAs). Developing your PA’s personal and professional skills not only benefits you as their employer, but it also gives your PA the skills and confidence to be the best PA they can be.

Link: Skills for Care: Individual Employer Funding


Gov.UK: Employing Someone For The First Time

GOV.UK have produced the Employing someone for the first time webpage, which details the seven things you need to do when employing someone:

You must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage.

Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well.

Check if you need to apply for a DBS check (formerly known as a CRB check) if you work in a field that requires one, e.g. with vulnerable people or security.

Get employment insurance – you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer.

Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing to your employee. You need to give your employee a written statement of employment if you’re employing someone for more than 1 month.

Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by registering as an employer – you can do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff.  

Check if you need to automatically enrol your staff into a workplace pension scheme.

Better Hiring Institute

Better Hiring Institute

The Better Hiring Institute has created the Better Hiring Toolkit, which provides simple guidance to support you to both obtain and provide effective references and conduct information. 

It has been compiled as a collaboration between the Better Hiring Institute, Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), Skills for Care, Reed Screening, Dominic Headley & Associates (DHA), and VBA Consulting.

At the heart of the Toolkit is the safety of the people who employers are entrusted to care for and the staff who carry out this role. Those responsible for recruiting or supervising staff or volunteers, have an obligation to conduct a safe and fair recruitment process and ensure that pre-employment checks are robust so that your organisation safeguards the people being supported.

The Better Hiring Toolkit for Care is free and has handy templates throughout for you to use.


Templates, Samples and Blanks of Useful Documents

Templates are a useful way for Individual Employers to create their own documents when they start employing a Personal Assistant for the first time.

Sheffield City Council has produced a range of samples and blank documents Employing a Personal Assistant: Samples and Blanks that you will require when employing a Personal Assistant, including:

  • Sample job description
  • Sample job adverts
  • Blank job application form
  • Sample letter inviting someone to interview
  • Sample interview questions
  • Preparing for your interviews checklist
  • Sample job reference letter and job reference form
  • Sample letter offering someone the job
  • Sample content for a contract of employment
  • Sample discipline policy and grievance procedure
  • Sample payslip
  • Blank timesheet
  • Blank safety at home checklist
  • Sample risk assessment

Skills for Care has produced useful Templates for Individual Employers to use while they’re going through the process of employing a Personal Assistant. They have a wide range of templates available on their Skills for Care Individual Employers Document Templates webpage including:


  • Recruiting a Personal Assistant
    Document templates including Job Adverts, Application Forms, Persona Specification and Job Descriptions


  • Before your Personal Assistant Starts
    Document templates including Contract of Employment, Holiday Request form, Sickness and Absence Records and Risk Assessment


  • Managing and Developing your PA
    Document templates including a PA’s Training needs form


  • Sorting out Problems
    Document templates including Disciplinary Form and Grievance Policy

ACAS has a wide range of useful employment and workplace templates available for both employers, and employees on their Template Letters and HR Documents webpage.

Templates for employers include:

Job offer letters

Resignation acceptance letter
Reference request letter
Mental health reasonable adjustments confirmation letter

Forms and HR Documents:
Recruitment Checklists

Absence record template
Induction checklist
Investigation plan and report

Example Policies:
Example disciplinary procedure

Example flexible working policy
Example bereavement policy

Templates for employees include:

Grievance letter

Resignation letter
Flexible working request letter
Mental health reasonable adjustment request letter

Penderels Trust

Penderels Trust

Penerels Trust is a charity working to promote independent living. They offer a wide range of services to support Direct Payment recipients, including the Direct Payment Support Service and a range of additional support.

This factsheet explains the services Penderels offer to support Direct Payment recipients, such as:

  • Information, Advice and Support Hub
  • Personal Assistant Recruitment Support Service
  • Direct Payment Support
  • Peer Support

Link: Penderels Guide to Direct Payment Services in Sheffield



ACAS gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. ACAS can help you as an Individual Employer by providing:

Free advice on employment rights, rules and best practice. Click here for advice.

Free letters, forms and policy documents to adapt. Click here to view templates.

Help to get a legal agreement without going to an employment tribunal, or help to resolve a dispute. Click here to view more.

Mental Health

Mental Health​

Making sure that the mental health of you and our Personal Assistant is ok is very important. Just as with physical health, mental health problems can make it very difficult for a Personal Assistant to provide the support required, and can also have a hugely negative effect on your PA’s home life.

It is important that both you and your PA feel comfortable enough to talk about any mental health issues you have, and that you are proactive in trying to address them.

The Mental Health Foundation is one of the UKs leading mental health charities, and their How to Support Mental Health at Work guide is an invaluable tool for PAs and Employers alike. Being a Personal Assistant can come with unique stresses and situations, and it is important to take good care of both your own and your employer’s mental health.

This guide will help you to:

  • Have an idea of how to manage your own mental health at work
  • Have an idea of how to reach out to a colleague in distress
  • Have an idea how you can work with others to make your workplace more mentally healthy for everyone

Mind is a national mental health charity working to address mental health through support, advice, information and policy change. Their How to support staff who are experiencing a mental health problem factsheet is extremely useful for employers or colleagues who have a staff member in need of mental health support.

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