Direct Payment Employment Support

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Your responsibilities as an employer

Using Direct Payments to employ a Personal Assistant gives you more control about who comes to support you, how they work and when they see you.

As an employer, you will have additional responsibilities and legal obligations.

These are listed below;

  • Employers’ Liability Insurance;
    All employers in the UK must have employers’ liability insurance to compensate staff who become unwell or injured at work.
    Wiltshire council have commissioned a market leading policy from Mark Bates Ltd which is available for all Direct Payment employers in Wiltshire.
    See insurance section below for further details.
  • Payroll
    All employers must pay their staff according to HMRC guidelines to ensure the appropriate tax and national insurance contributions are deducted. Most Direct Payment employers use a payroll service for this. Wiltshire council pay for you to use a payroll service from your direct payment money to ensure you can pay your staff correctly.
  • Health and Safety
    All employers have a duty to keep their staff safe and well while working for them.
    Wiltshire council have commissioned a Direct Payment support service provided by the Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living. The Direct Payment support service will help you manage your health and safety responsibilities to keep your staff safe and well.
    Your insurance policy provided by Mark Bates Ltd also gives you access to a free 24hr helpline to help you manage the legal responsibilities of being an employer. This includes Health and Safety advice and guidance.
    See insurance section below for further details.
  • Employment law and statutory rights
    Your employees have statutory employment rights and must be treated in a fair and reasonable way. The Wiltshire CIL and your insurance company will be on hand to support you with this, working in partnership to provide ongoing support, advice, contract templates and other documents as required.
  • Workplace Pensions (auto-enrolment)
    All employers are required to assess and potentially enrol staff into a workplace pension. This is a relatively new duty placed on all employers in the UK regulated by the Pensions Regulator.
    Your payroll provider (a service funded by your Direct Payment) can manage this for you ensuring you are compliant with the law.

Home Employment Insurance

Wiltshire Council have commissioned Mark Bates Ltd (the Home of Premier Care) to provide bespoke insurance cover for all Direct Payment employers in Wiltshire.

The Premier Care Home Employment policy provided includes the following;

  • Employers Liability
  • Public Liability
  • 24 Hr helplines for employment/HR matters
  • Legal expenses
  • Personal Accident cover
  • Redundancy cover

For more information about the cover available in Wiltshire please see the following key facts document.

For information about Mark Bates Ltd click here -
Or phone the office on 01476 514478

More information and advice

If you are a Direct Payment employer in Wiltshire with a Mark Bates Ltd Home Employment policy, you will have access to employment advice provided by MSL Legal Expenses Limited (MSL).

MSL provide this service 24hrs per day seven days a week on behalf of Mark Bates Ltd. It provides advice to policy holders with all employment matters and issues related to the employment of a Personal Assistant.

Wiltshire policy holders can contact the MSL legal advice service on 0161 603 2167 quoting home insurance and their Home Employment policy number.

Please note: It is essential to contact MSL for advice around any employment matter for which you may need to make a claim.


Information for Personal Assistants

A Personal Assistant works and is employed directly by a person who needs support to be able to live in a way they choose. This requires a personal assistant to handle the diversity of roles and tasks during employment to help the employer live in a way they choose.
A personal assistant doesn’t need to have any qualifications or previous experience but they need to have the correct values as the employer is relying on the personal assistant for care and support in many areas of the employer’s life such as in the home, at leisure or at work.


What does it mean to be self employed?

A person’s employment status determines how they should be paid and taxed. Most Personal Assistants will be classed as employees. This means the employer is in control of the work undertaken.

In contrast, a self-employed person has much more control about how and when the work they do will be provided.

Employment status is not a choice. It is job specific.

The Employment Status Indicator (ESI) tool enables you to check the employment status of an individual or group of workers – that is whether they are employed or self-employed for tax, National Insurance contributions (NICs).

It is provided by the HMRC and can be found here;


Direct Payments: /care-and-support/direct-payments.aspx

Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living:

Mark Bates the home of premier care: