Info for PAs

What is a PA (Personal Assistant)?

A PA is a Personal Assistant who is an employed person who gives assistance with whatever tasks the Employer finds difficult to carry out unaided.
PAs are an important part of the Employer’s daily life enabling them to improve their quality of life and well being.
The PA does not take over control from the Employer but provides the right assistance at the right time ensuring the Employer has choices and remains in control of their life.
The best PA is someone who listens well and uses ‘common sense’, as well as respecting and working within the way the Employer chooses to live.
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As a PA how do I get paid?

Payment method is set by the Employer and is usually on a monthly basis but can be weekly, fortnightly or four-weekly. This can be paid directly by your employer either into your bank account or by cheque in line with your contract of employment specified pay date.
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As a PA what can I expect to be paid?

The rate of pay is set by the Employer, but in all cases the minimum paid will be in line with the national minimum wage legislation.
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Can I be a self-employed PA?

Generally the work of a PA is not classed as self-employed work under HMRC guidelines.
If the service that the PA wants to offer as a self-employed Personal Assistant involves personal or nursing care, you would need to register with CQC. If the service does not provide personal care or nursing care, but instead offer assistance with domestic tasks, laundry, shopping, cooking, companionship etc. do not need to register with CQC.

However, the following exemption from Scope of Registration mean that if you work for yourself on a self-employed basis and are working directly for service users, but don’t employ any staff and are paid directly by service users rather than through a centralised account and there is no other involvement in managing the care from an agency, registration would be exempt.

‘Where a person makes their own arrangement for nursing care or personal care, and the nurse or carer works for them without an agency or employer involved in managing or directing the care that the nurse or carer provides, the nurse or carer does not need to register for that service.

Individual user trusts, set up to make arrangements for nursing care or personal care on behalf of someone who lacks capacity to do it for themselves, are also exempt. This exemption is set out in a different set of regulations to the other issues covered in this guidance. See regulation 4(4) of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009.

Also exempt are organisations that only help people find nurses or carers (often known as introductory agencies) but do not have any role in managing or directing the care that a nurse or carer provides when an individual employs them for their care.’

In layman’s terms, a self-employed Personal Assistant does not have to register with CQC if they are just working for themselves but as soon as they employ someone to work for them to cover with a client(s) then they would need to register.

Under guidance from HMRC (the status team), a Personal Assistant cannot decide that they are self-employed or not, it is the responsibility of the Employer that would like to engage a PA to make the decision.

A PA cannot simply make a decision to be self-employed, this rests with the person engaging a service (the Employer).
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As a PA do I need qualifications such as an NVQ?

The qualifications and skills required will depend on the specific position applied for as per the individual job description and person specification.  Whilst qualification and experience are not always necessary prior to appointment; your employer may require you to undertake a relevant training course.  For example if hoists for lifting are being used you may need to know how to do this safely in accordance with the employers requirements, even if you already have experience.  The employer should discuss with you any training and development requirements. For available training in your area you should contact your local Support Service for details.
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As a PA what would my holiday entitlement be?

Details of holiday pay entitlement are set out by the employer in an employment contract. As a minimum PAs receive the statutory entitlement, which is determined by the number of hours/days worked.
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As a PA what would my sick entitlement be?

Details of sick pay entitlement are set out by the employer in an employment contract, which is usually in line with statutory guidelines. This is determined by the number of hours worked, pay earned and NI contributions paid.
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How do I register as a PA?

Simply click on “PA Sign up here” button and follow the on screen instructions. Signing up as a PA is free. You just need to complete and submit the application form and wait until your application has been approved. Once one of our team members has authorised your account you will have full access to all the features of the site.
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What is an Employer?

The Employer is an individual employer who employs Personal Assistants to support them to remain independent.
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How do I search for a vacancy?

When your application has been authorised, you will be able to sign into the web site and view the vacancies available and contact any potential employers via the site using the communication tool.
Should you have any difficulty please contact [email protected] .

You will be able to sign into the web site and view the vacancies available and contact any potential employers via the site using the communication tool. The employer should then contact you via the site using the communication tool to request further information or to arrange an interview. If an employer requests any direct personal contact details, this can be supplied at your own discretion.
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What happens when I contact an employer?

When you send a contact request the recipient will be notified to log in to their account and further communicate with you. From there you can ask any more questions you may have about the vacancy via your NWPA account.
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How do I register?

Simply click “sign-up” and follow the on screen instructions. To sign up as a PA it is free.
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How much will it cost to register?

The cost to register with North West Personal Assistance is currently free to all PAs.
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When will my account be authorised?

For a PA, your account will be authorised when you have completed all required fields in your application including your contact information.
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I’m having difficulty in completing the online PA application form?

Until the application form is completed in full, your registration will not be authorised or visible by potential employers. Whilst completing the online application, at point of submission, any mandatory areas (marked *) not complete will highlight in red for your attention. These should be corrected accordingly and then you need to click the submit button again at the end of the application. As an online application form, it is important that all fields are completed. If you are unaware of specific details such as postcodes or telephone numbers, please enter a zero in the field to prevent error messages continually appearing. If you continue to experience any difficulty please contact [email protected] for assistance.
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How does the communication tool work?

It allows employers and PAs to communicate with each other via the site, without the need to share personal contact details. However, the effectiveness of the site is reliant on employers and PAs responding to any communication accordingly even if you are no longer interested in the PA/job posting. Equally, it is imperative that PAs ensure their application form details (ie availability/training) are up to date at all times.
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What do I do if I have received no response to my communication?

You are not required to log on to check that you have received any communication as you will receive an email from NWPA to inform you that you have received interest via the site. On receipt of the email, you will be required to log on to the site to respond accordingly.  Although we request that employers and PAs respond to any communication even if this is to advise that they are no longer interested, it could be that the lack of response is simply due to apathy, which NWPA have no control over.
If you are not receiving any responses via the communication tool, please contact [email protected] for assistance.
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