Guest blog – Employing a personal care assistant

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This week we have a guest blog from The Pensions Regulator which highlights that all employers, including the smallest employers such as those that employ personal care assistants, should check if they need to provide a workplace pension.

As the Pensions Regulator our job is to ensure that pension schemes are adequately funded and run in the best interests of retirement savers – and that employers meet their obligations by enrolling eligible staff into a pension scheme and making contributions.

We know that many of the smallest employers are not organisations at all. They are individuals who happen to employ someone. This group includes around 100,000 people who employ a personal care assistant – someone who can help them with their day-to-day needs to enable them to live their lives as normally as possible. We appreciate that this is a unique group of employers so we’ve worked hard to make meeting automatic enrolment duties as simple as possible for them.

To help, we’ve produced an online step-by-step guide for employers. This interactive simple-to-use tool uses everyday language and contains videos that employers can easily understand. It also includes separate, easy-to-find tailored information for people who employ a personal care assistant, allowing them to quickly identify if they have duties and what they will need to do.

Tell us who you are

The step-by-step guide also has a duties checker . This will tell employers what they need to do and by when.

We want to encourage those people who employ personal care assistants to complete the duties checker so that we can send them tailored information to help them meet their duties towards their staff. Our information includes an essential guide as well as a telephone number where employers can speak to a specially trained adviser who will be able to help them.

Your duties

Staff who are over 22 and are paid more than £768, if they are paid every four weeks, (above £10,000 per year) will need to be put into a pension scheme. However, many personal care assistants will not meet these criteria. While this means they will not have to be put into a pension scheme, the employer still needs to complete a declaration of compliance and send the carer a letter explaining they can ask to join a pension. We know most employers want to do the right thing for their staff and completing a declaration of compliance shows us that the employer has understood their duties.

Nominate a contact

Our letters to employers and our step-by-step guide also ask them to nominate a contact. This contact person will receive information from us about automatic enrolment so that they  can help the employer with their automatic enrolment tasks, including using the duties checker and completing a declaration of compliance. The nominated contact can be a family member, a friend or the personal care assistant themselves. Many employers have trusted support organisations, including those which help them with other administration involved with being an employer, such as paying income tax. A person from this type of organisation can also be nominated as a contact.

For more information on automatic enrolment and what you need to do if you employ a personal care assistant please visit The Pensions Regulator website.

You can find free information and advice to help you and your family on the Age UK website

 

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