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Direct payments and employers liability insurance

SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
If we take direct payments (on behalf of our disabled son) and then to help with caring, employ someone (rather than use an agency), who pays for the employers liability insurance? Do the council make allowance for that cost in the direct payment total? We can ask them when we meet in a few weeks but wondered if the community could advise beforehand. Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • Antonia_ScopeAntonia_Scope Posts: 1,783Member Pioneering
    Hi @SteveE welcome to the community. How are you doing today? I am not sure, but maybe you can call your local authority or council who may be able to answer your questions.

    Some of our members may offer some advice and will reply to you.
  • SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
    Hi @SteveE welcome to the community. How are you doing today? I am not sure, but maybe you can call your local authority or council who may be able to answer your questions.

    Some of our members may offer some advice and will reply to you.
    Hi Antonia - thanks for the reply - yes we are expecting to speak face-to-face to the local council in a week or so - but we would like to be prepared as sometimes the local council have not been accurate with their statements and answers. Hoping here for some examples via members.

  • Antonia_ScopeAntonia_Scope Posts: 1,783Member Pioneering
    Hi @SteveE  you're welcome, ok that's good. I see, yes hopefully you will get some feedback soon. We have some information here that might be useful.
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 827Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @SteveE

    A word of warning, this information I offer you is going back a few years.

    The direct payment team at the local authority, were always very helpful at all times.

    They had a small department that dealt with pay and rations, if you employ someone.

    The budget should reflect all costs, so you are not having to make any shortfalls.

    You can discuss this, at the pending meeting.

    Hope this helps.
  • SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
    Thanks @Antonia_Scope and @atlas46 for your kind help.
  • Antonia_ScopeAntonia_Scope Posts: 1,783Member Pioneering
    You're welcome @SteveE do keep us posted :)
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 827Community champion Pioneering
    Hi again

    Always keep an eye on the spending of direct payments, the only run ins  we had, was about underspends. This often led in attempts to reduce the funding, the council never managed this.

    Also, has your son got an advocate?

    Well worth having one, as they look at life from your son’s best interest and his parents of course.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 14,965Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    To add to the great advice from @atlas46, you may want to use payroll too. I use these and they advertised for a support worker for my daughter because i chose to employ someone myself rather than use an agency. Payroll will also deal with all the payslips and tax too by sending you monthly emails advising how much you need to pay out from the direct payments account. I find them very useful for the small amount they charge.
  • SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
    Thanks @poppy123456 - I'm aware of organisations who deal with much of the paperwork (for a fee) and payments etc but all say we would have to arrange the employers liability insurance. Can you let me know how your insurance is arranged? Thanks again.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 14,965Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    SteveE said:
    Thanks @poppy123456 - I'm aware of organisations who deal with much of the paperwork (for a fee) and payments etc but all say we would have to arrange the employers liability insurance. Can you let me know how your insurance is arranged? Thanks again.
    Payroll contacted the insurance company and they sent me the bill, which i paid using the direct payments. The directs payments you receive will include everything you need to pay, even the costs for payroll.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 14,965Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    I recently renewed the insurance for another year, using the direct payments of course.
  • SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
    Thanks @poppy123456  - that's helpful. I can't find any details of "Payroll" on the web. Is there a link?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 14,965Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    You will need to ask your local council that's dealing with the direct payments to put you in touch with a payroll company in your area. My local council did this for me and payroll contacted me.
  • SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
    OK thanks @poppy123456 - they've already put us in touch with the local place who say we have to arrange our own insurance. You seem to have much better support!
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 14,965Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    No problem. What local place? do you mean they've put you in touch with payroll?

    I really didn't have any other support other than payroll dealing with the payslips and sending me details of what to pay out each month but i pay them for all of that. The insurance is paid as an annual payment and then it's done. I deal with the direct payments on behalf of my daughter and she receives the support from a personal assistant.

    It was a difficult choice whether to employ someone myself or use an agency. I'm so glad i chose the first option because my daughters PA is now practically part of the family, we love her.
  • SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
    Thanks @poppy123456 - well, they told us they use a local charity which offers support for direct payments, and we got in touch with them to find out exactly what they could do for us. It seems they just deal with paying the carers and we have to do the rest (register as employer, get insurance, set up employent contracts, h&s, recruitment). We need support not more work and responsbilities. We could use an agency but we are not keen on the latter as we are wary of having a turnover of people who do not know our son (and he does not know them). Given we've given up on the day care centre provided by the council (due to it becoming quite unsuitable), we are just looking (again) at alternatives, hence our questions here. Your comments have been really useful.
  • GeoarkGeoark Posts: 1,186Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @SteveE unfortunately once you choose to employ someone you do take on more work and responsibility, but this does not have to be overbearing.

    Employers liability insurance is fairly easy to arrange, and it is worth shopping around. Sites like go compare will give you a number of quotes to work on. 

    Job description, contract, employment letter, probation period, health and safety documents etc again while it seems daunting can be fairly straight forward. You have three options, start from scratch and do them on your own, not recommended if you have none or limited experience.

    Do it yourself using an online tool. Companies like Rocket Lawyer offer free document builders, advice and support from £25 per month, you can unsubscribe any time. The documents are reviewed by a lawyer and guarantee to put things right if the document falls foul in court. It should be cheaper than the third option as you do most of the work. Disclaimer: I am not recommending Rocket Lawyer and it will be up to you to check what a company has to offer and any additional costs that may arise.

    The third option is to use an HR company. They will create your documents for you, and provide support regarding other employment issues. They should also be able to cover your costs if their advice is wrong. You do need to ask for it as early as possible and follow their advice to be covered. Again there will be costs. 

    The last two options will be able to help you with health and safety documents and other issues as they arise.

    While it can seem daunting when things go well they seem like they are not worth it, but often help to make things to go well as everyone has a clear understanding of what is expected. If things go wrong they will take a lot of the stress away. Another reason for using an external agency is to ensure you are complying with current legislation which can be varied and changes regularly. Compliance after the fact can be expensive, as in failing to provide a pension.

    You may find it useful to contact Carers UK to see what advice they can offer.

    As @poppy123456 said getting the right person can make a huge difference, not just for the individual but for the family in general.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
    Many thanks @Geoark that's really helpful. As full time carers/parents, we don't really have the time to set up and run all those things ourselves and we don't have any money to pay others to do it for us. Seems Direct Payments create more work and more costs for us parents. But if the council are unable to provide suitable help then we are forced into this situation. And as we approach our 70s, we were hoping for more help, rather than more work and expense. Oh well. We'll continue to explore with social services. Thanks for suggestion about Carers UK - already done that.
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 827Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @SteveE

    Give AgeUK a ring, there is something I read recently, that they provide a package like you are looking for.

    This is when an elderly person gets direct payments. It operates at a local level.

    There will be a simple solution, as previously explained the local council provided these services.

    Keep us informed.


  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 827Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @SteveE

    Just checked about ageUK, you need to call their helpline 0800 678 1604, they will be able to tell you what services are available in your area. 
  • GeoarkGeoark Posts: 1,186Community champion Pioneering
    @SteveE I am sorry, it was not my intention to put you off, but once you become an employer you do take on certain responsibilities. Please speak to the council as they may be able to bring these costs into the direct payment - I don't know if they will or not.

    I hope you find a solution soon.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 827Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @SteveE

    I have just checked my local authority, they provide an Accredited list of Direct Payment Advice and Support Services.

    The costs are paid for within the direct payment budget.

    The Accreditation process is conducted jointly with the NHS.

    There are a dozen of the charities, in the county where I live.
  • SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
    Many thanks @atlas46 and @Geoark - your replies are most helpful. A couple of points: what the local social services will allow or not allow is key and we hope to meet them (again) soon although at this time they seem unable to respond to our requests for a chat; and second, the person who would receive Direct Payments is not elderly but is totally dependent on us, his parents, who are. Once again I am grateful for your time and replies.
  • atlas46atlas46 Posts: 827Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @SteveE

    If I can explain in simple terms, the difference in using direct payments for care from an agency or directly employing someone.

    The costs for the local council are the same.

    An agency will charge for labour cost, plus on costs of an employer (NI Employer liable insurance).

    If your son employs someone he has the same costs as an agency, that is why he would use the services of a third party direct payment advice and support service, like I explained, happens in my county.

    I also suggested you contacted ageUK, as they would assist you, whilst I appreciate it a service for your son, it’s about you and your wife needing assistance.

    Your council should have an information guide about direct payments, also seek the assistance of your MP’s office, councils need to be challenged more times over applying direct payments.

    Also bear in mind it’s about every aspect of your son’s life, need to be assessed.

    I appreciate it does sound a bit daunting, but in reality it is quite simple, once you get the gist of it.

    I went through this process many years ago, for my brother in law, who has severe learning disabilities, it was well worth it.

    Les celebrations his 70 birthday next month and he remains in very good health.

    If you need any further assistance, I would be happy to help.
  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Posts: 244Member Pioneering
    My son has had DPs since about 2001 and for various reasons (including work experience) i chose to do all the personnel, payroll etc myself, which I am happy to do.  When our local authority do the costinig, based on the assessed hours, they have always also included costings for things like Employers insurance, holidays and some training.  I have always used Fish insurance for the employer insurance as they were the first purpose made insurance for people employing care/support workers via DPs.  They cost £135 per year (and of course other insurers are now available)
  • SteveESteveE Posts: 46Member Courageous
    Many thanks @atlas46 and @forgoodnesssake for recent posts and for really useful help and advice. This thread has been most informative.
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