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Being an individual employer

Being an individual employer can help you to live independently and in a way that you choose - they work for you, you decide what you want them to do and you decide when you want them to work. 
You can use a personal budget from health and/or social care (direct payment or personal health budget) or your own money (also called self-funding) to pay for your personal assistant(s). 
When you employ a personal assistant, this means that you become an employer. This can be daunting and there are things that you need to think about - which is why we have developed our 'Employing personal assistants' toolkit which helps you to think about your responsibilities and legal obligations as an employer. 

These resources will help you understand more about being an individual employer

NEW: A way of agreeing how we will work together: a guide for individual employers and personal assistants
These resources have been developed with individual employers and personal assistants.

They’re for people who employ personal assistants (PAs) to support them to live a life they want to lead; engaging in all the things they want to do in their life, and set out what PAs can expect from their employer and what employers can expect from their PAs (in a similar way to a code of conduct).

It’s recommended that both resources be used at the beginning, during and throughout your working relationship. They can also be used during a work trial, as part of induction, at supervision or regular reviews and form the basis of an ongoing conversation between employer and PA, and where rele­vant the wider team and circle of support.

- A way of agreeing how we will work together: a guide for individual employers and personal assistants leaflet, gives an overview of how employers and PAs should work together and what employers and PAs will do.

- The accompanying template can be personalised and be used to expand on what will make your unique working relationship work.
Taking on a personal assistant to support you at work (Sheffield Hallam University and University of York)
This website from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of York, will help you recruit and train a personal assistant to support you at work.
 What is a personal health budget? (NHS England and Improvement)
A personal health budget allows you to manage your healthcare and support such as treatments, equipment and personal care, in a way that suits you. This webpage includes a video that explains what a personal health budget is and how they are used. 
See the easy read guide about personal health budgets
This guide brings together information on what a personal health budget is, who can have one, what they can be used for and how some people have used them.
 Case studies: individual employers (Skills for Care)
In these case studies, individual employers talk about their experiences of employing personal assistants and share their advice to others.
 What is the role of a personal assistant? (RUILS) 
This video from Ruils will help you think about what you might need from a personal assistant and what they need from you.
In the driving seat (In Control)
Produced by In Control this workbook aims to help you plan your support in 2 simple stages of deciding where to go and Getting there.
Top Tips workbook (In Control) 
Tips on how you can support people to plan.The booklet follows the same route as 'In the Driving Seat' which has two parts - Deciding Where To Goand Getting There. This booklet provides more detail, more ideas and some examples.
Find local support
There are lots of organisations that can support individual employers and personal assistants, for example user led organisations (ULOs), direct payment support organisations (DPSOs) and the relevant support teams in local authorities/clinical commissiong groups. 
They can support you with a wide range of things, including information on how you can use your direct payment or personal health budget to employ personal assistants. Some organisations can also help to find personal assistants, manage their wages, insurance and training. They might also have a  register where employers can find people to work for you and where personal assistants can advertise that they are looking for work. 
 Local community support (Small Good Stuff)
Small Good Stuff link people and organisations who offer support with people who need care and support.
 In your area
(Skills for Care)
This directory lists support organisations and local authority/clinical commissioning teams across England - it's split up by region to make it easy for you to search.