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Individual employers and personal assistants

Data correct as at 2020/21

Next update due: March 2022

This report provides information about direct payment recipients and their personal assistants in England. It includes key figures about the size and profile of the personal assistant workforce, turnover rates, pay rates and other workforce information. 



The majority of the information in this report was collected in January/February 2021 and therefore refers to the situation at that point in time, during the pandemic.

Staff turnover rates and sickness rates are completed ‘over the 12 months prior to completion’ so contain information for some months before the pandemic as well as during it. Skills for Care will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on a monthly basis on dedicated webpages.

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Key findings

  • Around 230,000 adults, older people and carers were receiving direct payments in 2020. Skills for Care estimate that around 70,000 of these were directly employing their own staff.
  • Individual employers had, on average, 1.85 PAs each, creating around 130,000 jobs.
  • PAs had, on average, 1.29 PA jobs each.
  • The average turnover rate of PAs was 18.2%. This was considerably lower than the turnover rate for care workers in the independent sector (39.1%).
  • The average vacancy rate of PAs was 7.9%. This was similar to the vacancy rate amongst care workers (8.1%).
  • Around 20% of PAs were on zero-hours contracts. This was much lower than care workers in the independent sector (35%).
  • The mean hourly pay rate for PAs was £9.95 (as at February 2021). This was much higher than the mean hourly rate for care workers in the independent sector (£9.20 as at December 2020).



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