Choosing and employing a Personal Assistant

Before you employ a PA, you should feel confident that they are the right person to support you.

It's important you feel safe and comfortable in your own home. That means finding someone you like and trust to do their job well. Remember, you will be their employer and will have to deal with any issues yourself. When choosing your PA, you may want to consider the following:

  • Are they reliable and kind? 
  • Do you feel safe and comfortable around them?
  • Can they help you at the times of day or night you need them?
  • If you have a specific health condition for example, do they have the experience and skills to support you?
  • Can you call them during the night in an emergency?
  • Are they well trained and qualified?
  • Are you happy with their references, employment checks, and are they eligible to work in the UK?
  • Do you feel confident managing them as their employer?   

Recruiting a PA

Before you start looking for someone, it's a good idea to choose someone who knows you well to help you with this process. This could be a friend, family member or someone who has experience of recruiting their own PA. When recruiting a PA, you will need to:

  • create a job description, which outlines how you want them to help and support you
  • decide how many hours you want them to work and what times  
  • decide how much you will pay 
  • think about how you want people to apply 
  • write a job advert
  • prepare an employment contract

Once you have published your advert, you will start receiving applications and some queries about the role. You will then have to start the selection process, this will include:

  • reading through CVs and personal statements
  • selecting a few candidates you feel suit your criteria best
  • considering questions to ask them
  • interviewing them in a safe, public place
  • choosing which candidate is most suitable to work for you
  • informing both the successful, and unsuccessful candidates
  • checking the successful candidate’s previous work references
  • carrying out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
  • checking their eligibility to work in the UK
  • agreeing a start date 

What help is available?

There is lots of practical help, guidance and advice available to support you with finding and employing the right PA for you:

  • Hestia can offer general information and advice on support at home. They can also help make the arrangements to employ a Personal Assistant and help you with some of the ongoing practicalities like managing payroll for you
  • Ruils' Employ-a-PA website provides a step-by-step guide on how to recruit and employ a PA and a range of tools to help you along the way.

If you plan to recruit a PA yourself without the help of an organisation like Hestia, it's important to do this safely:

  • Make sure you have someone you trust by your side who can give you a second opinion
  • Consider which newspaper, magazine or website you’d like to advertise in to help attract a suitable applicant
  • Always hold interviews in a public space and try not to meet anyone on your own
  • Never include your home address or home phone number in an advert
  • Ask to see at least two references from their previous employers, and one of these should be from their last employer.


 

Useful contacts:

Hestia
Phone: 020 7378 3100
Web:www.hestia.org
Email: info@hestia.org

Ruils employ-a-pa
Phone: 020 8831 6083
Web:www.employ-a-pa.co.uk
Email: info@ruils.co.uk

Richmond Council Adult Access Team
Address: Adult Social Services, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ
Phone: 020 8891 7971
Minicom: 18001 020 8891 7971
Email: adultsocialservices@richmond.gov.uk