What is a PA?

A Personal Assistant (PA) is someone employed to assist a disabled child or young person with their day to day living.  PA’s provide tailor-made support to meet an individual’s social and personal needs.  No two PA roles are the same, the job description will set out the roles and responsibilities.  This can range from supporting personal care needs to assisting a young person to access social opportunities and keep them safe.

Who can be a PA?

Anyone can become a PA provided you:

  1. Are eligible to work in the UK
  2. Do not live in the same house as the recipient of the Direct Payment
  3. Are willing to undergo an enhanced DBS check

Skill requirements will differ vastly depending on the needs of the young person requiring support.  Any specific training or skills will be made clear in the job description and any required training will be provided.

Looking for work as a PA?

There are always families looking for PA’s and there are ways you can make yourself visible to these.

  1. Place your details on our PA Register. The PA register is only provided to families supported by Beams DP Service and enables you to let families know that you are available and what skills and experience you can offer.   Complete the application form- PA Register Application Form
  2. Place an advert on our website to let families know you are available for work. Tell people about your experience and the locations you can work in.
  3. Contact us on directpayment@wearebeams.org.uk 

Your PA Employment Rights

As a PA you will be employed directly by a family who is in receipt of a Direct Payment.  The role of PA is an official role just like any other job and you are entitled to certain legal rights from your employer.

Basic Rights:

  1. To be paid at least the National Living wage
  2. To receive an itemised payslip
  3. Paid annual leave (5.6 weeks pro-rata per annum)
  4. Statutory Sick Pay (subject to meeting the minimum earnings level)
  5. Access to a Workplace Pension

You are entitled to protection against:

  1. Discrimination, harassment, and victimisation
  2. Inequality of pay for work of equal value
  3. Unlawful deductions from pay
  4. Dismissal due to pregnancy or whistle-blowing

Some rights depend on the length of service:

  1. Statutory maternity pay (after 6 months employment)
  2. Paternity leave (after 6 months employment)
  3. Unpaid Parental leave (after 1 year of employment)
  4. Redundancy payments (after 2 years of employment)

Advice on any employment matters can be found at ACAS or Direct Gov