This week we are continuing our focus on care. As a care agency we feel it’s appropriate to take a look at the preparations when taking on a new carer in the home.
Paying directly for the care agency means you can be specific about the duties requested of the carer, and can also put the ‘authorised person’ in the ongoing position of employer. This means they must not only form an appropriate relationship with all professionals involved, but must also of hold the employee to the agreed standard of care- which can become complex if not clearly defined from the outset.
There are so many to choose from, which care agency is best for you?
In the midlands there are a lot to chose from so it can be daunting, so as a Birmingham care agency with scope to send carers around the whole of the midlands we can answer any overhanging questions you may have.
The first task should be to write up a list of the services needed- in line with the recently completed Care Assessment. This should include details of the tasks that will need carrying out and the assistance that will be needed. Having this document will allow you to start building a profile of the ideal candidate, and pinpoint specifics of the role such as working hours and any additional skills or qualifications needed (e.g. driving license).
If you are working with a CQC rated agency, such as ourselves, they will match up these requirements with the most appropriate member of staff available to them to ensure a great match.
They will also have the benefit of a larger potential selection of staff to choose from, without the hours spent publicising it.
A large part of this may be spent advertising the role- and it’s important to choose the most effective platforms to do so in order to keep from wasting valuable time and effort. Some of the most visible and easily accessible mediums for advertising job roles include Gumtree, local noticeboards in community centres and shops, specific internet message boards for carers, Job Centres and online job-searching sites such as Indeed.
However, using a care agency such as ourselves, these will be done for you.
Once you have received interest in the role, it will be up to you to decide on the specifics regarding rates of pay and how they fit into your Direct Payment budget.
Using a payroll service can take the complications out of arranging the tax and N.I contributions of your employee, and you can often find them locally. You should also make note of the professional requirements for any candidates that might qualify for the position, including the provision of references and proof of any relevant qualifications or training experience. You may choose to conduct interviews via phone, or even by informal meetings in public spaces- it’s up to you.
When you’ve found the ideal candidate, it is crucial that you write up a contract of employment- ensuring there’s enough copies for both parties. A written job description must be provided to the candidate within 2 months, but having a signed agreement detailing to refer to should provide peace of mind for both employer and carer.
In this situation it is very important to have peace of mind and providing care agency services can be tough, so the help of a CQC rated agency can alleviate some of these.
Technically, this is not legally necessary, as a contract can be verbal and effectively in practice as soon as the paid work begins. But it is naive to assume that a spoken agreement can be relied upon if issues arise, and a signed copy of the contract is the most reliable source of information pertaining to the role, for all involved.
As an employee you have responsibilities to any workers you take on- to treat them with respect and to honour all agreements laid out in the contract.
There are plenty or services exist that can provide advice, such as Gov.uk, the HMRC and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Being transparent and open about the requirements and conditions of the role will result in more reliable care, and a more rewarding experience for all involved.