If you become a personal assistant or PA, you'll support a person who has care and support needs to live independently in their own home and local community.
Types of support you may offer as a personal assistant
- personal care – washing, dressing and toileting
- preparing meals and possible support with feeding
- household tasks such as cleaning, laundry or gardening
- paying bills
- leisure and social activities
- accessing work or college
- driving someone to wherever they need to go
- participating in hobbies
- visiting the doctor, dentist or hospital appointment should it be approved
The benefits of working as a personal assistant
- Flexibility – you can:
- find hours to fit around your other responsibilities
- work for more than one person
- Shaping your own career:
- the work will be unique to you and the person you are supporting
- no two days are likely to be the same
- opportunities to use your current skills and interests as well as developing new ones
- often better paid than working through an agency
Terms and conditions of employment
In most cases, you'll be recruited and employed by the person you'll be supporting. As an employee you'll have employment rights.
Your employer will interview you and provide you with a job description.
If you're offered the position, they will:
- arrange for you to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if you don't already have one
- decide and agree what work you will do and your working pattern
- give you a written contract of employment of your terms and conditions, e.g. holidays, notice periods and redundancy
- provide you with an induction programme
- agree your hourly rate of pay
- pay your wages into your bank account and be responsible for tax and NI contributions to HMRC
- arrange for you to opt in or out of a workplace pension
- provide access to any training you may need and specialist training related to a disability or health condition
Skills and experience
You don't necessarily need any qualifications to become a PA.
It is important though, that you are someone who is:
- reliable, dependable and trustworthy
- kind and patient
- respectful of other people's privacy, dignity, values and beliefs and wants a job that makes a positive difference to other people's lives
- a good listener
If you've looked after someone in your family and now want to get back into work, you'll have gained a lot of knowledge which means you could be ideally suited to being a PA.