Unison have a website for PAs: PA-unison.org.uk. It offers support in the form of resources, workshops, a PA blog, and an online forum/support network for PAs.
A Job Description is not a legal requirement but it is really useful, as it will tell you what tasks you are being employed to carry out and will protect you and your employer should there be any dispute about your job
Ideally this would have been provided to you before you were interviewed for the job so that any specific skills that are required were checked against your experience
If this wasn’t done before then it is important that you ask your employer to work with you to detail your job. It is helpful for both of you that you are clear on what you are expected to do so that there is no confusion over the role. You should then list the tasks that are required
The Job Description should contain tasks to be carried out and skills and personal qualities that are important for the job. It doesn’t have to be a long list and you can agree to review it over a period of time but it is important that you understand what your role is
Please find a sample Job Description & Person Specifications to give you an idea what it will look like
Contract of Employment
As soon as you start work you have a ‘Contract’ with your employer. However they must also provide you with (by law) a Written Statement of Particulars within two months of your start date. This is often called a Contract of Employment. If you haven’t received one of these within two months you should ask your Employer to provide you with one. If you are unable to get one then it is worth discussing this with your employer’s Direct Payment Advisor who should be able to provide some assistance to your employer to compile one.
Please find a sample Contract of Employment to give you an idea what it will look like
An important part of starting a new job is to make sure that you are given information at the beginning that will help you to do your job.
You should already have received a Job Description and that is a good start to ensure that everything goes smoothly. When you are being invited to work in someone’s home it is even more important that you understand the ways in which they want you to work and that you can fit into their routines and requirements quickly
For this reason we recommend that an employer carries out an Induction. This is basically a programme of information, training and work, planned by the employer, which tells you the main things you’ll need to know. An induction programme helps you both to start to build an effective working relationship
We suggest that the employer follows this 8 Point Plan. Whilst it is the employer who should instigate this meeting we thought it would be useful for you to see the sort of information that you should discuss early on or before you start your new job
1. Arrange a meeting
It’s important that your employer arranges a meeting with you before you formally start to work for them. This is particularly important to make sure you get any required training before you start your duties. It is your employer’s responsibility to make sure you don’t hurt yourself when lifting or using lifting equipment so if you are not already skilled you should get training before you start
We suggest that the employer makes a list to discuss at the meeting, this could include:
• What they like to be called
• What medication they have to take and when
• Any religious or cultural rules that they follow
• Where their equipment/ materials are
• Any parts of their home that is private to them
It is important that you also make a list of any questions that you might have which you think you might need to know when you first start work
3. Be open
4. Contract and Job Description
5. House Rules
Your employer should let you know about any house rules
6. Training, Coaching & Delegation
7. Risk Assessments
An appraisal is a meeting that will take place between you and your employer at set intervals. This will usually happen after the first month of your job, then before the end of your probation and finally annually. It should be a useful process that allows you both to review how you are getting on, openly discuss issues and talk through any training
Further information and guidance can be found at the Skills For Care website.
Receive Direct Payment from Camden council? AgeUK Camden (for over 65s) can support and guide you through the process of employing a PA.
Benefits of employing a personal assistant
Recruiting a personal assistant
Before your personal assistant starts
Managing your personal assistant
Training and qualifications
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Also, Camden Council are offering a free training package for PAs registered with CamdenPAs. This is designed to give PAs the competencies and skills that employers require. Learn more about this offer here.
Sorting out problems
Information taken from Skills for Care.
Here is a selection of insurance companies that offer cover (please note that these are listed for your information, we are not making a recommendation):
Sample letters, contracts and interview checklist
- Sample job description and person specification
- Sample application form
- Interview checklist and sample interview questions
- Sample letter inviting people for an interview
- Sample letter telling people they’ve not got an interview
- Sample letter asking for a reference
- Sample letter offering the job
- Sample letter turning down an applicant
- Sample contract of employment
- Safety in the home checklist
- Sample risk assessment
- Sample disciplinary form
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