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Care at Home

There is no doubt that most people would prefer to remain in their own home rather than move to a care home. In order to achieve the level of care required family members often provide some or all of the care. Sometimes it may be a friend or a private arrangement is made to employ someone.

However, there are many points to consider:
If the person providing the care is being paid for their services they are considered to be employed. With that comes the need  for an employment contract. There is also income tax and National Insurance to consider.
Appropriate training should be obtained on health and safety issues. Although a family member is unlikely to sue for any injuries suffered, health and safety could apply to any other arrangement, therefore,  you would require employers public and vicarious liability insurance cover.
All employers must offer a workplace pension scheme. This will apply if the care worker earns at least £10,000 per year and is aged between 22 and state pension age. This does not apply to self employed workers however.
If the carer is voluntary they are entitled to an assessment of their needs.
Always think about circumstances that can arise such as illness, holidays, and other emergencies. Care agencies cannot always provide last minute cover.
Social services will want to be certain the cover provides for the person's needs. We would recommend the person with needs should complete Lasting Powers of Attorney for both Property and Affairs and Health and Welfare. The form should include a provision that allows payment for the care to be taken from the funds of the person who needs care.
If the person requiring care is not able to make decisions themselves and their affairs are being managed by an attorney or deputy there are rules to be followed. For example if payments are to be made to a family member it must be based on a best interests decision and in some cases it may be wise to have the arrangements authorised by the Court of Protection. Also if a Court Order is in place the Inland Revenue may accept there is no employment situation and therefore no issues with tax and NI.

For additional information on care at home please contact Jean Newton, Partner or a member of the Private Client department on 01905 721600.

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