Southend's Adults Information PointSHIP Families

Employing Your PA (FAQ)

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What is a Personal Assistant (PA)?

A Personal Assistant is a person employed to give support with everyday tasks, as directed by the Employer. These tasks could include:

  • Assistance with personal care
  • Support with tasks at home
  • Accompanying someone to a leisure activity
  • Help with shopping

The PA should provide the right assistance at the right time, ensuring that the Employer has choice and remains in control of their life.

How do I recruit a PA?

Look through the PA profiles on SHIP. If you find one or more people that you think would be a good PA for you, note down their reference numbers and contact Vibrance by telephone on 01702 214547, or email to arrange an interview.

Do I have to interview the PA?

It is strongly recommended that you are involved in the interview process to ensure that you’re happy with your potential PA. Vibrance can provide support, including help to think of questions, arranging an interview room so you don’t have to do it in your own home, and being present at the interview to support you.

How do I know that the PAs on the register have a history free of criminal behaviour, and are allowed to work in the UK?

As part of the registration process, all PAs who apply to join the register are required to complete a DBS check (formerly CRB check) and a Right to Work check.

How much does it cost to use the PA register?

The PA Register is free of charge to employers.

Who is the employer?

If you choose to recruit a PA, you will be the recognised employer. All recruitment responsibility lies with you as the employer and not with Vibrance or Southend Borough Council.

Is being an employer complicated?

Once the start-up paperwork is completed, being an employer is fairly straight forward, although we recognise there are some exceptions to the rule. Vibrance can help you to complete the paperwork by:

  • Setting you up as an employer with HMRC
  • Purchasing Employers Liability Insurance
  • Calculating rates of pay and holiday entitlement
  • Writing a job description and contract
  • Arranging your weekly/4 weekly payroll


What if I have a problem with my PA?

It is advised that you deal with small issues before they escalate – this is why it is important to have a detailed job description and contract in place. Vibrance can provide advice about this. If the issue cannot be resolved informally, some providers of Employers’ Liability Insurance provide legal support as part of their cover. Alternatively ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) can provide employment support.

Can I access training for myself and/or my PA?

Vibrance can provide information and advice to identify relevant training; for example: moving and handling, administering medication, and impairment specific training. Where there is a cost involved, this would have to be agreed between you and your PA.


If you have any more questions, or need further advice and guidance about recruiting a PA, contact Vibrance by telephone on: 01702 214547, or email