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Service users toolkit (Pack B)


Direct payments – Service Users Toolkit (Pack B)

Here you should find all of the information you may require, but if you feel there is something missing please contact us. If you need this information in another language then please let us know.

If you choose to manage the direct payments yourself you will need to open a dedicated bank account solely for the direct payments.  Once you have done this you will be asked to complete the bank account details form. This form authorises us to pay your direct payments electronically directly into your bank account.

Upon receipt it will be recorded and sent straight to the North East Lincolnshire Council finance section who will use it to set up the electronic payments. You may also wish to keep a copy for your own records.

If you change your bank account at any time, inform the Direct Payment Advisor immediately to ensure your details can be accurately updated.

Direct payments are normally paid on a weekly basis, four weeks in advance.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check – Certification

As part of safeguarding your child, you are required to have a satisfactory DBS check in place on your employee before they can start working for you as a direct payment worker.

If the worker already has a current DBS certificate this can be used otherwise one must be applied for  once the employee has received their DBS certificate back, you should ask for and keep a copy for your own records. DBS certificates are valid for 3 years from the date of issue. Your employee will need to apply for a new certificate after 3 years. This can be arranged through the Local Authority. Contact the Direct Payment Advisor for further information.

When you retrieve a copy of your employee’s certificate, you should keep a copy and specifically record the following:

  • Date employee received the DBS form from the Local Authority
  • Date employee visited the Council Offices for verification of identity
  • Date your received confirmation of satisfactory DBS certification from your employee
  • Date copy of certificate was seen by you/provided to you
  • Date you notified the Direct Payment Advisor
  • Date of expiry (3 years from the date of certification)

Job Description Form

Once you have decided to employ a Personal Assistant/Befriender you will need to write out a job description specific to the role.

To help you do this, think about what both yours and your child’s needs are, what outcomes are agreed in your child’s Child In Need/Support Plan and what type of skills or characteristics you require your potential employee to have.

Attached to this page is an example of a completed job description form to provide you with some ideas and a blank form for you to complete with your own specific job description.

You will need to discuss the job description with your employee so that you both understand what is expected and then sign it in agreement. Retain it in your records so that you have it to refer back to as and when necessary.

It is good practice to review it from time to time and make any necessary amendments as things progress and develop. There is a space provided for planning and agreeing review dates on the form.

Health and Safety Risk Assessment Form

To ensure that your child’s health and safety is safeguarded at all times, it is important that you undertake and complete a health and safety risk assessment for the tasks and situations that may occur whilst your employee is caring for your child.

On the related forms and documents page you will find attached an example of a completed Health and Safety Risk Assessment to help you to complete an assessment of your own, specific to your child and his/her needs. Also attached at the bottom of this page is a blank template for your to complete with details of your own Health and Safety Risk Assessment.

Once this is completed you should discuss it fully with your employee, sign and date it and agree a date for it to be reviewed and amended as necessary. You should regularly review and amend this as circumstances and risks do change.

It is also important to consider the health and safety of your employee whilst they are working for you. You should include in the assessment any risks that there may be to them in carrying out their duties safely and details of any training that has been delivered.

The Health and Safety Executive have published a guide to Health and Safety Law and you can find a copy of it attached.

Training for Personal Assistants

We can offer you advice and signposting to sources of support so that you can access relevant training for your child’s personal assistant. This may include safeguarding your child, moving and handling or any other specific health and safety or care issues.

Please ensure that we have any details of additional training your prospective direct payment worker may need.

Employee Record: Guidance on Completion

Each time you take on a new employee you should ask them to complete and sign an employee records sheet. A blank copy of this form is attached for download. As the employer, this should be retained in your records for future reference.

Whenever there are any changes in your employee’s circumstances, a new form should be completed and signed.

if you employ a payroll service, each time an employee record is completed you need  to send your service the relevant details. They will need this information in order to undertake payroll accurately for your employee. It is important that details of any second jobs that your employee may have and the amount of hours that they work is notified on the form to you and to your payroll service as this may affect the amount of tax that has to be declared and paid to HM Revenue and Customs. If the amount of hours worked overall by your employee equals or exceeds 48, you will also need to consider your compliance with Working Time Regulation’s 1998. More information and guidance on working time regulations can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Contract of Employment

You and your employee will need to enter into an agreed contract of employment which fully details the terms and conditions which fully details the terms and conditions of employment. Employers are legally required to provide all employees with a contract of employment.
This should be discussed and completed in full and signed by both parties in agreement prior to employment commencing. You should keep a copy in your records and your employee should also be provided with a copy.

Forms and templates are available on the ACAS website, or you may wish to use the blank templates that are on the related forms and documents page.. You may need to adapt the template to make it fully suitable for you and your employee’s circumstances. The contract must always meet statutory requirements. For up-to-date information on Employment Law and statutory requirements please consult the web-site. On the related forms and documents page you will also find an example of a completed contract.

Important: Remember before you agree a start date with your employee you must contact your local Direct Payment Advisor first to ensure that everything is in place to enable the local authority to commence payment into your account. This will ensure that you have sufficient funds available to pay your employee their wages when the time comes.

Tax and Payroll Services

The Local Authority current fund a payroll provider as part of the direct payment setting up process.

Staff Holidays/Annual Leave

Under the working time regulations, all employees are legally entitled to 5.6 (28 days) weeks annual leave per year on a full time basis or the equivalent for part-time workers based on the number of hours they work per week (This entitlement can include bank and public holidays). Leave can be accrued on a monthly basis. For example if a personal assistant works part time 6 hours per week on average, they would accrue 2.8 days per month (5.6 x 6 divided by 12 = 2.8). Leave is often calculated in hours instead of day for part-time staff as this is often easier. You can find current guidance about staff holidays at GOV.UK .

You should keep a running record of all leave taken by each staff member. You will record leave on your timesheets but would assist you greatly to record it on a separate annual leave record too. This will help prevent any dispute about how much leave is remaining at the end of the leave year and can also prevent you from paying out too much or too little annual leave. An Annual Leave Sheet is provided for you to download.

Employers Liability Insurance

The Local Authority Currently fund Employer Liability Insurance cover, this is a legal requirement if you are employing anyone.

Work Place Pensions

The Local Authority Currently fund the administration of the Workplace Pension Scheme.

Monitoring and Assurance

The Local Authority has a responsibility to provide assurance to taxpayers that it has spent public funds wisely. The Council has auditing and monitoring procedures in place to enable it to achieve this.

As part of this the Council has to provide assurance on the direct payments allocated. If you choose to manage the direct payments yourself your spending will be monitored. You will be asked to provide documents that support that you have spent the direct payments allocated to you in the way it was intended.

These documents may include such items as bank statements, cheque books and stubs, receipts, debit card receipts and records of direct debits or standing orders that have been set up. Be prepared to provide an account of how you have used your direct payments. Your spending must reflect and support the contents of your direct payment support plan. This is part of your direct payment agreement. We have put in place a simple method that enables you to demonstrate that this is the case using an equally simple form called a ‘Money Tracker’.

Your Direct Payment Advisor will provide you with more information when it is time for you to complete a Money Tracker form and your supporting information for us to review. You should keep all of your records relating to your direct payments for a period of 6 years to ensure that you are in line with HMRC tax requirements.

Direct Payment Agreement

To start your direct payment you must enter into an agreement with the local authority. A copy of the agreement can be obtained from the Direct Payments Advisor. Please read through it carefully to ensure that you understand it. This form should be signed and returned to the Direct Payment Advisor. You may also wish to keep a copy for your own records.

Timesheets ‘Summary of Care Provided’

These sheets are an important part of your direct payment records. You must complete the timesheets to record and summarise the number of direct payment hours that you have used and/or banked each week.

You must then retain these sheets in your direct payment records. From time to time the local authority may ask you to produce them for inspection as they will form part of your audit trail demonstrating how you have used the hours allocated. These along with your bank statements, receipts etc. and money tracker forms will demonstrate how you have spent your direct payment monies.

As an employer the timesheets will also be extremely useful to you as an information source for payroll purposes.

Important: You must keep all records relating to your tax declarations for a period of 6 years. This is a legal record keeping requirements of HM Revenue and Customs.

Direct Payment Support Plan and Budget Plan

You have been approved to receive direct payments from Children’s Disability Services. One of the next important steps, if it hasn’t been done already is to:

Complete your Direct Payment Support Plan

Your social worker will contact you to complete a direct payment support plan with you. This plan is an important document. It will outline what is important to both your child and your family and will help you to recognise and review how your direct payments are being spent to achieve the desired outcomes and ensure that the identified needs are being met. It will be drawn up and agreed together with your social worker and will be reviewed from time to time.

Contact your social worker for more information about the support plan or to obtain a copy.

Complete your Budget Plan

Our budget plan has been designed to assist you to successfully budget the spending of your allocated direct payment money.

Complete the budget plan with details of your direct payment allocation and any contingencies that you have to set aside money for. It is also useful to list those costs that are incurred but that the local authority have agreed to fund in addition to the direct payments.

You should be able to see what funds you have left and therefore how much per hour you can afford to pay your direct payment worker/personal assistant. You will need this figure to complete the contract of employment and for payroll purposes.

To assist you, your Direct Payment Advisor can provide you with a completed plan for illustrative purposes – just ask if you’re not sure.

Contact details

Direct Payments, Civic Offices, Knoll Street, Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, DN35 8LN

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01472 326292 option 3, option 1

Opening times: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, except bank holidays