Option 1: Direct PaymentsIf you are in receipt of direct payments from self-directed support (SDS), this information will assist you in managing your payments.
A direct payment is money paid directly to you so that you can arrange and purchase your own support. It can be used to meet the agreed goals and outcomes, as discussed with your social worker. This information would be highlighted in your support plan.
Direct payments must be paid into a separate bank account, used only for the purpose of the direct payment. All payments associated with your agreed outcomes must be made directly from the account to ensure there is a clear audit trail. You may use your direct payment for a variety of purposes including to employ a personal assistant, secure the services of a provider, purchase equipment, and for short breaks.
We can help you find the right personal assistant.You can search for personal assistants on PA Finder. Your co-ordinator can support you in uploading any information onto this website if you are unable to do so yourself.
Other successful methods for recruitment:
- Placing adverts in local shops, GP surgeries etc;
- Advertising on Facebook and/or Gumtree.
It is the responsibility of the employer (you) to advertise and recruit for staff in the first instance. However, if none of the above methods are successful then we can offer assistance.
As an employer you must by law begin a workplace pension scheme, regardless of whether your employees earn enough to meet the pension threshold or not. As this is now part of the Government’s legislation, non-compliance could lead to fines being imposed.
Pension Status Monthly Earnings
Auto-Enrolment into Pension Scheme: Earnings above £833 per month
To be eligible to opt in (which includes employer’s contributions into the pension): Earnings between £486 and £833 per month
To be eligible to opt in (which does not include employer’s contribution): Earnings up to £486
Please note that if your employee does not wish to auto-enrol in the pension scheme (earnings over £833 per month), they must opt out of the pension scheme. Employees earning less than £833 per month must opt in.
You must be aware that the above earnings refer to the amount earned through singular employment. An example being if your employee works on two different packages earning £450 on each package (£900 in total), they would not be auto-enrolled into the pension scheme as the thresholds apply to the monthly earnings in singular employment.
For your information, your payroll provider has taken on the responsibility of your pension scheme; therefore they will be able to offer assistance and guidance with all aspects of the set-up and management of this.
Your payroll provider would be able to notify you of your staging date. This is the date that you must officially be offering any employees the choice of a workplace pension. You should have also received correspondence from The Pensions Regulator. If you have not yet received any of this information, please contact your payroll provider who may be able to help.
Your payroll provider will include everything you need to ensure you are legally compliant with the new pension regulations. This will include:
• The set-up of pension scheme;
• Assessment of all your employees in line with your staging date and on a continual basis each time they are paid in case there is a change in their earnings;
• Write to all of your employees to inform them of their pension status (see table above) and what they need to do;
• Online upload and payment of your pension contributions to your pension scheme.
If your employees are eligible for you to make a contribution towards their pension scheme, please do not be concerned as this money will be taken from your direct payment account. Any contributions will be worked out by your payroll provider who will make the transactions on your behalf.
Find out more or contact your payroll provider
We have a responsibility to carry out an annual financial review to ensure that any public money given to you is spent appropriately. The misuse of payments will be investigated and payments may be stopped. We may seek repayment of any monies that have been misspent. Your direct payment co-ordinator will ask you to sign a Letter of Agreement. By signing this agreement you are confirming that you have read and understood these terms. You will be given a copy of this letter to retain for your records and one will be returned to the SDS team to keep on file. Financial reviews are mandatory and you will be in breach of your direct payment agreement if you do not submit your returns when requested.
When the financial review is due to be carried out, the SDS team would request the following:
• Bank Account Statements (this will be obtained from the payroll provider);
• Any invoices or receipts;
• Any cheque books or stubs;
• Remittance advice notifications;
• The completed Direct Payment financial recording forms; and
• Any other paperwork associated with the Direct Payment Account.
Rates of Pay
There are two rates of pay which will have been agreed with your social worker and be highlighted in your support plan.
The rates of pay currently in place for Personal Assistants are:
Unit cost on your Support Plan Hourly rates to Personal Assistant
£84.92 (8 hours) £7.50