Get a personal assistant

Find out about getting a personal assistant to support you to live independently and information on being an employer.

A personal assistant (PA or support worker) is someone who supports you to live your life in the way you choose and is usually employed directly by you.

The benefit of a PA is that you can choose your assistant and work out how you would like to be supported.

You can choose to employ a PA whether you are receiving funding from Leeds City Council, NHS Continuing Health Care through a direct payment or funding your own support privately.

You may qualify for a monthly direct payment to help pay your assistant's wages. You must have a financial assessment (means test) to work out if you qualify and how much your direct payment will be. Find out more about arranging your care with direct payments.

Direct payment support

We can support, advise and provide information about employing a PA, however you fund your support.

Leeds Direct Payment and PA Support Hub offer the following services:

  • help with PA recruitment (including our PA register)
  • support planning service
  • support for employers
  • access to training for PA's and Employers

To use our service, you can complete the online referral form, or contact us by:

Phone: 0113 378 3936

Social workers or professionals involved in your support can also make a referral for you.

You will need to sign a service agreement and agree to the terms and conditions of the service before the service starts. These documents will be sent to you once a referral has been accepted.

If you are supported by Leeds Social Care (Adults or Children's) or the NHS, then our services are paid for by them. If you fund your own care, you can also use the service as a self-funder. Contact us for more information by:

Phone: 0113 378 3936

Payroll services

Leeds CIL provides a full payroll service to individual employers of Personal Assistants. Their dedicated team of Finance Support Workers currently support over 1,000 individual employers to pay their PAs every month. 

If you have any queries in relation to payroll services or a managed bank account please contact LCIL by:

Phone: 0113 231 1125
Email for payroll:
Email for managed bank accounts:

Employing a PA

A PA can enable you to live independently by providing any support you need with personal care, other daily living tasks, and by accompanying you to social and leisure activities. It means that you are able to choose who you want to provide your support and control how it is delivered, to suit the needs and lifestyle of you and your family and friends.

The benefits to employing a PA include:

  • that they work for you
  • you decide how you would like them to work
  • you decide when you would like them to work

If you recruit your own PA we have a number of resources to help you through this. You can contact our team by email or telephone if you have any questions.

Our team of Independent Living Advisers can support you either in person or by giving you access to the information you need. 

If you want to look at employing a PA for yourself, you can search for people who match your requirements on the UK CIL website or ask your adviser to post an advert on your behalf.

Key tasks of the recruitment process include:

  • writing a job description and person specification
  • advertising the job
  • choosing who to interview
  • interviewing
  • choosing the best person for the job
  • obtaining references and doing safeguarding checks
  • confirming the appointment
  • producing a contract of employment
  • booking training for your PA and carrying out an induction
  • registering with a payroll service

Training for you as an employer

You might want to do some training to help you to be a better employer, especially if you are new to employing staff. 

Training topics might include:                           

  • recruitment and selection
  • being a good boss
  • employment law
  • managing and supervising
  • record keeping
Please ensure that you get Employers Liability Insurance before you begin the process.                              

For more helpful advice on being an employer, read the:          

Advertising to hire a PA

A good job description and advert will get a much higher response so it is well worth thinking about and taking some time over. You need to provide a job description so people will know if the role is right for them.                           

This includes a list of tasks you would like your PA to do and, if you have a support plan, specific requirements you might have.                              

This would also include a person specification, which would include the relevant skills, values and personal support experience you want your PA to have. You will need to think about which requirements are essential or desirable when writing the person specification.                              

Once you have created your job description and person specification with summary terms and conditions for applicants, you can focus on creating your advert.                           

When you advertise you need to consider where you want to place your advert, for example using the UKCIL website or universities. You can advertise in as many or as few places as you want, keeping in mind that different options may cost very different amounts. You will need to consider if these costs will be met from your direct payments, as approved in your support plan, or from your own monies.                              

For more helpful advice on advertising for a PA, read the following factsheets.          

Interviewing and job offer

In this section you will find resources to help you:                           

  • choose who to interview
  • do the interview
  • offer the job
  • complete pre-employment checks (references, DBS)


Before your PA starts

There are key tasks that you should carry out before your personal assistant starts work including issuing a contract of employment on or before your PA's first day at work. To help you, read the following factsheets and templates:          

Managing and developing your PA

Regular reviews (or supervisions, ideally quarterly) with your PA will help keep communication between you on what is working well and what could be improved – we provide an e-learning course for employers on how to complete supervisions, contact our Independent Living Team if you need any further support.                           

It is important that your personal assistant has the training that they need, to be able to work for you. This will make sure that they can be good at their job, work safely with you, and it will motivate them and develop their confidence.                           

If you have a care plan in place, you should think about what training your personal assistant needs to meet that plan. This should include any clinical responsibilities that they have. See our factsheet for more details.          

Information for self-funders

We can support you to work out the best way to meet your needs and live the life you want.

Let us help you to:

  • think about what sort of life you'd really like to live day to day
  • identify your personal goals and develop a plan that will get you closer to the life you want
  • find service agencies that could give you the support you need and talk to them about how they would deliver it and what it would cost
  • find other services that you may need – such as housing, equipment, or help with getting a job
  • work out what the plan will cost
  • put your plan into action

If you are interested in employing your own PA and would like our help, contact us by:

Phone: 0113 378 3936

Employer Essentials Briefings

If you are thinking of employing PAs and want to know more about how it works, we have a series of bi-monthly free briefings that cover the essentials of PA employment. 

These workshops offer a chance for people to share their experiences and learn from each other and there is always time for questions and discussion.

To book a place on our Employer Essentials Briefings, and for the full training programme, please see our employer training calendar.

This includes supporting you to recruit, manage and pay your own PAs. 

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