Direct Payments - Who decides payment rates?

Hi everyone,

Just curious about something, but not sure if anyone here would know the answer…

One of my carees is having an issue with one of their paid carers due to the national minimum wage and the new rules on overnight care pay.

It seems the agency they employ to handle all the employment side of things, who acts as a middle man with the caree and the local council (direct payment funding) and the agency are adamant the carer is only entitled to minimum wage per hour and a flat rate for the overnights.

Looking at some job ads for the same agency, it seems that many similar roles are costed much differently than for this carer. For example, most jobs are getting an hourly rate of £10-15…and overnights can be anything from £40 to £90 a pop.

So my question is - if the person receiving direct payments is legally the employer, surely they are allowed to decide how much they pay their employees?

But where does the council stand on that though? Can they refuse to pay more than the bare minimum for care? Are they in any way obliged to cover what the employer considers a fair wage for their worker?

So if the employer wanted to pay a living wage, rather than minimum wage, would the council have to stump up the funding, or would the employer have to cover the shortfall from their own pocket?


The council are required to set the DP rate at a level which is achievable.
For example, they can’t only offer £9 an hour if nothing is available at that price.

Hi Lea,
I’m going through all this at the minute too, my hub and I are the carers getting £9/hr and a flat rate despite locally agencies paying more, etc. We also have the added confusion of we care for him in our home with no extra payments. DP and local council seem to be saying that is nothing to do with them and we’re being told min wage is all they’re supplying, any extra payments would have to be made by the caree.
Is the agency an employment agency? I’ve usually found agencies charge £11 to the caree and pay £9 to the carer. Our caree’s mum has an accountant that sorts the tax and NI, etc and then pays by cheque.