Employing family members as carers


I’m new on here but hoped someone might be able to help.

My 90 year old father has dementia and heart disease. He needs daily care (in his home) which is provided by myself and my sister. He absolutely refuses to have any outside agencies provide any care, being verbally abusive to anyone outside of the family that visits the house.

As I’m sure people on the forum are aware, this puts a financial strain on myself and my sister. My Dad would like to pay us rather than outside agencies to provide his care. When I looked into this before, I read somewhere that it is possible but that the family members must be registered as employees, not least to pay NI and pension contributions. However when I went on the government website to look at how you go about registering as an employer, it said that if you’re not paying an employee more than £120 a week then you don’t need to register.

But if I don’t register how would anyone know - for example executors of his Will - that these regular payments were for employment rather than gifts? I have LPA and therefore do not want to run into problems later down the line.

Also I should add that if we were to do this, the payments would be coming from the income he receives from his private and state pensions.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

This is a complicated area.

Contact Carers UK directly…


Are you receiving any benefits yourself? If you are, it gets a bit complicated. I have a recent article that was in our paper, written by a solicitor, which sheds new light on the subject, and is much more positive than some would have you believe.


Thanks for your responses.

Sunny Disposition, ok thanks I will.

Bowlingbun, I’m not in receipt of any benefits but my sister is as she has a child with autism.

Do you have a link to the article?

I think it was on this site that I initially read that you can be employed as long as you do it formally and pay into a workplace pension. That’s what really threw me when I saw that for employees paid under £120 a week you don’t have to register them. It was around this figure that I was thinking anyway.

No link I’m afraid, it was our local paper.

Ok Bollingbun, thanks anyway.

Hi D_20051,

Welcome to the forum.

As sunnydisposition said would recommend calling our helpline as this is quite a complex situation, our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0808 808 7777 or if you would prefer you can email advice@carersuk.org at any time.

Hope this helps and please let us know if you have any questions.

Best wishes


Hi Meg,

Thanks, I emailed via the contact on the website. Hope this is ok and look forward to hearing from someone.

Many thanks.

Happy to help, hopefully you will hear something back soon :slight_smile:



Please can you share the information with the forum, this is an issue for a number of members.

Will do Bowling bun

Hello everyone, did a clear answer emerge to your original query? We are in exactly the same position. I work full time, partner is the carer for his mother and neither of us claim any benefits.

It does appear that this forum is a load of rubbish.

The same forum members seem to be replying as a pastime, just for the sake of replying but offering no solutions other than to call CarersUk Helpline.

Of course it’s complicated; why else, with the likes of Google, would someone post such a question on this forum.

The fact that someone has found this forum online and gone to the trouble of joining; they’re more than likely, well aware of the CarersUk Helpline.

We post questions such as this and on a forum like this initially, to acquire insight; in the hope that a forum member actually knows the answers to such questions for whatever reasons or has already gone down such a route and is therefore, able to share knowledge gleaned from personal experience; not for members with no insight whatsoever, just to offer drivel because they’ve got nothing better to do and can’t admit they don’t know the answer but will respond anyway.

Question such as this are serious; therefore why reply if you can’t provide answers to the question; especially when the OP had provided so much detail; that alone should show the level of seriousness and importance such a question has to the OP.

What the hell was the point of proclaiming to have a very interesting article written by a Solicitor on the subject but unable or maybe unwilling to enlighten the OP; is this some kind of weird sadist pleasure; could you not at least reveal which Newspaper the article was in ?

If you’ve forgotten the name of Newspaper and the context of the article; then why even mention it, what’s the point.

OP… I’m sorry I’ve replied to your post without knowing the answer to your question but sometimes, somethings just have to be said.

However, I have found the following:



Also; apparently, there’s some legal ruling in regard to “gratuitous care payment“ don’t fully understand it as of yet or whether it’s relevant in this instance but it maybe worth exploring further.

If you did find an answer, please share with the forum… then this thread would at least have a successful conclusion.

That is very rude.
It is a rule of the forum that we can only give advice from our OWN experiences, we MUST refer complex things like your query to the Helpline.
I suspect you would be the first person to complain if you were given the wrong information about tax, inheritance or benefits if we gave you the wrong answer.
You can’t have it both ways!

I’m very shocked at your response Dave_ 2006.
This is a caring forum,and we all try to be supportive to each other, even if can only offer a sympathetic ear. Lots offer very good advice.
To say it’s a rubbish forum is very unkind.


I think a lot of carers have a lot of pent up frustration. It is easy to let that overspill onto others.

Its a sad by product of caring endlessly and struggling so much to get the correct support.

Often people on the forum want others to know they have acknowledged their post rather than ignor it.

Carers are jnvisible enough as it is.

I personally have found this forum very helpful and supportive.

It appears to be rubbish because the members responding are the same members who appear to respond to every post but don’t actually have answers other than to recommend to call the helpline.

Why have various forum sub headings of specific topics, if every question posted to the forum results in “call the helpline.”

If you don’t know the answers to a questions posted, why respond, in fact why not remove all the forum sub headings and just replace the headings with “call the helpline.”

Anyway, don’t be wasting your time responding to my comments; I won’t be replying.