PA or Agency


Would like people’s opinion:

What do you think are the benefits of self employed PA versus using company care Agency?

Particularly interested in personal experience good and bad as I am weighing up the two options for Direct Payment.

And is it a big pain employing someone with all the checks and paperwork needing done. And then what if the person leaves after five minutes!

Cloudygal, you don’t need to do any paperwork yourself. The council should fund a Payroll agency to do this work for you.

The best solution is a good agency, then you can avoid any hassle, of sick pay, holiday pay, pension etc. etc.

Mum had carers arranged through the LA. I would not have fancied going it alone.


I was wondering that . I have enough paperwork and hassle without more.

We have done both for my father. We used direct payments to to directly employ a PA. - a charity called PeoplePlus did all the admin (around tax, pension payments etc ). We have also used an agency. If you can get a good agency I imagine that would be best as they can find cover for annual leave etc but unfortunately we struggled to find a good agency so ended up with a combination of both.

Ultimately I always think if you can get a good carer it doesn’t really matter where they are from (worth their weight in gold) but I suppose it depends on your priorities and everyone will be different.

Good luck!!!

I’ve had both agencies and P.A.'s and I would recommend P.A.'s. The reason is the consistency of carers and my son knowing exactly who’ll be in. Care Agencies normally start off sending their best carers in…and removing them to start impressing more new packages after a few weeks. Then the agencies will send in whoever regardless of suitability. Plus I found things such as my son’s clothes (mainly new) going missing. One was helping himself to food out of my cupboard and cooking and eating it and I had carers turning up on drugs and either lateness or not turning up at all. When it came to owing hours agencies would be awkward and if there are problems with carers they tend to ignore concerns and resend unsuitable carers regardless of the issue, often stating any other carer is unavailable. I had 2 different agencies for over 8 years and both were the same. I’ve had P.A.'s for 4 and a half years and so much more reliable.
It should be noted though that once the L.A. sets the amount for care for P.A.'s and care agencies, that they never increase it. That is a problem, as the years go by.


we have experience of both. We use a payroll charity for the PAs. The main disadvantages of PAs is you are responsible for their training, sorting out cover if they are sick or on annual leave and have to find them in the first place! Advantages are you get to choose who you employ, you are setting their hours etc, you can stipulate exactly what you want them to do. If the match is good, you are more likely to keep them for longer.

Agency disadvantages, the agency chooses the care workers, there are more issues over punctuality, hours worked etc, the agency can move care workers around (and everyone wants the good ones!) Advantages, a good agency will know their care workers strengths and choose ones to suit the client, they will sort out cover if the care worker is sick or taking leave, the agency has any awkward conversations needed with the workers instead of you having to do it.



What do you prefer? This is a big decision to have to make. My advice is to weigh up all the pros and cons of each then you can make a good informed decision about the most suitable option. Also it is a good idea to interview a few local care companies and agencies and private carers too beforehand. Prepare a short list of questions to ask, carefully check out any references as I know that two is recommended at least and follow up on the DBS check as well.
Preferably the highest level of check if possible. Contact the local council to explain your situation and ask for advice. Get recommendations on top of that in case. I personally prefer to use a personal assistant however as I enjoy training people myself. That way I can have a bit more control over the whole situation. When we start having people in from September onwards, I think that I am still going to keep a diary in case and also hide the keys. I have decided against relying on a publicly funded care company as they are too unpredictable for me personally.

Just to clarify, if your caree is entitled to funded or partially funded care then that can be arranged via an agency or you can have direct payments for a PA. you may pay the PA from the direct payments yourself or arrange for a payroll organisation to take of this. There is advice about this on the main Carers UK website.


Thank you all for your responses. Its really helpful.

It is a difficult decision as there are pros and cons.

This is for my eldest son in supported accommodation.

Have direct payment agreed.

Just not sure when it will feel safe enough to go ahead either

We are on threat level 4 still at the moment …it doesn’t seem to have moved!

I guess a self employed PA has more earning potential but less job security. Those are the biggest and most concerning things about being a self employed PA, there are pros and cons on both sides. What i mentioned are the things you need to consider.