A new guide provides disabled people with everything they need to deal with the “unique” challenges they face as employers of personal assistants (PAs).
The Handbook for Disabled Employers and their Personal Assistants is published by Being the Boss, a company set up by Anne Pridmore, who has campaigned for nearly 20 years on independent living and personalisation.
The guide is based on her 19 years’ experience of employing people in her own home and includes a computer disc with templates for all the forms a disabled employer of PAs might need, such as time sheets, holiday rotas or wages forms.
It also includes advice on issues such as how to interview potential PAs, setting employment terms and conditions, and disciplinary and grievance procedures.
The handbook’s publication has been supported by the social entrepreneurship charity UnLtd, the learning difficulties charity Choice Support and Nottinghamshire County Council.
Pridmore said: “It includes anything any employer needs to employ someone, but with a particular slant on disabled employers who employ their own PAs.”
She said the relationship between disabled people and the PAs they employ to work in their own homes is “unique”.
A lot of disabled people are “frightened” by the thought of starting a disciplinary procedure against a PA “when in the next breath you might need to ask them to do some personal care for you”, she added.
The guide also discusses the importance of regular supervision of staff, so issues can be tackled before they escalate, with Pridmore keen to persuade more local authorities to fund such supervision, so they do not “set disabled people up to fail” when employing their own PAs.
Standard print and easy-read copies of the guide are available from www.beingtheboss.co.uk at £10 each.
8 February 2010