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Trouble recruiting Personal Assistants

anaqi Member Posts: 52 Courageous

I have been on direct payments for many years but I'm having serious difficulty in recruiting personal assistants.  My loyal PA of 8 years retired in the summer.  My support service recommended getting two PAs so they can cover for each other.  I only have 24 hours in my package from social services so that would be 12 hours a week for each PA.

I initially found two people, one accepted then the next day turned down the job because they needed more hours for working tax credits, and the other accepted the job, worked for a month and then quit giving no notice due to child care difficulties.

I found and employed some one else for mornings but I can't find anyone to do afternoons.  I've been advertising for nearly six months now and I'm getting very frustrated.  I'm struggling without the help I need and my health is suffering.  

The people who apply for the position either can't do the hours I need or don't have transport and live an hour away from me.  The last round of interviews I invited 5 people and only two turned up.  Yesterday I invited four people to interviews and nobody turned up.  The support service lady thinks people are applying just to meet the quote so they can keep their benefits and they have no intention of working.  I

I've been advertising on the support service's website, the job centre, Gumtree and local Facebook job groups.  The job has also appeared on Indeed website.  I am paying £7.50 an hour, which is above minimum wage but I can't afford to pay anymore as social services only give me £9.10 an hour.  I can't use local care agencies because they cannot provide the support I need as a disabled parent of three children.

Does anyone have any suggestions?  I really don't know what else I can do.


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @anaqi welcome to the community, there are some tips here about employing a PA that might be useful.  Skills for Care also have a great toolkit to help you with employing a personal assistant. 

    Some local authorities (or support organisations) may have a PA register, which is basically a database of local PA's who are looking for this type of work.

    Senior online community officer
  • anaqi
    anaqi Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    Thanks.  My problem is actually getting people to apply for the job and turn up for interviews.  I've been on Direct Payments since 1998 so I know all about how the system works and I use a support service to assist me in recruitment, payroll and employment advice.  I know exactly what I need from a PA but I can't find anyone for the role.

    I have been advertising since the beginning of June but there have been very few applicants.  Half of those who apply cannot do the job I advertised, they don't have a car or they can't work the hours I need.  Earlier this week I invited four people to interviews.  One person confirmed they were coming but no-one turned up. 

    There are two problems.  The Job Centre makes people apply for jobs they don't want to do so they can stay on benefits.  That means a good proportion of the applications I receive don't want to do the job so they don't turn up for the interview.  This wastes my time and my support service worker's time.  The second problem is I can only afford to pay £7.50 an hour.  The LA only give me £9.10 an hour and I have to cover insurance, payroll, support service fees, etc from the rest of the money.  Most of the local care agencies pay between £8 and £10 an hour and I can't compete with that.

    I need someone to work 12 hours a week, but people want 16 hours so they can claim working tax credits.  I also need someone to work 3:30 - 5:30 in the afternoons.  It's a busy time in my house when my children get home from school and I need help to prepare our evening meal.  This excludes many people with children.

    I am really struggling without the help I need but I don't know how to get it. Agencies can't do the tasks I need so I really need to employ my own PA.  My LA has a website with a lost of local carers.  There was one person listed in my area.  I did contact them but I didn't get a reply.

    I'm at my wits end.  Social Services won't help because it's my responsibility to find a PA and the only thing my support service can do it keep advertising the job.  I've already publicised the job everywhere I can think of.  I don't know what else I can do.
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    That's really difficult! I hope some other members with experience of this will be along to offer their ideas.

    @NikiM @Blue Frog  @Mandz do you have any ideas?

    Senior online community officer


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