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Guidance Notes and Checklist for Employers regarding:

Specimen Statements of Main Terms and Conditions of Employment and the three specimen appendices

Two specimen statements and accompanying appendices, containing a number of options, are provided for your guidance:

  1. The first version is for use when the employer is also the service user.
  2. The second version would be appropriate to use when the employer is not the service user e.g. where the service user
    • is a child and the parent is acting as the employer
    • is an elderly person and a younger relative is acting as the employer.

(Amongst other things, this second version contains additional notification options.)

These documents have been drafted in the light of guidance and helpful suggestions provided by the Northern Ireland Labour Relations Agency and Fish Insurance Ltd. They are intended to be in compliance with the statutory provisions for employment and employment-related rights in Northern Ireland. Please note however that:

  • they are provided for guidance purposes only
  • you must ensure that any Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment you use reflects , or is amended to reflect, your specific needs as the employer/service user or the employer and the service user
  • whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that these specimens are suitable for use in this context, you should satisfy yourself that they are appropriate for you to use. If you have any doubts, we recommend that you seek specialist independent legal advice.  

How do I complete the statement of Main terms and conditions of employment?

As you work through the specimen wording, you will see that you need to insert the appropriate information relating to you, your Personal Assistant and the arrangements that you are making. These are highlighted below:

  1. Name of Employer/Address Insert the name & address of the person who is taking on the responsibility of being the Employer.
  2. Name of Service User/Address  Insert the name & address of the person whose needs are being looked after by the employee (PA).
  3. Name of EmployeeInsert the name and address of the person who is being employed as the Personal Assistant (PA).
  4. Date of Commencement of EmploymentThe date on which the employee started or is to start work with you as a PA.
  5. Period of Employment Choose the appropriate option depending on whether the appointment is on a permanent or temporary basis.
  6. Job titleIt is strongly recommended that, to avoid misunderstandings, you use a written job description.
  7. Special Term of Employment This is included as many Employers will not be able to afford to pay the employee on the existing basis if direct payments/ILF funding is reduced or withdrawn.
  8. Place of Work This will normally be the Service User's home. Discuss with CILNI if it is another venue.
  9. Rate of Pay CILNI can assist you to calculate an hourly rate.
  10. Pay Arrangements Choose the appropriate option. It is normally simpler to pay on a 4-weekly basis.
  11. Hoursof WorkChoose the appropriate option.
  12. Punctuality and Reliability This is very important as you are relying upon them!
  13. Additional Hours of Work This is useful in order to provide flexibility and cover.
  14. HolidaysChoose the appropriate twelve-month period for your preferred holiday year. There is a further option if the Service User is likely to be going on holiday/into respite care for a specific period which is known in advance.
  15. On Termination of Employment Don't forget that you need to pay the Employee for any unused holiday entitlement when their employment with you finishes.
  16. Holiday EntitlementThis is the current statutory entitlement. For a full-time employee, 5.6 weeks works out as 28 days. In Northern Ireland there are 10 statutory/public holidays (exceptionally 11 in both 2011 & 2011). Unless otherwise stated, the statutory public holidays are included within the 5.6 weeks (28 days). You need to decide if you are going to let the Employee carryover some of their holiday entitlement and choose the appropriate option.
  17. Holiday PayDon't forget to provide for this in your budget.
  18. Pension Scheme  Under the UK Pensions Act 2008, the employer has a legal requirement to help an employee save for his/her retirement by automatically enrolling him/her, if eligible, into a workplace pension scheme and contributing towards it. Whether or not the employees pay qualifies for a workplace pension scheme depends on the level employee’s total earnings and if the employee has, and exercises, the right to opt out. The employer should consult his/her Independent Living Adviser at CILNI to find out the wording which to include here, depending on the circumstances in each case.
  19. Notice of TerminationThese are the statutory provisions.
  20. Sickness AbsenceFull details of notification and certification requirements are laid out in Appendix 1 to the Written Statement.
  21. ConfidentialityRespecting confidentiality and privacy are important part of your relationship with the PA (don't forget it should work both ways!)
  22. Conduct A number of key points regarding conduct and behaviour are covered. If you have any other requirements which are important to you, we suggest you discuss them with CILNI . Breach of these requirements may result in disciplinary action.
  23. Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures These are laid out in full in Appendix 2 to the Written Statement.
  24. Grievance proceduresThese are laid out in full in Appendix 3 to the Written Statement.
  25. Changes in Terms and Conditions Make sure any changes are discussed, agreed, put in writing and signed by both Employee and Employer.
  26. Signature and Date The contract should be prepared, signed by the Employer and the Employee as soon as possible. (PAs employed for more than one month have the legal right to written terms and conditions of employment within two months of starting work.)
  27. Appendix 1 – Sickness Absence Please read these details very carefully as it is very important to see if your Employee is entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Unless you can work out the qualifying days (for SSP purposes) yourself, please contact your ILA in CILNI.
  28. Appendix 2 – Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures You need to read these very carefully as failure to follow these procedures may result in you being legally liable. We recommend that you consult the Legal Helpline linked to your Employers Insurance Company or, if you do not have access to such a Helpline, CILNI before starting any disciplinary or dismissal procedures.  Ensure you keep detailed written records of everything relevant.
  29. Appendix 3 – Grievance ProcedureThis details what your Employee must do if they have a complaint against the Employer or Service User. We recommend that on receipt of any grievance, you consult the Legal Helpline linked to your Employers Insurance Company or, if you do not have access to such a Helpline, CILNI before taking any action.  Again you should keep detailed written records.