There are lots of reasons to become an independent carer or decide to pick up a few private clients around your existing work and family commitments.
Why you should become a private carer
- Earn more: You take home everything you earn, whereas agencies take up to 70% of the amount charged to the client
- Work when you want: Pick clients that work around your existing family & life commitments. Whether you are a mum or on a zero-hours contract, you can pick up clients when you are free.
- Control who you work with: You can pick your clients and stick with them, rather than constantly shifting between clients across the city
- Enjoy your work: You get to build a relationship with your clients and see the impact of your work
- Be fully paid: Get paid for working overtime, rather than doing it for free
The drawbacks of being a private carer
Here are a few downsides that come with becoming a private carer:
- More responsibility: Independent carers are responsible for more than just getting the job done. They need to manage the family as well. On top of that, you are responsible for making sure the care plan is appropriate and the environment is safe.
- Hard to find clients: Accessing a steady stream of clients can be difficult, especially if you don’t any yet
- Insurance can be costly: This is especially true if you don’t have many clients to spread the cost across.
- Contracting: You will need a contract in place between yourself and your clients, to ensure that you are both working towards the same goal and that your liability is kept to a minimum. You can use ours, by clicking on this link to download it
- Getting paid: Getting paid on time and in full is often very difficult. More often than you would like to think, clients don’t pay their carers, whether they are trying to save a bit of cash or have simply run out, it is you that ends up out of pocket
- Paying Tax: You will have to register with HMRC to pay your taxes. This can be confusing at first, and mean that you need to save as you go, in anticipation of the end of year tax bill.
- Personal safety: Working alone in other people’s houses, without any oversight can be dangerous, especially if no0on knows where you will be at any given point in time.
Ultimately, being an independent carer is fantastic, and the hurdles are all manageable. However, you don’t have to figure it all out.
Work with platforms, like PrimeCarers:
If you want to become a private carer, you could go it alone, or you could work with a Platform like PrimeCarers. Platforms, also known as marketplaces, handle all the above-mentioned issues for you and usually charge a 20% commission, which is a far cry from the 50%-70% an agency normally takes. This is a list of a few of the benefits of working with a platform gives you:
- Access clients: We find your clients, who get in touch with you directly
- Get paid on-time: You are paid, in full, within 48hr of each visit
- Don’t sweat the small stuff: We handle the admin, like contracting and scheduling, so you know what to do and where to be
- Stay safe: We know where you are going and can access the identity of the person you are working for.
- Feel supported: We are at the end of a phone or a chat, ready to support you
If you must go it alone:
Use the resources that we will make available on the PrimeCarers platform:
- Live up to your responsibility:
- Make sure that the care plan is appropriate, see here for high-level guidance on how to make sure you are doing this. We will soon have a guide on this for you
- Ensure that the patient is safe. We will soon have resources for you to use in this regard
- Manage your clients professionally, we will soon have a guide on this for you
- Find clients:
- Use platforms like PrimeCarers
- Got to Care.com and Independentcarers.co.uk to subscribe
- Use classified ad sites
- Buy an ad in the local classifieds or in “The Lady”
- Get insurance: Purchase insurance to ensure that both you and the client are covered in the event that anything goes wrong. There are some great insurers that provide specialised and affordable cover. Many can be bought on a monthly basis, so there is no need to pay all of it upfront:
- Get a proper contract: Put a contract in place between yourself and your clients. This will ensure that you are both working towards the same goal and that your liability is kept to a minimum. You can use ours if you like.
- Get paid on-time: Have your client set up a direct debit on a weekly basis to cover any planned hours and record and under or over time, to be settled in the following week. Keep all receipts and submit them in full with your weekly invoice. We will have a template invoice for you soon.
- Pay your tax: The first person you should pay is the taxman. Register with HMRC and seek advice on how to pay your taxes. We will have an article on this for you soon
- Make sure you stay safe: Let someone else know where you plan to be and when each week.