Redundancy due to death or moving to residential care
There are a lot of benefits to hiring your own paid carer and they can really help you to stay at home and independent for as long as possible. However, there may come a time when you need to move into a residential care home because it is too difficult to stay at home. Also, though it is hard to think about, there are certain considerations that need to be made should you die at home while a paid carer is still in your employ.
It's an incredibly difficult subject to talk about, and it will be up to your family to deal with your paid carer when the time comes. Here we look at a brief overview of what needs to be done by family members, depending on whether your paid carer is employed or self-employed.
If you employ a paid carer and then pass away, this is called ‘frustration of contract’. This is when a contract is terminated due to unforeseen circumstances. For your paid carer, this means that they suddenly find themselves out of work.
When this happens, it is up to the executor of your estate to ensure that relevant payments are made to the employee. Depending on how long they have been employed, they may be entitled to statutory redundancy pay (have a look at this calculator to see what needs to be paid). They will also be entitled to any wages and holiday pay owing. Usually this is a situation that needs to be resolved by the executor of your estate, which is often a close family member.
It is incredibly difficult to think about financial matters during a period of bereavement, but if you do employ a paid carer, then it is important that their statutory entitlements are met. They may have a family of their own relying on an income, which has suddenly ended. If a family member is the executor of your estate, then you will need to make sure that they know to factor in what is owed to the paid carer and ensure that it is paid. You could also ask a family member to ensure that the contact details of the executor is passed on to your carer, so that they can deal with them directly.
If you moves into a care home, then again the contract with the paid carer is ended. They are still entitled to redundancy pay, holiday pay and outstanding wages, which needs to be settled as soon as possible.
If your paid carer is self-employed, then they are not protected by the same employment rights as an employed carer. The paid carer is responsible for their own finances and their contract is terminated when you die or move into residential care. Your estate is not liable for any redundancy pay or holiday pay in this situation, however there may be hours already worked that need to be invoiced by the self-employed carer and paid. The executor of your estate will therefore need to check for outstanding invoices and ensure that these are paid.
If your paid carer works through an agency, then the agency is the employer. This means that if you die or move into residential care, the agency can arrange suitable alternative work for the paid carer. If there is no work available, then it is possible that the carer will be made redundant from the agency, and the agency, as employer, will need to pay the appropriate redundancy pay, holiday pay and outstanding wages. Your estate does not owe any money to the paid carer in this situation.