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Employed by the service user

For some people being employed by the service user will be the easiest way of being a paid carer. You approach this like any other job; you would be interviewed by the person looking for a paid carer along with other candidates, and if you get the job, you have the same employment rights as in any other job role.

The benefits

The biggest benefit is that you are employed, which means that you are entitled to certain rights, for example, at least the national minimum wage, holiday and sickness pay and a contract of employment. You can find out more about your employment rights here.

As you are employed, you don't have to worry about finding your clients, and you are guaranteed an income. This is good for people who need to know exactly when they are working and what they are earning, which is good for those who need to arrange childcare, for example.

Your employer will be responsible for making sure that a contract and the right insurances are in place, so there is less pressure on you to worry about the business side of things. You don't need to invoice for work or worry about doing your own tax or National Insurance, as this is all covered by your employer.

The drawbacks

The pay will be set by the employer and it can be harder to negotiate than if you were self-employed. Bear in mind, as with any job, travel is not included, and you may have to think about additional admin, such as keeping notes, when agreeing an hourly rate.

The working hours and duties will be in your contract, so there is less flexibility than if you were self-employed. You will be expected to be there on time for your scheduled hours, unless you are ill or otherwise incapable of working. 

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