A personal assistant (PA or support worker) is someone who is usually employed directly by a person who needs support to live their life in a way they choose.

Why do people employ PAs?

Disabled people (Adults, Children & Young People) or older people may need some support in their lives to live independently. Employing a PA ensures that they have control over how, and when their support is provided. Generally, your Employer will be the person directing their own support. However, they could also be a parent or grandparent, the disabled person’s representative, family member or carer.

Your role as a PA will be to support your employer to live independently. PAs don’t necessarily need to have any previous experience or qualifications; what is important is having the right values, because the employer will rely on their PA for their support. A PA is likely to be involved in many aspects of their employer’s life and may be asked to provide support in the home, at leisure or at work, and work in ways to encourage and support the achievement of greater independence, self-reliance and wellbeing for people we support.

You may be providing support with:

  • Personal care – using the bathroom and/or getting dressed
  • Day to day living – cooking, cleaning, shopping or assisted working
  • Getting about in the community – providing transport, driving their car or using public transport
  • Maintaining hobbies and interests, or relationships with family and friends

Remember that your employer:

  • Will have a way they want things done
  • Has a right to have their dignity and privacy maintained (and the privacy of their family and friends)
  • Will always be the expert in their care or of their disabled child if the PA is employed to support a disabled child

A PA needs to:

  • Be sensitive to their employers needs
  • Listen carefully to ensure they do what their employer asks
  • Not assume they know what is best

Why not book a place on our free PA Essentials course to find out more? You can attend the course with no obligation if you are thinking of becoming a PA. You can find information about the course here.


Who is my employer?
Your employer is the person that recruits you to support them

What will I be paid?
Your employer will advise you of the rate of pay and how often you’ll be paid (for example: monthly)

Will I get holiday pay?
You will be entitled to at least 5.6 weeks holiday per year – this includes bank holidays

What hours can I expect to work?
Your working hours will be decided by your employer and will be set out in your contract of employment

Will I get a pay slip?
Yes, by law you must receive a payslip

Will I get any training?
Any training for the role will be discussed with & agreed by your employer