If you directly employ a personal assistant than by law you must have employer’s liability insurance, and this is what has been encompassed into what is now packaged in what is called PA Insurance, which has been customised to understand the specific needs of personal assistants and their employers. Most councils include the costs of the insurance within any direct payments package, and if you do not feel this is the case it is worth taking the matter up with them. Apart from the fact it is a legal requirement, the main benefit of PA Insurance is that it is an important safeguard for when bad and unexpected things happen to your personal assistants while they are working for you. If they injure themselves while they are at work, through no fault of their own, you may be liable for the costs associated with that injury including their medical costs, and lost earnings. The insurance means that you are covered for these costs as well as many other costs.
In recent years, through a demand from people who employ personal assistants, it is now possible to get cover for when a personal assistant may take you to an employment tribunal, perhaps because they believe they were unfairly dismissed. The insurance will cover all the associated legal costs in what can be a very stressful event.
To use such cover, it is important to understand the terms of insurance as they will often require you to use their legal helpline and follow their guidance if you wish to sack a personal assistant to ensure they will actually pay out. It is hard to rate the quality of their claim process as it is something I have never personally use, or I hope to use, and I hope you have the same experience.
I would suggest it is not something to rely upon as it is important to ensure your personal assistants’ workplace, normally your home, is a safe place to work in. This requires common sense rather than anything else such as ensuring floors are clear of items that could trip up people, electrical items are safely working, you have appropriate protective clothing such as gloves and aprons available for their use and so on. To avoid ending up in an employment tribunal, it is good to establish a comprehensive induction process so personal assistants know what they should be doing. It is important to know how to praise and give constructive criticism to mould them to how you wish them to work and behave at work. This is a skill that can take years to prefect but it is important to get the most from a good personal assistant and employer relationship. So Personal Assistance Insurance is one of those things you just need to get however this does not mean you can’t shop around for the best deal by looking carefully at the small print.
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