How to Become a Self-Employed Carer


This article discusses self employed carers and how to become a self-employed carer. Many carers are self-employed particularly live in carers who may work independently or for an agency that works with self-employed carers.

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Why become a self employed carer?

There are many advantages to becoming a self-employed carer. Becoming a self-employed carer means you get to choose who you want to work for and potentially earn more money. Being your own boss has other advantages, as well as working on your own conditions it is also easier to set your own hours which can be beneficial if you have other commitments outside of caring jobs.

Becoming a self-employed carer can be particularly attractive for family carers who may not live near their loved ones and this can often put paid direct payment in place. This type of arrangement enables the person requiring assistance to pay for their care directly rather than through an agency or local authority. This gives the individual more choice over where they receive their support.

What types of self-employed carers are there?

There are both live-in and hourly positions for self-employed carers, with live-in positions often associated with the elderly who require a high degree of support and round-the-clock monitoring due to their conditions. Becoming a self-employed live in carer will consist of more responsibilities as they may be required for housework, cooking, bathing and administering medication, while an hourly based job can just focus on looking after specific tasks such as lifting or walking the patient.

How much do self-employed carers charge?

Self-employed carers submit their own rates to clients which vary according to their experience and the area they work. Increased rates can be charged at night and on public holidays. What do you need to do to become a self-employed live in carer?

In order to become a self-employed carer, it is necessary to complete training which will include learning about the patient's condition or illness as well as training on different aspects of personal care. This must be completed before being given work experience. It is essential that invoices are issued for all work undertaken where taxes must be paid through an umbrella company, operating via a limited company, or by working on a self employed basis and submitting a self-assessment tax return to HMRC.

What self employed carer insurance is available?

In addition, insurance policies should be taken out including public liability cover. Becoming a self employed live in carer will also require additional knowledge such as covering letters, references and keeping up with CQC guidelines.

A self employed carer can be responsible for setting their own rates and choosing the available shifts to work. A self-employed carer is also responsible for finding their own work/clients, arranging cover when necessary and invoicing. However there are services in place which help self employed live in carers, such as providing help to source potential clients and find suitable jobs or contracts. There are a number of different insurance policies that can be purchased by self employed live in carers and policies will include specific clauses regarding training, being DBS checked; client not at risk policy.

There are a number of support services in place for self employed carers which include free advice and guidance to assist them. There are also funding opportunities available, including grants specifically for live-in care workers and employers to help alleviate some of the costs involved in hiring someone who is working on a live-in basis.

The Self Employed Carer Forum offers self employed carers to connect with each other, share training opportunities, discuss issues or problems they may be facing and ask questions about certain aspects related to the job role.

You can also find support on various Facebook groups for self employed carers.

How to register as a self employed carer

Becoming a self employed carer requires registration with HMRC as a self-employed but typically not the Care Quality Commission (CQC). You do not have to register with CQC until you reach 5 workers. You will need to provide a DBS certificate for each worker in your business, including yourself.

In general, you do not need to be registered with the CQC when you are employed by the service user directly or indirectly through someone who has a legal authority to make arrangements on their behalf. You are a self-employed one-person business without any duty to provide a replacement.

Dr Jamie Wilson
Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Hometouch
Dr Jamie Wilson is hometouch’s founder and Chief Medical Officer. Jamie’s creation of hometouch was inspired by his work as a dementia psychiatrist in the NHS, and he has written about healthcare issues in The Times and the Evening Standard. Jamie has a MBBS from the University of Leeds and has spent a decade in the NHS, working as a Psychiatric Registrar and Memory Specialist at Imperial College Hospital.