Entrepreneurs who have worked hard to grow their business and wealth, want to spend their money as they choose in their later years and recognise that this could include covering care costs.
Those who want to live independently in their own home for as long as possible tend to opt for services provided by a care agency, but we are receiving a growing number of enquiries from people seeking to appoint their own carer or care team.
By appointing a carer or care team directly, individuals can gain more control over who cares for them and the level of service they receive, providing peace of mind when it matters most. However, this is an option that gives rise to a number of complexities, so if you're an entrepreneur and either you are considering this route for your retirement or other family members or relatives are thinking about taking this route, here are some key issues to consider:
When you appoint a carer you become an employer, so you must comply with various rules and regulations. For example, you will need to ensure that those you wish to employ have a right to work in the UK, put an appropriate employment contract in place which accurately reflects the day to day arrangements, provide a pension (which as an employer you are required to make a minimum contribution to), have a sickness and absence policy and make arrangements for appropriate emergency cover.
Employment legislation changes frequently so you will also need to seek regular legal advice to keep up to date with any amendments. The most likely breaches in this area occur because of failure to pay holiday pay, national minimum wage/national living wage (which can result in criminal sanctions) and failure to abide by the working time regulations. Claims can be brought in the employment tribunal.
When a carer lives at a property owned by the care recipient, the basis on which the carer occupies the property should also be made clear from the outset. Otherwise this could result in difficulties in removing the carer from the property if their employment was terminated.
If you've already got an arrangement in place with a care agency, and you are considering changing your care arrangements, your contract will need to be checked for restrictive covenants. You may have to pay a fee to release the carer(s) from their existing contractual obligations. Similarly, should you wish to directly employ a carer who had been working for an agency, your chosen carer may also have additional restrictions in their employment contract, so these will need to be reviewed to prevent potential future legal action.
Directly employing your own care team can be expensive, time consuming to put in place and then manage once the arrangements are in place. It is crucial to research your options and seek proper advice regarding all of the potential costs. You will need to make sure you have sufficient funding in place. As well as paying salaries, there will be other cost considerations such as set-up costs (including but not limited to payroll and pension services) and legal advice to ensure compliance.
Employing someone who works under your roof presents a number of risks associated with Health and Safety and consideration must be given to the standards an employer must provide. You will need to assess these and ensure sufficient protection is put in place through appropriate Employers Liability insurance to cover any incidents which may take place in the household/place of work.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)
Also consider who can assist with your arrangements if you were no longer able to deal with the management of your care team yourself. LPAs are vital to ensure the appointment of someone you trust to take over and act in your best interests when dealing with your care arrangements.
More information can be found about LPAs here.
The demand for bespoke care arrangements is growing, but it's expensive and brings with it a number of considerations. It's important to get expert advice before making that choice. Appropriate guidance, planning and preparation will ensure you secure long-term care that best meets your needs and your hard-earned money is allocated in the most efficient and effective way.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.