A Better Way to Work in Care-min

Do you have the time for a better way of working in care?

Due to the success of the local branches in South Devon, we have been generating a lot of interest from care professionals wanting to develop their career in care.

Our approach and way of working is proving to be successful and refreshingly different.

Not only do we offer care professionals great opportunities to earn a lot more, we also provide them with the time to spend with their customers without the need for rushed visits.

Our customers love the way we work to help them remain living in the comfort of their own home.

So we have decided to dedicate a blog for those wanting to find out more about us and what it takes to join our growing network.

Do you have the time to discover a better way of working?

We’d like to hear from care professionals who live in, either Newton Abbot, Ivybridge, Paignton, Plymouth, South Hams, Teignmouth, Torquay, or Totnes, who would like to find out more.

All of our carers and support workers that join our growing network become self-employed. We will help with every step and provide ongoing support.

You can develop your career and be valued for working in care!

This is a summary for those who are passionate about caring for others but may have never considered self-employment.

We now have many advocates – who you could meet, who can tell you about how we help, support and introduce customers and how much more rewarding our way of working has been for them.

What is it like as a self-employed carer?

  • Having the freedom and responsibility of being your own boss, with the ability to earn much more, to decide where and when you are available, and the rate that you want to charge to a customer for the services that you provide.
  • Being true to yourself – knowing that you have the potential to achieve what you want from your work.
  • Unlike being employed by someone, you are responsible pay the tax and National Insurance from your income.

What are the benefits of being a self-employed carer?

When you’re your own boss you have the potential to earn and keep much more of the money that you have earned.

Why you can keep more of your income when self-employed:

  • National Insurance (‘Class 2’) for the self-employed is much lower than the ‘National Insurance’ rate that would be deducted by an employer from being employed on “PAYE”.
  • The tax that needs to be paid tends to be lower for the self-employed because that you can ‘off set’ all of the costs that are genuinely associated with your work. For example, your mobile phone, internet, ‘home-office’ costs, motor or travel to clients.
  • Everyone that has joined our network is earning a lot more, in some cases, double the take home pay compared with a minimal ’employed wage’.  No one currently earns less than £12.50 for an hourly customer visit.
  • Your customers benefit too from better value. (Note: even with you charging a much higher rate, the rate that customers pay is still typically 25%-30% less than some domiciliary home care companies!)
  • High demand for good, caring professionals!

How can Friends Helping at Home support you?

We support you at every stage. Your local branch manager is your point of contact.

We’ll get to know you over a cuppa and the branch manager will discuss the ideal type of work, days and hours you would like (e.g. whether: support work, providing personal care, being a companion for someone, or providing help around the home –   cleaning, cooking, shopping, or driving a customer etc.,)

Market and “sell” your services to our customers who are looking for care and support.

Provide credibility (Provide customers with safe recruitment. We also take up references, DBS checks on behalf of the customers).

We arrange all of your admin such as invoicing customers on your behalf.

We have access to training specialists and other professionals within our network who can help you keep up to date, share best practice or advice.

Help you get everything right from day one so that you are properly supported when self-employed.

We provide everything that you need to be successful, without any risk on your part. You can still continue with other paid employment while we help you build up your customer base.

Your customers will have continuity and be able to resource care and support when you are away on leave.

Self-employment can be lonely. We arrange carer events and informal gatherings at branch level so that you know other carers and like-minded professionals.

We find the customers that you want.

We have a small team that supports you throughout.


Do I have to work weekends?
No, you set your availability. However, clients who need help 7 days a week will tend to only book those who can do some weekends.

When do I pay my tax?
This is calculated every April (end of the tax year) and any payments due have to be paid by the end of the following January, so the tax for work done to in the current tax year 2018/19 will have to be paid by 31st January 2020.

How much do I need to put aside for tax?
Our Admin Manager will give you guidance (depending on your tax code and likely income), probably between 10-20%. (Note we can recommend accountants and professionals who can advise you should you wish.)

What if I’m ill or can’t work?
You would have a responsibility to contact your customer and tell them. (Note. We will have introduced at least two or three service providers to customers who will be able to book someone else, or ask us to make introductions to other service providers for them to book.)

When am I paid?
You are paid as soon as your customer has paid.

Do I have to do any admin?
Very little. Just confirm your hours with your client using our system.

Is there a maximum or minimum number of hours that I have to work?
No none.

What rates can I expect to earn?
That depends on you and your customer. Typically the ‘take-home rate’ is double compared with being employed.

Are rates different at weekends or bank holidays?
Again, that’s up to the service provider and the customer to agree. Most carers agree a flat price across the week that includes weekends, Christmas and New Year’s Eve is by negotiation.

What are the work or shift opportunities for hours?
We have some customers who want one visit a week to do some shopping or household chores; or, an hour’s or several visits daily.  There’s customer demand for sleep-in cover, waking nights or for respite upon return from hospital. There are also opportunities to do some shift work in local care homes.

What other costs need to be considered when becoming self-employed?
You need to be properly insured with an underwriter who specialises in the care sector and to have changed your motor insurance to cover business use. We will help signpost you with this.

What happens after I’ve registered with Friends Helping at Home?
We carry out the various checks, DBS, references and then we’ll start introducing customers for you to meet.

Will I meet every customer before they can book me?
Yes. It’s important for both parties to get to know each other.

What does an initial meeting with a new customer involve?
The branch manager will accompany you to an initial meeting. No charge is made to the customer for this first visit as we view that in most cases the relationship between you and a customer could be ongoing so long as the customer is able to remain living in their own home.

How much experience do I need?
If you are doing care work we look for at least two years experience, a care certificate / NVQ level 2 as a minimum. Ultimately, it’s up to our customers to tell us what they want. If it’s care they want evidence of competence, training and relevant experience. Support workers and companions (those who don’t provide personal care) need less qualifications, but our customers look for pleasant personalities that they will get on with! Details about the type of professional we are looking to attract can be found  – here

What about training or skills development?
We have access to some great independent and accredited trainers who are always on hand to advise and keep you up-to-date. (Note. Anything that you spend on training or personal development is also offset against your tax.)

Is work guaranteed?
Not guaranteed, no. There is, however, huge demand in all our branches. We are looking for the best people in the care sector… customers are fed up with not knowing who’s coming through the door to look after them and like our system of putting them in control.

So what’s stopping you?

Next Steps

If you read this far, are feeling disillusioned with your current employment, it’s probably time to contact us!