The Independent Living Funds is now closed 2016

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25 May 2007: User Consultation Meeting

The ILF called a meeting of the User Group to discuss issues around employer support.  The purpose of the meeting was to hear ILF user experiences of employing personal assistants and find out what costs and expenses are incurred.  The views and experiences gathered at the meeting were used in part to complete a report with recommendations for the ILF Trustees.

What follows is a summary of the discussions:

Recruitment

  • Some users advertise through job centres.  Comments were made that this service has improved since you can now advertise online.
  • Some users commented that the quality of applicants recommended to apply by their job centre was not always very good.  Also, some people who apply based on internet information do not realise where the job is based and live to far away to be practical.
  • Some recruit through word of mouth - prefer to do this because they feel vulnerable.  (Would still do this even if ILF were to pay for advertising costs).
  • Luck plays a part in getting good staff.
  • Some users do not carry out CRB checks if they know the person.
  • Some use advice services and disability organisations.
  • MOSAIC (Leicestershire organisation funded by Social Services) helped one user to place ads and recruit.  They publish an annual advice booklet which is very useful.
  • Users had been quoted cost of £130 for 2 or 3 nights newspaper advertising plus a PO Box for confidentiality (which was seen as an advantage).
  • Costs of recruiting include: preparing contracts, phone costs (often mobile phones), postage costs, producing application forms, stationery, printing ink.
  • Fish PA manual has good guidelines for employees.
  • Not all users have had good experiences of using CILs.
  • First time employers find it more difficult.
  • Some users found adverts in shop windows can work (usually a nominal fee of £1.00).
  • People found ACAS very helpful.
  • Some users don't want to interview in their own home and incur cost of hiring interview room (plus cost of having PA with them if they don't want to interview alone).
  • Comments that templates provided by Social Services are not up-to-date with employment law.
  • Application forms provided by job centre are not always appropriate for PA roles.
  • HMRC was not found to be user-friendly.
  • Recruitment and training of staff is very time consuming and tiring.  Feeling of the group was that no allowance is made for this by ILF or others.  Suggestion that a financial allowance could be made.
  • Pay in lieu of notice - not enough money for this - can lead to difficult situations.
  • Accountancy costs to to help with finances can be approximately £200 per year.

 


The Independent Living Funds is now closed 2016
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