Personal assistants and direct payments
Landmark research by UNISON Social Work Issues Group and the Scottish
Personal Assistants Employers Network (SPAEN) into the employment
of Personal Assistants (PAs) through Direct Payments has been launched
in June 2009 through a series of seminars across Scotland.
From this research a booklet, "Your Rights at Work" has
been produced by UNISON and SPAEN, for PAs and their employers.
These can be downloaded by clicking on the links on the right.
The Aberdeen Seminar was held from 10.30 - 1pm on Friday 12 June
at The Aberdeen Foyer, Marywell Centre, Marywell Street. It was
well attended, by employers, their organisations, PAs, Local Authority
staff and voluntary organisations. The input was well received and
there were lively question and answer sessions throughout the event.
The seminar was chaired by Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair and member
of UNISON's Social Work Issues Group and included a presentation
on the research by Peter Brawley SPAEN. UNISON Legal Officer Suzanne
Craig covered the legal responsibilities of employers and the legal
rights of personal assistants and Violet Keenan from SPAEN talked
about how employers can access advice and the role of SPAEN.
An interim report from the research resulted in a series of recommendations
to provide better support and training for PAs, guidance on good
employment practices and funding for training.
“Now that the final report has been published, UNISON and SPAEN
want to ensure that workers and employers are fully briefed about
the issues across Scotland”, said Stephen Smellie, Chair of UNISON
Scotland’s Social Work Issues Group.
So a series of seminars were set up aimed at UNISON members who
work in the direct payments field (such as social workers and Direct
Payments Co-ordinators), people who receive direct payments and
are either employers of personal assistants or are thinking of employing
personal assistants, and personal assistants themselves.