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Dealing with problems

Everyone hopes that things do not go wrong and although you can try and prevent problems from occurring, sometimes they do and its sensible to have a plan of how to deal with any that may crop up. 

Ways to prevent problems

Although problems can arise for a number of different reasons, there are some things you can do to try and prevent them from happening. 

Speaking with your PA is very important and can prevent small problems from getting worse and becoming bigger issues. If you or your PA have anything you want to raise, talking to each other gives you both the opportunity to discuss anything that might be on your chest. 

Scheduling regular formal reviews or supervisions with your PA to talk about the job is a good idea. These can help you to assess your PA’s performance and whether they are doing the job that you want. You can provide your PA with some constructive feedback or praise them for their good work, which can help strengthen your working relationship and make your PA feel appreciated.  

If there is an area that you feel your PA could improve in, you could look at what training is available. Even if you are happy with the work your PA is doing, there may be better ways to things which training could assist with. Training can also keep your PA engaged and make them feel you are investing in them. You can read more in our Training and Development section. 

If you are unhappy with your PA

Talking with your PA can often resolve smaller issues like lateness or occasional attitude issues. If you are unhappy with your PA’s behaviour, it is worth speaking with them to see if there is a reason for it or if there is anything you can do to help things improve. 

When problems continue and the situation does not improve, or if your PA does something more serious, you should follow the correct legal procedure. When you employed your PA, you should have put a disciplinary policy in place that outlines what happens in this type of situation.  

Even if you no longer want to work with this PA, it is very important that you follow the policy to ensure that you do not do anything illegal. 

Disciplinary policy 

At the point you recruit your PA and give them their contract, you should also give them a copy of the disciplinary policy so that you both understand what will happen if there are any problems. This should be a separate document to the employment contract. 

You can access template disciplinary policy in PA Web’s Employer area. 

Advice and support 

Dealing with issues can be a stressful experience, so if you need any advice you could speak to: 

  • Another PA employer who can help you identify what is unacceptable in the workplace 
  • Your social care or health direct payment advisor 
  • Local user led organisation 
  • Your insurance company, if they offer advice
  • ACAS – who provide free information, advice and conciliation for employers and employees. 

If your PA is unhappy

If your PA voices that they are unhappy, it is important to listen to them and see if there are any changes that can be made to help improve the situation. 

Grievance policy 

A grievance policy outlines how your PA can raise any issues, concerns or complaints with you. A copy of this policy should be given to your PA with their employment contract.  

You can access a template grievance policy in PA Web’s Employer area. 

If you are not being treated well by your PA

What is abuse? 

Abuse is cruel or violent treatment of a person, where their human and civil rights are violated. This could: 

  • happen once, or many times 
  • be physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, institutional or discriminatory  
  • be neglect or a failure to do something. 

Some examples of abuse might include: 

  • Lack of personal care, if this is something you rely on your PA to help you with 
  • A disrespectful PA who may bully or undermine you 
  • Causing injuries, such as physically hurting you or giving you incorrect doses of medication 
  • Pressuring you to change your will 

Tell someone 

If you are being abused you should tell someone immediately. This could be: 

  • A trusted family member 
  • A trusted friend 
  • The police 
  • The Safeguarding Adult Team in your local authority 
  • Your doctor 
  • Your direct payment or personal health budget adviser or local support organisation. 

Useful links

ACAS provides free information and advice to employers and employees, to help avoid and resolve any problems or issues. You can also call their helpline on 0300 123 1100 (text relay 18001 0300 123 1100). 

GOV.UK has lots of information about formal procedures, appeals and mediation. 

Stop Hate UK provides confidential and independent hate crime reporting services in various areas of the UK, including a 24 hour helpline.  

Crimestoppersif you do not want to talk to the police, you can still report a hate crime by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via their website. 

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