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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 employer is very important and can prevent small problems from getting worse and becoming bigger issues. If you or your employer 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 employer to talk about the job is a good idea. These can help you to assess your performance and whether you are doing the job that your employer wants. Your employer can provide you with some constructive feedback or praise you for their good work, and you can feed back any issues you are facing. This can help strengthen your working relationship. 

If there is an area that you feel you could improve in, you could look at what training is available. There may be better ways to do things which training could assist with. Training can also keep you engaged and allows your employer to invest in you. You can read more in our Training and Development section. 

If your employer is unhappy with your performance

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

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

Disciplinary policy 

At the point you accept your position and are given your contract, you should also receive a copy of the disciplinary policy from your employer so that you both understand what will happen if there are any problems. This should be a separate document to the employment contract. 

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 you are unhappy

If there is something on your mind that is affecting your work, it is best to discuss immediately with your employer. There may be something they can do to help improve things. 

Grievance policy 

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

If you are worried about how the person you support is being treated

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 the person you support is being abused you should tell someone immediately. This could be: 

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