Unlike employees at a care agency, self employed carers get to choose their own clients and set their rates. This flexibility can be attractive to some, especially as many domiciliary carers are chronically underpaid by agencies (see our private carer salary 2022 report).
The freedom to choose your clients and set your rates comes with increased responsibility, however. Self-employed carers are their own businesses, so they need to pay taxes, acquire insurance and market themselves effectively. This is often more difficult than working for an agency as you’ll need to compete with other independent carers to secure work.
It’s a good idea to research other independent carers in your area and find out what they charge for hourly, daily or weekly care. You should also decide on your legal structure, deciding whether you want to be a sole trader or limited company. You’ll also need to draw up contracts with each client, outlining what the work will entail, your hours, payment and responsibilities. An enhanced DBS check (formerly a CRB) is a must-have, too, to prove you’re authorised to work with vulnerable adults.
Once you’ve put all the practicalities in place, you can start searching for work. It’s worth identifying your niche, so you can focus on marketing to the type of clients you want to work with. This could be something like dementia care, or homemakers. Self employed Carer