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New rate for employing Personal Assistants with a Direct Payment

From the 1st of April 2020, Adult Social Care is increasing the amount of money provided to employ personal assistants (also known as PAs) and making this a standard rate across all days of the week. (Adult Social Care) are pleased to be making these changes in recognition of the valuable role PAs perform.




Free COVID-19 antibody testing for paid adult social care staff in Surrey


As part of a national exercise, COVID-19 antibody tests are now being offered free of charge by the NHS to anyone in paid adult social care employment. This includes Personal Assistants who provide paid support to individuals aged 18 and above.

The antibody test is to determine whether you have had COVID-19 and whether your body has responded by developing antibodies. It is not a swab test to identify if you currently have COVID-19.

If you want to book a test, you will need to do it before the 10th of November 2020.

How to book
Please follow the link and click on the ‘Adult Social Care (not SCC staff)’ tab to set up an account and book your antibody test. During the registration process you will need to provide some personal information which must be correct and include your full name and surname as it would appear on your personal NHS record.

For further details about how to book a test please see the process overview (link to document) and the Frequently Asked Questions (link to FAQ). If you experience any problem, please contact

Your antibody test appointment
You must print the blood test form attached to your appointment confirmation email and take it with you to your blood test appointment as it will be sent to the laboratory together with your blood sample. The form cannot be printed on site and without it the phlebotomist will not be able to take a sample.

When attending your appointment you must wear a face mask/covering, observe social distancing and ensure you’ve had plenty to drink beforehand so you are well hydrated.

When you arrive at your booked location, simply follow the signs. Some clinics are mobile so look for a St John’s Ambulance treatment vehicle if your chosen location is a mobile testing clinic.

Getting your results
Due to high demand it may take up to two weeks for your results to be available on the portal – please check regularly by logging into your account.

A negative antibody test means that you have not had an immune response to the virus. That means that you are unlikely to have been previously infected with COVID19.

Please also see the documentation below:
Surrey Heartlands FAQ for Antibody Testing v3.3
Surrey Heartlands Antibody Testing Process Overview for PAs


Coronavirus / COVID-19 Fast Facts for employers and PAs


Due to the current pandemic affecting individual employers and personal assistants, we have put together some Fast Facts to help employers and PAs know what to do (in terms of employment or being employed) during this crisis. We recommend you read all of them.

COVID-19 Fast Fact 1 - Provision of SILC services

Letter from Surrey County Council to recipients of 'Adult' direct payments

COVID-19 Surrey County Council - Easy Read for Direct Payment Recipients

Surrey County Council Children’s Service Direct Payments statement:
Children’s Services have advised us that they have undertaken a rate review and a proposal has been sent to their senior management team for a final decision and approval to implement. There in no definitive decision as yet. They will be advising all parents carers Direct Payment recipients and SILC of any decision with regards to rates in due course.

COVID-19 Fast Fact 2 - For Individual Employers of Personal Assistants

COVID-19 Fast Fact 3 - For Personal Assistants

COVID-19 Fast Fact 4 - More useful information about changes during the pandemic

COVID-19 Fast Fact 5 - Self-employed Personal Assistants

Please note: This page was updated on 02/04/2020 at 2pm. Please keep up to date with the news for the latest developments. We will continue to update our website and social media as soon as we can.

Useful Links:




SILC – Who we are

Surrey Independent Living Council (SILC) is a voluntary organisation led and run by disabled people. We believe that every disabled adult, child, older person and carer should be able to live independently with the same choices, opportunities and control over their lives as anyone else.

Our specialist, approachable team offer a range of services to help you live independently, whether you receive support from the council, NHS or fund your own care.
Depending on your situation, we can assist with:

  • deciding whether a Direct Payment is the right option for you
  • helping you understand how Direct Payments work
  • helping you to recruit and employ care workers and Personal Assistants
  • training, including Support with Confidence
  • practical advice on staying safe and independent at home
  • providing an Assisted Finance Account to help you manage your finances
  • support with budgets, bank accounts and financial management
  • managing your Personal Health Budget or Education Direct Payment

We provide the NHS Health Complaints Advocacy service in Surrey and also administer the GP Carer Break Scheme, including the carer prescriptions service, and are involved in joint ventures and national initiatives including Healthwatch Surrey.




Free Training for personal assistants and direct payment employers

Due to COVID-19, SILC have suspended all training until the Government advises we can resume as normal. For more details and to register for training in the future, please either email or phone 07514 093 616.




April 2020 Employment Law Update


Written Terms
As it stands at the moment, employers have three months to provide an employee with written terms and conditions of their contract. From 6th April any employee or worker must be issued this on or before their first day of employment.

Calculating Holiday Pay
Currently, holiday pay is calculated from the average earning over the last 12 weeks before the holiday period. From the 6th April 2020 this is increasing to 52 weeks, or the length of employment if they have worked less than a full year. Staff whose hours vary greatly will benefit from a much fairer payment when taking holidays.

Minimum Wage
The minimum wage for those over 25 will rise to £8.72, with other age groups also increasing. Statutory sick pay and parental leave will also increase.

Pay Slips
Employers must issue a payslip including the number of hours worked and where pay varies indicate this clearly. This is particulalry important with variable working staff and those on zero hour contracts.





Become a SILC Trustee

In 2017 we successfully retendered for Surrey County Councils Direct Payment support service and we are also adding NHS Health Complaints Advocacy and a further Supported Pathways to Employment project to the services that we offer.

We now want to strengthen SILC and make sure we are doing what you need and reflect your needs in the way we provide services.

In order to do that we are looking for disabled people to join our Board of Trustees and help us oversee the development and management of the organisation.

If you are interested just call us on 01483 458 111 or email our admin team at:




SILC, Astolat, Coniers Way, Burpham, Guildford GU4 7HL. Tel: 01483 458111  Privacy Policy 
Registered charity No. 1146482