One of my goals of 2013 is to assist the government in developing a legal definition of what a personal assistant is in terms of social care, whether they want the assistance or wish to have a definition are matters to resolve.
While I and many disabled people have employed personal assistants for many years, the government has only taken interest in the matter for a few years and I fear only with pound signs in their eyes. They see personal assistants as a cheaper option to regulated care services because they fail to see hidden financial and other costs to direct employers which are never taken account of in their funding.
One of the most worrying developments is in the government current ‘PA framework’, they are suggesting personal assistants can be flexible in their employment status, permitting the idea of self employed assistants and even unregulated co-operatives. In order to maintain the principals of self directed suggested, it is illegal to tell self employments how to do things, only what to do. Evidence shows that the confusion about employment status causes great distress when a relationship breakdown.
The government so far reluctance to have a legal definition must change and indeed will change as it becomes my first mission impossible of 2013.
If you like what I say, have a look at my website at http://www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74