Guide to being a self-employed carer

Becoming self-employed can seem daunting but it brings many benefits. This short guide should help you understand what it means to be self-employed, and how this can bring benefits as a carer.

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Why should I work self employed?

As a self-employed carer, you can be your own boss – you choose when you want to work, set your own rates and personally choose your clients.

You can find work that fits around you – whether you’re looking for something to fit around the school run and childcare, or you’re only looking for weekend and evening work then this way of working could be perfect for you.

What is the difference between working employed and self-employed?

When you are employed by a company it is their responsibility to pay your tax and national insurance. The company also offers holiday entitlement and statutory leave. You are obliged to work a set number of hours for the company and to carry out the role set out in your contract.  You are told what to do by whoever is employing you.

When you are self-employed you are working as a sole trader.  You don’t have anyone telling you what to do, when to work or how to carry out your role.  You decide how much to charge for the work you do.  It is your responsibility to pay your own tax and national insurance by completing a Self-Assessment form at the end of the financial year (end of January) on the HMRC website. You do not receive holiday or sick pay so your charges should be high enough to cover this. It is your responsibility to find clients (if you join TrustonTap we do this for you) and build up your own client base. It is also your responsibility to invoice customers and ensure you receive payments.  If you join TrustonTap this is something we do so you don’t have to!

What is the benefit of joining TrustonTap?

When you join TrustonTap as a self-employed carer you are joining a community of carers. You’ll have access to an online portal where you can manage your timesheets, set your availability, see all live opportunities we have sent you and a range of supporting documents. Copies of all timesheets and statements are stored on your carer portal, making record-keeping easy.

We will support you to find clients. We match your skills and personality with those looking for care in your local area, so you don’t have to travel too far. We will send you opportunities that match your availability which you can say Yes or No to. You decide what days and times you want to work.

When you join us we ensure you get a better pay rate than the average carer wage by only taking a small commission. For example, if you were to charge £20 per hour on your profile, we take off 18% + VAT commission, so you would take home £15.68 per hour.

As an introductory agency, our clients have to book a minimum of 4 hours which can be used over the week. We do not offer 15 or 20-minute visits. Instead, we tell the client that the carer will visit for the minimum of a 1-hour visit per shift. We don’t believe that good care can be rushed.

Our carers don’t need to worry about invoicing clients and chasing payments. We ask our carers to complete timesheets on a weekly basis, we invoice the client on your behalf and then pay you directly to your bank account a week later. You’ll receive payment statements to your email. They are also saved on your portal. The benefit of working with us is you are guaranteed payment, especially if the client is using a third party to pay for care like Purple, we still ensure payments are made on a weekly basis.

Unlike other sole traders, when you join TrustonTap you have a support network. Our team is available to answer any of your questions. Whether you’ve got a question about your clients or working self-employed – we try and help you the best way we can. We also try and find cover for your clients if you have a pre-planned holiday and we try our best to find you cover if you are taken ill.

How do I register to be Self-Employed?

You need to register on the HMRC website and tell them you’re registering to work self-employed. They will give you a UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number which you will use when submitting your tax return. All information and sign up forms can me found on the HMRC website

How much tax do I pay?

How much tax you pay will depend on how much money you have made and the ‘allowable expenses’ you’ve spent as a sole trader. Certain expenses you can claim against your income when you’re working out your taxable profit.

The tax-free personal allowance and tax bands still apply to self-employed people, as of 2019-20 you can earn £12,500 before you need to pay tax (you will still need to complete a Tax Return to declare your income). You’ll then pay the basic rate of income tax (20%) on your income over £12,500.

What can I claim for as a self-employed carer?

A benefit of working self-employed is you can deduct certain costs from your income when you’re calculating your tax liability.
Some of the things you claim against your tax:

  • Carer Business Insurance
  • Percentage of your car running costs if you are using your vehicle
  • Mileage to and from clients homes, keep a log of all your mileage
  • PPE (eg. Protective clothing, anti-bac gel)
  • Subscriptions (eg. DBS Update Service)
  • Training

Find out more

If you want to know anything more about becoming a self-employed carer with TrustonTap please call us on 0808 278 1112 or

Request a callback

Start your application

Start the process of becoming a TrustonTap carer today, by completing our simple online registration form.

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