Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

What is the salary of a live-in carer?

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Live-in care is when the carer lives in the home with the person they are caring for and provide care whenever is required. This is what makes it the most comprehensive care. Live-in care gives our clients the advantage of full-time care and companionship within their home 24 hours a day. Live-in carers will work with the clients and their families if necessary to support them in their daily routines. Private live-in care, as any care enables people to stay in their home for as long as possible. As live-in care is the most comprehensive care option, many of our clients build up to it and live in care tends to be the step before going to a care residence.

On average, live-in carer pay rates are between £100 and £140 gross per day. This can vary depending on a variety of factor such as experience, the type of care required and if any specific additional languages are required. The salary range is provided as gross pay, this is because as a live-in carer, you may decide that you would prefer to be considered self-employed and therefore will be responsible for paying your tax and National Insurance contributions.

However, if you do not want to be responsible for your own tax and National Insurance contributions, then you can be considered employed by the client. This would mean that they are responsible for paying your National Insurance and tax contribution, but they would be paying you a net salary which would most likely be less than that stated earlier.

If you are working as a live-in carer and you are working for a client that requires more specialised care due to a disability or an illness that is progressively getting worse, you are able to request a higher salary. This is because typically you will be required to have more hands-on experience as a carer as well as experience with the issue that requires speciality care. Especially as a private live-in carer operating within the clients home, it is essential that you have the experience and expertise to properly care for your client.

On average, a live-in carer working with a client with specialist care needs is able to ask for up to £160 gross per day, however, it is not unheard of for live-in carers to be paid more than that. Again it depends on the experience and qualifications of the carer as well as the type of care that is required.

The minimum wage of a live-in carer is inline with the National minimum wage or London minimum wage if you are based in London. Minimum wage is only applicable if you are aged between 21 and 25 years old, otherwise, you will qualify for the National living wage which is slightly higher than the minimum wage. Living and minimum wage typically increase each year, but as it stands the minimum wage for the UK is currently £7.70 per hour and the living wage for the UK is currently £8.21 per hour, in London, the living wage is again slightly higher at £10.55 per hour.

It is not recommended if you are starting out your caring career and wanting to get into live-in care with no previous experience. This is not to say that you will not be able to get into live-in care eventually but you will need to build up your experience beforehand. There are a few different ways that you can build up your experience as a carer when you are first starting out. One of which is volunteering at a charity that specialises in adult and elderly care. This will expose you to a range of different situations and conditions that you will be dealing with as a full-time carer but with the support of staff around who are more experienced and can show you the best ways in which you can assist. Other ways you can build up your experience is by registering with a domiciliary care agency and taking courses that will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of different conditions and debilitating illnesses.

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