29 July 2021

OxleyCare likes to have a happy and informed employment model.  Our carers are the backbone of the high quality service we provide to our clients.  As such, we want to make sure we offer them the best possible employment package and crucially, want our dispersed work force to feel valued and part of a team.

All our carers are employed by us and receive a NEST pension.  There is full administrative and nurse-led managerial support and a 24 hour helpline.  The role is well-paid, weekly and there is a chance to earn a recruitment incentive and a roster commitment bonus when you commit to working with us for a set period of time.  There is flexibility to design your own work pattern and organise time off when needed.  OxleyCare has purchased a lovely house for carers to use for rest, to stay between placements, isolate or quarantine. We also have an Extra Mile Award.  This is awarded to an employee that goes above and beyond that required by their role.

One of carers, Mary, has taken the time to write about being an employed carer or a private carer having experienced both.  It is invaluable, first hand experience and supports our claim that we look after our carers, that we place carers based on suitability and skillset and that support is always on hand should it be needed.  Happy carer = happy client!

Private caring vs Agency work from a Carer prospective.

My first two caring experiences were both private, so I had no prior experience of how it should be handled. I was led by the family of the clients and carers previously doing the work. I relied on my life experience as a mother who raised four children and had a mother who had Alzheimer’s – also, being practical and a hands on person, came in handy.

All the while though, I was conscious of the fact that there should be a standard of care and being in private care you do not have the guidance or the support an agency provides. In these circumstances I was registered as self-employed and subsequently had problems paying my tax which became an issue when I returned to South Africa and could not log into HMRC’s system from there.

My recent experience working privately came after being employed by OxleyCare for more than two years. My first action in my private assignment was to get a file and write down daily activities and keep a record of medication taken. I was aware of the fact that nobody might ever look at it, but that it was there for my own protection.

Though this is a first time carer experience for this particular family, they depended on my experience and they put a lot of trust and faith in my abilities.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I was given a full picture of the client’s condition, because I suspect they wanted to see how matters developed.

Working privately puts a carer in a position where she does not have the support she desires should things go wrong. The attitude of ‘ you are now part of our family’  is a nice sentiment, but it makes it difficult to be able to discuss challenging behaviour or situations.  The carer tends to disregard her own feelings or emotional needs.

I missed not being informed by an agency what the current government procedures are regarding Covid19 regulations etc. The responsibility becomes huge and the carer feels unprotected.

My employer registered me with a company that deals with wages and taxes, with the result that I did not have any problems regarding regular payments, though it was monthly and not weekly.

Working for an agency gives a sense of belonging. It puts one in touch with other carers and there is definitely relief in the sense that there are other like minded ladies who also go through similar situations. Working with admin staff is like having an umbrella, protecting and shielding. There are often issues that make it hard for a carer to approach the client’s family – it is best to limit conflict in the house where you live and that is when it means so much if somebody at the office steps in and negotiates the situation on behalf of the carer.

Another great advantage of working for an agency is the peace of mind a carer has knowing that the client has been vetted, financially, living conditions, health conditions, medical background, etc. It is good to know that after a week’s work, your wages will promptly be paid into your account, because it is a priority to the agency.

Working for an agency also gives a carer a sense of pride – she belongs to a group and she presents that groups’ ethics and standards.

Ongoing training keeps a carer relevant and knowledgeable which is another advantage of working for an agency. Though there is administrative work to be done, it does give a sense of connectivity.

The notion of a bonus or recognition for hard work or going the extra mile, is a great motivator, something that might or might not occur when working privately.