Give paid care and support

We are recruiting experienced care and support workers in the Upper Calder Valley to offer support in people's homes on an independent or an employed basis.


You can read more about the role below and take a look at our faq to help you decide whether working independently or as an employee of Equal Care would be best for you (you cannot be both at the same time).


Please note that for employed roles you need to have your own car and full driving license.

Apply to offer support

What are the steps?

Express interest by clicking the button above.

Have an optional one to one to find out more about how we work (not an interview)! 

Complete the application form. 

Take part in an interview (there will be at least one person receiving and one person giving support on the panel).

Join us! There are some due diligence tasks and you'll create your profile (with support).

We give you a biiig welcome to Equal Care Co-op and you can start to join our Teams.

Equal Care & Support Worker

Whether you are looking to work independently or joining Equal Care as an employee, there is one value we ask everyone in our community to bring and to uphold: this is mutual care for one another. 


Everyone giving support at Equal Care (whether they're volunteering, independent or employed) becomes a member of one or more Teams. Teams are always owned by the person receiving the support. The Team Owner chooses who joins their team. Some teams have advocates (usually a family member but not always) who take on or support these decisions if the team owner is not able to do so.


Just as each giving and receiving relationship is different, each Team works differently, with different ways of working and share of responsibilities.

Employed Role Description
Independent Role Description
Employed Role Description
Where: Areas of work are Todmorden, Hebden Royd and Halifax (depending on where you live). Our office is based in Halifax near the train station and you will need to visit from time to time.

Hours: Our employed roles all involve either alternating or regular weekends with some evenings. There is flexibility within this when creating your employment contract. However, once the hours in your contract are agreed we stick to them as fixed hours. We count out of hours as weekend work, evening work from 6pm, morning work before 8am and working on public holidays. Out of hours are calculated at £10.50 per hour and working week hours are £9.50 per hour (this works out higher than many other agencies advertise because they don't include travel. We don't stop paying you just because you're going from one person's house to another).


Salary: All roles currently available have a starting salary of £18,915 per year for a full-time role. This is assuming that you will work either one weekend day per week or work alternating weekends. If you are able to work more out of hours than this on a regular basis, your salary will be higher.

For example, if you are working exclusively out of hours, the annual full-time salary is £20,475. You are paid for the hours you are at work, not just the hours spent supporting people.

Expenses: Your travel to and from your area of work is classed as a commute, so is not reimbursed. However, if the first person you travel to from home in the morning or the last person you support the end of the day (when you head home) lives outside your contracted area of work then this is reimbursable. Your annual mileage is reimbursed at 45p per mile at the end of the tax year.

Transport: At the moment we need people who have their own car and a full driving license. 

Holidays: 30 days

Pension: 4.5% contribution from the co-operative.

About you

You are not a “one-size-fits-all” person - you bring your individuality, interests and experience to the way you give support. We all give support in different ways - this is what makes support relationships so special.


You collaborate with others and aren’t afraid to act on your own initiative. If you can see something that needs fixing, you won’t walk on by, you’ll fix it!


You hold yourself accountable for your words and actions. Everyone makes mistakes. You’re good at saying sorry and moving on. You’re good at kindly and mindfully holding others to account (or willing to learn).


You can say no (or ask for help to say it!). You can identify and hold your own boundaries. You can hear and respect the boundaries of others.


You're okay with working on computers and writing stuff down.

 

You care about your own wellbeing.


Key Requirements

  • You have worked as a care and support professional for at least one year (this won’t always be a requirement, but we need experienced workers as we build up our co-operative)

  • You can provide excellent references: one from your previous/current employer and one from somebody you have supported directly (this cannot be a family member)

  • You hold a relevant qualification (with the Care Certificate as a minimum)

  • You have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Check within the last six months or are happy for us to apply for you to have one

  • You can give good examples of times when you have given and received feedback, enabling others to learn and change their practice and doing the same yourself (open heart, open mind)

  • You are willing to learn about co-operative ways of working and Equal Care’s model of support, which is different to normal agencies.


About the work 

People you support and the co-operative itself hugely benefit when you bring your talents, interests and skills to the workplace, using them creatively and sensitively to support others. It may be a particular way you approach personal care, teaching gentle yoga, support with mobility, experience working with particular conditions or giving specialist care. You may have a particular interest that you can use in the course of the support you give, such as the creative arts, support with productivity and budgeting, complementary therapies or even small group workshops. 


The categories

There are three main categories of support we give. Personal care is required for employed roles and categories two and three are optional depending on your experience and interests. 


These are:

  1. Personal care

  2. Mental health and wellbeing

  3. Administrative support and informal advocacy


The role will involve:

  • Giving care and support to people in their own homes and the wider community

  • Crafting, posting and updating your profile on our private platform, detailing your individualised support offerings 

  • Working within your Teams, holding nominated roles (“hats”) within each one depending on the Team, your experience and relationships with the Team Owner and/or their Advocate. These change from team to team. Some examples are ‘Rota curator’ or ‘Introducer’ for new team members. (Don't worry, we will give you full training and induction into what this all means!)

  • Where possible and where appropriate, giving people the opportunities, confidence and support to help others themselves.

  • Being on call at least one week in ten (on call number starts at 6am and closes at 11pm - it gets routed to the main number during office hours, including weekends)

  • It may involve live-in care and support, plus sleeping and waking nights (this is by consent and prior agreement with you only, it is not an expected or required part of the role)


Additional Activities
  • Participating in circle meetings with other circle members and carrying out any roles and tasks emerging from those meetings (e.g. organising a local event or being nominated Circle Facilitator)
You will need to participate in at least two of the activities below. You will receive training to be able to carry these out and we will go at your pace.
  • Participating in recruitment activities for new independent and employed equal care and support workers
  • Meeting new people looking for support and bringing them into Equal Care, enabling them to build the Team they want - including writing the supportive conversation (Support Plan) or supporting people to write their own
  • Responding to concerns and following up to solve problems
  • Offering peer support/mentoring to other workers 
  • Taking phone calls to the main number and routing people as appropriate

Independent Role Description
Where: Calder Valley and Halifax

Rates: You can set your own. Our independent workers currently charge between £13.50 and £16 per hour. There is a 5% deduction made by Equal Care as a Commons Contribution.

Hours: Up to you! It does of course also depend on which hours our Teams are looking to fill. This will be a conversation to find the right fit.

Expenses: You can submit your travel and other work-related expenses to HMRC as part of your Self-Assessment return at the end of the year. In some circumstances you may agree reimbursed expenses with your Teams. All expenses as a result of engaging in Equal Care work are reimbursed by the co-operative.

About you

You are not a “one-size-fits-all” person - you bring your individuality, interests and experience to the way you give support. We all give support in different ways - this is what makes support relationships so special.


You collaborate with others and aren’t afraid to act on your own initiative. If you can see something that needs fixing, you won’t walk on by, you’ll fix it!


You hold yourself accountable for your words and actions. Everyone makes mistakes. You’re good at saying sorry and moving on. You’re good at kindly and mindfully holding others to account (or willing to learn).


You can say no (or ask for help to say it!). You can identify and hold your own boundaries. You can hear and respect the boundaries of others.

 

You care about your own wellbeing.


Key Requirements

  • You have worked as a care and support professional for at least one year (this won’t always be a requirement, but we need experienced workers as we build up our co-operative)

  • You can provide excellent references: one from your previous/current employer and one from somebody you have supported directly (this cannot be a family member)

  • You hold a relevant qualification

  • You are registered self-employed with HMRC or will register before starting to offer support through Equal Care Co-op (we'll help!)
  • You have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Check within the last six months or are happy for us to apply for you to have one
  • You have insurance cover in place or will get cover before starting to offer support (we pay for your first year of cover)
  • You must either have your own health and safety, safeguarding and data protection policies or adopt Equal Care’s
  • You can give good examples of times when you have given and received feedback, enabling others to learn and change their practice and doing the same yourself (open heart, open mind)

  • You are willing to learn about co-operative ways of working and Equal Care’s model of support, which is different to normal agencies.


About the work 


People you support and the co-operative itself hugely benefit when you bring your talents, interests and skills to the workplace, using them creatively and sensitively to support others. It may be a particular way you approach personal care, teaching gentle yoga, support with mobility, experience working with particular conditions or giving specialist care. You may have a particular interest that you can use in the course of the support you give, such as the creative arts, support with productivity and budgeting, complementary therapies or even small group workshops. 


The categories

There are three main categories of support available. You can offer your support in all three or apply for just one. 


These are:

  1. Personal care

  2. Mental health and wellbeing

  3. Administrative support and informal advocacy


Bear in mind that our mental health and administrative support categories may result in less work or it taking longer to find work because most (but not all!) of people looking for support ask for some form of personal care and practical assistance at home.


The role will involve:

  • Giving care and support to people in their own homes and the wider community

  • Crafting, posting and updating your profile on our private platform, detailing your individualised support offerings 

  • Live-in care and support, plus sleeping and waking night opportunities (by consent only)

  • Working within your Teams, holding nominated roles (“hats”) within each one depending on the Team, your experience and relationships with the Team Owner and/or their Advocate. These change from team to team. Some examples are ‘Rota curator’ or ‘Introducer’ for new team members.

  • Where possible and where appropriate, giving people the opportunities, confidence and support to help others themselves.


Optional Activities

With the exception of peer support, which we cannot fund at the moment, all activities are paid at the set freelance rate of Equal Care (currently £12.50 per hour). Training is provided for all optional activities.

    • Participating in circle meetings with other circle members and carrying out any roles and tasks emerging from those meetings (e.g. organising a local event or being nominated Circle Facilitator), this includes making decisions about what's going on in your local area
    • Participating in recruitment activities for new independent and employed equal care and support workers
    • Meeting new people looking for support and bringing them into Equal Care, enabling them to build the Team they want
    • Responding to concerns and following up to solve problems
    • Offering peer support/mentoring to other workers near you (currently we are unable to pay independent workers for this time - we hope to change this in the future)

 

​frequently asked questions

Is being an independent worker the same as being on a zero hours contract?
No. Being on a zero hours contract is a good way for the employer to have all of the power and flexibility involved in carework. It's typically offered as ad-hoc shift work, where you don't know who you'll be supporting, where you'll be going or how many hours you will be asked to do week to week. You have no say over the hourly rate and you may even get penalties for not being on-hand the moment the employer wants you. Being an independent worker means you choose when and where you work, you set your own rates and you work with people you have made a conscious choice to support (you are part of their team!). 
Are you able to guarantee hours?
We cannot guarantee hours for independent work, however, we are reasonably confident that - provided you are applying with the ability to offer personal care and you are a driver with your own wheels - we can provide you with the hours you're looking for within four weeks of starting with us (from the point of completing the due diligence). For people who do not drive, who would like to stay very local or who would like to offer more specialised forms of support, it can take a little longer to build you up to the hours of support you are looking to give on a weekly basis. If you have a very specific set of requirements about who, when, where and the type of support you offer it can take up to several months to find the right match.
How will you help me stay safe?
As part of facilitating a match we carry out a trust and safety review. You'll know who you are supporting and any concerns in advance. If there's a requirement for specialised training we will let you know and we will never connect people without the right level of experience. We will also set up paired working in some circumstances.
I don't live in the Upper Calder Valley. Is this an issue?
At the moment, yes, sorry. However, please tell us you are interested in working with us (top of this page) as we have lovely plans for growing and want to hear from people keen on starting in their own locations. The most important thing about growing our work is that it is started and owned by the people living in that place.
How does the charging and payment process work?
The hours of support you give over the month are recorded using our bookings software. At the end of each month we pay you for hours worked and invoice all our Teams. For independent workers the income you receive each month is variable based on the number of hours worked. Employees receive a fixed salary.
Do I have a contract with Equal Care Co-op or the person I'm supporting? Or both?!
If you are working independently, you will have signed up to an Independent Care and Support Workers Promise with us.  You will also have an agreement with the person you're supporting (this can be written or verbal). We can help you set this up. For employed workers the support you give is covered by your employment contract with Equal Care.
If you match me with someone local do I have to continue going through Equal Care?
At the moment, yes, we are including a non-solicitation clause in our Independent Care and Support Workers Promise. The commission rate is already very low and we are investing time and energy into creating a trusted, well-curated way people can get support. The contribution is solely to support this work - it goes into the co-op commons, not into making lucrative profits for shareholders!

That said, for straightforward situations we do understand that this clause can be an issue - for example, you find out that your neighbour needs support and there aren't any co-ordination complexities involved or a requirement that they have regulated care. 

We don't want to get in the way, but we still need to ensure the co-operative can cover costs of recruiting and selecting excellent workers. We're looking at ways to be able to continue facilitating trusted support (i.e. to make sure we're sustainable) and also making it okay to disengage from the platform after finding regular work. This will probably take the form of a finder's fee of some sort and possibly an embargo on finding further work through us for a set period of time - of course, you can always join the co-operative and help us tackle this challenge!
Will I have access to training?

Yes. We offer connections to external training and also provide internal training for our staff. For independent workers and in fact all our team members (including family and team owners), this training is open. However, as a CPD requirement for your independent work, although we can offer it freely we cannot pay for you to attend.

Why are you doing fixed hour employment contracts instead of ones that change week to week?

There are two main reasons for this:


Reason One: By working in Teams this means that you support far fewer people than a normal agency. You join each Team and commit to the support you give at those hours each week (or every two weeks if it involves weekend working). We are committed to avoiding the 'revolving door' that a lot of people getting support experience, where they may see up to twenty care workers in a single week because of varying rotas. We're all about building relationships with the people you support, avoiding lots of different faces coming through their door - having regular hours is a key way to do this.


Reason Two: Having employment contracts that commit to a set number of hours but don't tell you when you will be working from week to week makes it difficult to live your life! Knowing your rota only a couple of weeks in advance makes it hard to commit to see friends, to book holidays, to plan for weddings, parties, childcare, everything really. We think that employed roles in care and support work need to be clear about when you're at work and when you're not. So you can do the things that other people do.

The differences between employment and independence
What are the features of employment?
As an employee with Equal Care you will earn a lower net hourly rate than being an independent worker. This is because a lot of the costs associated with the work of care and support are taken on by the co-operative rather than the worker themselves. This includes things like holiday, sick pay and your pension! It is also because you are paid your salary for travel between your visits as well as the visits themselves.

  • Fixed hours and times during the week are agreed at the start of your employment and changed through a contract variation by mutual agreement between you and your Circle. 

  • As an employee, your work in Teams is already covered by your contract of employment with Equal Care (no need for separate agreeements).

  • You don’t have to think about tax! Equal Care is responsible for getting this right.

  • You are paid for the hours you are at work, not just the hours you are giving support. 

  • The co-operative is responsible for keeping your training up to date and this takes place on paid time.

  • Access to sick pay (above statutory sick pay - exact details tbc) and holiday pay

  • 30 days holiday per year for a full-time role (37.5 hours per week)

  • Employer contributory pension of 4.5% (1.5% above statutory requirements)

  • Your travel expenses are reimbursed at the end of each tax year and are taken care of by the co-operative

  • An employee has less choice than an independent worker about giving support and providing backup in Teams that need it. If it is during working hours and the support is needed you will need to give it!

  • Equal Care will give support which is contracted and commissioned by local authorities. Many councils require providers to carry out time tracking, showing exactly when people arrive and leave visits. As an independent worker you have the choice about whether or not to join Teams which are subject to this requirement. As an employee you will need to participate in more detailed time tracking because of this being required by councils.

What are the features of independence?
Becoming an independent worker with Equal Care is a very special opportunity to join a co-operative whilst staying fully in control of how, when and where you work. You set your own rates and choose which Teams to join. We find the people who are right for you to support and help to get you both connected.
 
  • Set your own rates, decide your own hours. Be as flexible as you need to be. 

  • We help you keep control of your book-keeping. You can submit your expenses and we will generate your end-of-year statement for HMRC (though bear in mind this won't include income you receive from outside of your work through the co-operative)

  • Your income as an independent worker will fluctuate from month to month and the hours you commit to are with each Team you join.

  • Free access to training (including reminders when your qualifications are due to expire) and continuous professional development

  • An independent worker is paid for the hours they bill for in their Teams and work they are contracted to do directly by the co-operative. This doesn’t include travel time or keeping up their training (hence the higher hourly rate)

  • Access to advice on managing self-employment

  • Join the Equal Care Bread Fund - a monthly contribution from you that then pays out if you get sick (still in process of setting this up)

  • Peer support (you are not alone!)

  • Support to find back-up for when you are on holiday or ill (although this is not guaranteed - there are always times when others are not able to cover your support hours at short notice or during popular holiday months).

  • Regular work from a larger pool of people who are looking for support. If somebody suddenly goes into hospital, for example, you can still find work to keep up your income. You can also take on more co-op funded roles, such as recruitment.

  • As an independent worker, you have unique agreements set with each Team you join. These agreements may vary in price, timings and flexibility depending on what you negotiate with the team. 

  • An independent worker always has the choice to say no to an ask for backup or to cover in teams if this goes beyond their existing team agreement.

  • Priority access to salaried employment opportunities as the co-operative grows (if that’s what you would prefer) 

  • You are in charge of your holidays and - with negotiation in your teams - you can take as much or as little holiday as you wish. We will help you keep an eye on this (holidays are important!).