Give paid care and support

We are recruiting new and experienced care and support workers in Calderdale 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. For independent roles you cannot be new to giving care and support and you must have at least one year's experience and a recognised relevant qualification (minimum Care Certificate).

We offer alternative ways to complete the application, including over the phone and face to face taking notes. Please contact us at [email protected] if this is what you would prefer.

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.

​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.

​Our employed roles are all to whichever hours are set in your employment contract and these are guaranteed, regardless of whether you are doing care in those hours or not. We do not pay on an hourly or a shift basis. It is just like a 'normal' job!
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 Calderdale. 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. If you live in London please get in touch and we will connect you with our London Circle.
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 Giving Support 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!
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!).