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Frequently asked questions
Live-in care is rewarding and valuable work.
You will live with your client in their home, making sure they are clean and warm, safe, comfortable, well fed and happy. Your tasks will include companionship, cooking, housekeeping and personal care including washing and dressing.
We will give you intensive training to help you do this and someone is on call to help you at all times
You have to be at least 18 due to the nature of this type of work and to adhere to the Working Time Directives. Other than that, we do not have any age restrictions.
You don’t need any formal caring experience. As long as you have a caring personality, we will give you the training to do the tasks your clients ask you to do.
Our comprehensive, 2 week induction training course will tell you everything you need to know about medication, continence, safe people moving and other caring tasks.
However, you do need to be a competent housekeeper, so must be able to undertake usual household tasks, such as cleaning and cooking.
No, it is not essential, but it is extremely useful. Carers who can drive are more useful to their clients, and will get a wider choice of client.
If you do drive, we recommend you have a British licence, an EU driving licence, or an international driving licence – otherwise there may be difficulties with insurance.
Read this post on our main website for more information.
All of our carers undertake a 2 week training course covering topics which include medication, continence, safe people moving and other caring tasks. Our training has won awards and is one of the key reasons carers choose Christies Care.
The training team is always on call for advice. If you have any questions while you are with a client, please ring them on 01728 605126, they will do their best to help. We also have Local Area Advisors who can come to see you and offer advice and insight.
Our recruitment team will be able to tell you more about the training, the courses available and answer any questions about this.
We also have advanced courses, which will help you in your caring career, including Alzheimer’s and Dementia training, caring for people with physical disabilities and learning disabilities.
If you are applying to work for Christies Care you must be legally entitled to work in the UK.
If you have British Ancestry i.e. a parent or grandparent born here, then it may be possible for you to obtain an ancestral visa, but you must go to your local British Embassy first before you apply to find this out.
For carers without EU citizenship/passport or British Ancestry, in practice it can be very difficult for you to obtain a visa to work in the UK as a carer. Even if you have a visa/work permit for another country inside the EU, this gives you no rights to work inside the UK.
You will be asked for a full work history, references and will need to apply for a DBS Check (Disclosure and Barring Services, used to be called CRB). This involves an ISA check (Independent Safeguarding Authority) which checks your details against the Children’s and Vulnerable Adult register and an Enhanced Disclosure.
Initially we would require a work commitment period from you of around 10 -12 weeks. This is so we can establish you with suitable clients that you are happy with and who are happy with you. Following that, you can have a flexible pattern of work, to suit your lifestyle.
- SW, for example, lives in Spain and travels to her client every 3 weeks. She works for 3 weeks at a time then has 3 weeks off back home.
- PS, who comes from South Africa, works for 3 months at a time, takes the 4th month off as holiday to see her family in the UK. She then spends 2 months a year back in SA. Sometimes she has longer back in SA – it all depends on her family circumstances.
- KW, who comes from Poland, works for 3 months, then has a month or two back at home, then goes back to work.
After your essential induction training, we will find you work as soon as possible. In many cases, new carers are at work the next week.
So that you don’t lose out if we can’t offer you a client the day after your induction ends, we offer new (and returning) carers a guarantee scheme. This means that, whatever happens, as long as you hold yourself available for work and are prepared to work hard, you will not lose out financially.
The interview and induction process covers 9 steps.
- Complete a pre-application form.
- If we have suitable vacancies, we’ll send you a link to our full application form.
- An initial telephone interview. If you are not in the UK, our local representative might carry out this interview.
- If you are not in the UK, you will need a police check, to tell us if you have any criminal record.
- As soon as we have received sufficient references and a police check, we book you onto the induction training course.
- Induction training. You’ll meet the booking team (who match you to your clients) and your carer support team.
- Because you will be working with vulnerable adults we do a DBS and ISA check.
- You are offered your first job.
- We’ll call and visit, to see that you are coping OK with the work, to answer your questions and to generally support you.
You need to bring enough money to support yourself for a couple of weeks, and to pay for your DBS check.
We hope that you will be working within a few days of induction training, but in some rare cases, you might have to wait a couple of weeks until a suitable client is available. We recommend that you bring about £600 with you.
We offer an accident insurance policy, which will cover you, if you suffer an accident while you are at work.
When you are working, you will be staying in your client’s house. You will have your own bedroom, with a TV and in most cases, an internet connection. You will be eating with your client. You will not be paying for your lodging or food.
When you are not working, we have a subsidised guest-house at our head office in Saxmundham. It is cheaper than any surrounding B&B or hotel. Many carers stay there when they want a few days or a week off.
You will stay in the guesthouse during your induction training, along with other carers being trained at the same time – so you will have plenty of people to meet and get to know. Many carers stay in touch with people they did their training with, and meet year after year at their update training.
Occasionally, something happens which means that you suddenly don’t have work, through no fault of your own. Your client might pass away, or go to hospital.
In that case we’ll make sure you have free accommodation until we can introduce you to another client (which we’ll do as soon as possible).
It is up to you. In your first few weeks, you are likely to work for a number of clients. This will give you an idea of the range of clients and personalities available for you to work for. Then you and your clients can decide if you want to be a regular carer with them or not.
Most carers like to settle down with a few favourite clients. But some like to travel and meet new people, in new areas. We support good carers in doing whatever they want to do.
Most of Christies Care’s clients pay their carers on a self-employed basis. We will help you register as self-employed with the authorities. This means that you are responsible for paying your own income tax and national insurance. Paying and working out tax and NI is not difficult, and the online self-assessment forms are straightforward.
With some of our clients, we employ the carers. In this case, we pay you by bank transfer, and remove the income tax and NI at source. This doesn’t make any difference to the total amount of tax you will pay in a year. So whether you are employed or self-employed, you should be earning a similar amount of money for similar levels of work.
We know that being a live-in carer can be a stressful job so we give you support and advice wherever possible.
On your first day, when you arrive at our training centre in Saxmundham, you will be introduced to your Carer Support Team. These are the people who will ring you when you are at work to see how you are and to see if you are happy with your client.
Most importantly, the carer support team are there for you to ring them. They are there to give you help and advice, whatever the question, no matter how trivial.
The carer support team is also there when things go seriously wrong. For example, if you have a family emergency, they’ll do as much as possible to help you get back to your family as fast as possible.
You’ll also meet our Booking Co-ordinators who match carers to their clients and are always on hand to give advice when needed to ensure that everything is going smoothly.
Most of the bookings and carer support team work Mon – Fri, 9am to 5pm, but if you have an emergency, we always have someone on call. Our on-call telephone is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Also, if you want to talk to someone face to face, we have a team of Local Area Advisors, who can come and visit, offering help and advice.
You will be paid weekly, by cheque or bank transfer. If you don’t have a UK bank account, we will help you open one.
When we meet new clients for the first time, or if their situation changes (e.g. their care needs increase), we suggest a suitable fee for their carer. This depends on the individual needs of your client. You will always be told the suggested fee before you start work.
The amount you earn will depend on how many weeks you want to work. If you work for 46 weeks out of the 52 in a year, you will earn about £21,000 (in excess of $45,000 AUD), as the weekly fees clients pay you are between £500 and £650. Remember, you get free board and lodging, so you have almost no expenses – you can keep almost all of your earnings. In most cases you will be repaid your UK travel costs.
Clients who want a carer mainly for companionship pay towards the lower end of the scale. Clients who need a large amount of personal care pay towards the higher end of the scale.
“A HUGE thank you for the beautiful box of chocolates that arrived today … a lovely early birthday present.
It’s my pleasure to work for such a professional, dependable, welcoming company. It’s one of the only times in my life I’ve truly been able to say: “I love my job”!
A massive thanks for all the support you provide and hard work you put in.”
“I enjoyed my time with Christies, and am convinced it’s the best care company in the UK!
Many thanks to the training team, booking team, and much praise to Kathryn for quietly doing a most excellent job with patience and kindness.”
“Christies Care is one of the best agencies out there. They provide training and many opportunities to complete courses and expand one’s knowledge. There is good support, the office staff seems to be better at listening and respecting carers.
They are interested in what is going on and always call back with advice should there be a problem. There is always enough work for good carers.”
“I’ve always had work when I’ve wanted it, my team is fine, the booking coordinators are really nice and the clients have all been fine too.
I only have positive things to say about Christies Care.”
“A HUGE thank you to everyone at Christies. Being an Australian backpacker, I knew it would be difficult for me to set up a bank account and NI number and all of that other stuff but thanks to you guys (basically doing it all for me) it was so easy.
Also, travelling around Europe, I’m never stressed because I know when I go back to England your team always do their best to find me work. So my life-changing backpacking experience has been made 100 times more enjoyable and less stressful, thanks to Christies Care!”
“Very happy with everything to do with bookings. I love the support, absolutely love it!
I’m very happy that I have joined Christies Care. I’ve spoken with carers who work for other agencies and know that they don’t receive the same support.
The training is so fantastic. I found it difficult the first time as I’d only worked in an office, but I re-did the second week and passed. I wouldn’t think about changing agencies, and I always recommend Christies Care.”
“Happy with Christies Care, it’s all great. It’s the most efficient company I have worked for. Good training provided and good support to carers. There is always someone available on the other end of the phone. The admin and back up is superb.
In my opinion Christies Care is the nicest company I have ever worked for!”
“Christies Care works well for me and I know the carers and the staff do a great job for their clients.
I have seen first hand how bad things can be with pop in agencies where the staff aren’t trained or supported properly. I’m so proud to be a part of Christies.”
“Someone always answers the phone or email. Very good level of training & support.
I get enough work and I’ve already recommended Christies Care to my friend!”
“I would always give Christies top marks. Other agencies do not provide the same level of training or support”
“Christies Care are the most organised company I have ever worked with. Honestly, I feel you are the best!”
“Sophie conducted a brilliant interview. She listened well and provided all the information I needed. I was instantly convinced Christies Care was the best agency for me. The Recruitment Department as a whole are very impressive and really know their stuff.
The Training is the best I have ever seen. I have never seen such professionalism, hard work and compassion shown by a company before. I can’t wait to start my training!”
“Couldn’t have done it without you! Thanks for always being there at the end of the phone when I need you.
No other agency that I have worked for has ever been as good at support as Christies.”
“Staff received appropriate professional development. We spoke with 8 care workers who told us that they felt they were provided with the training that they needed to meet people’s needs. One care worker said: ‘Good training. Absolutely prepared me. I enjoyed it’.”
“I feel well supported by the staff at Christies Care and have noticed over the last 5 years that the company and the support I’ve received are getting even better.”
“The commitment shown by the team at Christies Care to their staff training is second to none. The investment they have put into their training facilities is amazing.
I was delighted to be invited to help focus the training as it shows how they put the needs of the clients first.
I’ve been a client of Christies Care for more than a dozen years now and I couldn’t praise them enough for the work that they do.”
“I really enjoy working for Christies Care. I’ve been kept in work, which I appreciate, and it’s good being part of a professional, well-presented organisation which in turn makes me feel very confident about what I do.”