Should I Hire An Agency or an Independent Contractor Caregiver?

A message from our owner, Una.

I have been in the Home Care sector for the past 25 years. I was initially an independent contractor as a caregiver and after five years in the field, my business partner and I decided to open Irish Help at Home Agency LLC, in direct response to the behavior we witnessed in the homes of our clients by other independent contractors.

Independent Contractors have free reign over the lives and the property of our clients. No one is supervising them, unless family is extremely involved at all times. They have access to bank account information, medical information, as well as personal property i.e. jewelry, heirlooms, legal paperwork. I am not suggesting all independent contractors would take advantage of their particular situation, but I have seen it taking place more times than I would like to mention!

Given the climate in Sacramento, and the overhaul of the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which went into effect January 1st 2014, there are legal requirements to having a caregiver in your home. There are overtime requirements and the live in flat rate for 24 hour care is null and void. By employing a caregiver under the previous set of circumstances, (before January 1st 2014) will potentially have a catastrophic effect, by having the client responsible for all payroll requirements, including back pay and back overtime pay. Sick leave, State and City Ordinances also need to be fulfilled.

Agencies Abide by the Law

Irish Help At Home has been a home care agency since 1996 and we offer the full protection of an employer/employee relationship including:

  • All caregivers are on the Home Care Aide Live Registry with a DOJ and FBI clearance.
  • Extensive Interviewing
  • DMV Checks
  • References
  • Employee Benefits
  • Worker's Compensation Insurance
  • Flexible Schedules
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • TB Testing

Full payroll responsibilities are fulfilled also, so our employees don't have to worry about their Social Security or Tax implications. In short, we take care of everything as instructed by the law.

Agencies Can Be Trusted

If a client has an issue, or needs a change of caregiver, for whatever reason, all they have to do is make one phone call and we, the agency, take care of everything with a smooth transition to a new caregiver, as well as ensuring the departing caregiver with a new placement, if appropriate. Our clients have the security of us supervising our employees and are available 24/7 to both our employees and our clients.

In this age of ever changing new technology, a Bay Area company is utilizing technology in order to provide you with an independent contractor with a simple phone call. It is based on the idea of ride sharing driving services. It is one thing to order a driver to get you from one place with a minimum of contact, and another to have a stranger enter our clients home and take care of the personal needs of that person without ever making contact with them previously. These people are being represented as independent contractors, when in fact they are employees under the law.

For safety, security and compliance with both State and Federal, I strongly suggest using a legitimate Home Care Agency with a track record of excellence for your loved one's home care needs. It is not worth the risk to try out a new technology service that has not yet been tested. The current tried and true method is to hire an agency, such as Irish Help At Home for all of your Home Care needs.