FAQ

See below for a list of frequently asked questions.  If you can’t find what you are looking for please get in touch on livechat or on 0118 449 2373. If it’s out of hours, please leave a message and we will all you back as soon as possible.

I don’t understand, may I just speak to a real person! 
Yes of course!   Please call us on 0118 449 2373 or use the live chat function and we will be very happy to help.
What does Helpd.co.uk do? 
We are a company that offers motivated, compassionate and local self-employed carers for you to hire. (We call them Helpers). You choose, hire and pay for the Helpers through our website. Go to https://www.helpd.co.uk/find-now/ put in your postcode and press the “next” button to get a list of the Helpers near to you.
How is Helpd different to a standard care agency? 
Clients choose Helpd because they get to pick who will be providing care. They pay less whilst their carer is paid more and they get the chance to have a more direct and better relationship with the carer. Additionally, the type and amount of care that is delivered is decided directly between client and Helper who are best placed to know what is required and can react quickly and efficiently to changing circumstances and needs.
Why aren’t you set up like a standard care agency? 
There are three main reasons that we decided to make Helpd different to a standard care agency. 1. We wanted to create an alternative service for clients who wish to choose their carer instead of the care agency doing it for them and possibly changing carers at the last minute and with no warning. 2. We wanted to a way of providing care at a competitive rate whilst making sure the carer gets paid more. 3. We believe that the best care experience is enabled when there is a direct and stable professional relationship between the client and the carer. Managers, agencies and other parties should remain in the background and only be involved when needed.
How do I pay for care? 
When you hire a Helper you will pay through our website via card payment. The funds go into escrow (a safe and secure 3rd party account) and when you tell us the service has been delivered we will release funds to the Helper.
When do I pay? 
If you use a “short term hire” you pay for all of the hours at the time of booking the Helper. If you use a “regular hire” you pay at the start of each 7-day period.
What if I my Helper does slightly more or fewer than the contracted hours? 
No problem. If, by mutual agreement, your Helper works extra or fewer hours during a week, please make a note of it. You can then amend the number of hours in the “List Contracts” section of your dashboard. You’ll either make an additional payment or you’ll receive a part refund. Please call us 0118 449 2373 if you need any help with this.
Will my Helper be fairly and promptly paid? 
Yes. We believe that by working through Helpd, carers will be paid a much better hourly rate than if they work with a traditional agency. The reason for this is our technology and way of working means lower costs than care agencies. With Helpd, 80% of the hourly rate that you pay goes direct to the Helper instead of as little as 40% with a standard care agency. Funds will be released to the Helper within 3 working days of the client agreeing that the work has been carried out.
Why do Helpers have different rates of pay? 
It is for each Helper to decide on their own rate of pay so rates will vary from Helper to Helper. Some of the factors that influence this are the Helper’s level of expertise, experience and location and the number of positive ratings that they have built up from their clients.
How long do Helpers visit you for? 
The minimum care slot is for an hour and there is no upper limit.
Who pays for the carer’s travel time and expenses? 
The carer will generally pay for their own travel time and expenses and in practice will factor these costs into their hourly rate and also into their decision on whether to accept a contract. It’s possible that you may wish to pay some or all of their travel time if they are travelling from far away.
Do I need to interview or meet a Helper before I hire them? 
It would depend on your own particular circumstances. If you need to arrange short term or one-off care at short notice, you might not have enough time to do this so a telephone conversation may work best. If you are arranging long term care using the “regular hire” option, you should meet the carer to make sure they are the right person to provide care for you or your loved one. Rest assured that we have met each Helper and would be happy for them to provide care to our own loved ones. Please do get in touch with us if you have any questions.
Is a Helper guaranteed to accept my contract offer? 
No. You should liaise with the Helper via messenger, telephone or face to face prior to offering them a contract. You should firstly agree upon location, times and days and only then hire them via the “hire” option on the website.
Will I get a full refund if a Helper does not accept my contract? 
Yes. We will refund you fully within 5 working days. Please ensure that you liaise with the Helper and agree details beforehand in order to avoid this scenario.
Do I pay my Helper sick pay? 
Your Helper is self-employed so you will not be responsible for paying sick pay..
How do I Hire a Helper? 
-Set up a client profile.
-Go to the home page and click “Hire a Helper” or click here https://www.helpd.co.uk/find-now/.
-Click Next or Next With Map.
-Look through the list of Helpers to select one with the right experience and location for you.
-Send the Helper a message via our direct messenger, telling them when and where you need care and the type of care that you require.
When you are satisfied that the Helper can provide the care you require at the times you require it, click “hire” on the Helper profile and follow the instructions.
Alternatively, contact us and we will be happy to liaise with Helpers on your behalf and find a Helper to fit your needs.
Do I need to employ my Helper or write an employment contract? 
Your Helper will be self-employed so you do not need them to sign an employment contract. They will sign the Helper terms and conditions when they accept your offer of work. They will be responsible for paying their own national insurance.
What are the two types of contracts? 
-A “Short term hire” is designed for when you need one off care. You can use the hours at a mutually agreed time over the next 6 months and you pay for the hours up front.
-Choose a “regular hire” when you need care on a regular basis. Just pick how many hours you need and on which days of the week.
How long is the contract for? 
A short term contract can be used any time over the following 6 months and a regular contract can run for anywhere up to 6 months.
Can I cancel a contract? 
You may only cancel a “short term hire” in exceptional circumstances. A “regular hire” can be cancelled at any time, subject to 2 weeks’ notice.
I cannot find a carer near to me. Why is this? 
At the moment we serve Reading and Nottingham but will be branching out into other areas as soon as possible.
Can I hire more than one Helper at the same time? 
Yes, you may hire any number of Helpers. You may need to hire more than one Helper to work at different times or days in order to suit your own particular requirements> Alternatively, you may wish to hire another Helper when your primary Helper is on holiday. Each contract you create with a Helper is independent and you may view each contract separately on your dashboard.
When does a live-in carer take their breaks and what hours do they normally work? 
A live-in care will usually have their break between 2pm-4pm as this is seen as a quiet time for clients i.e. after lunch when usually no personal care is needed. A carer would be actively working for approximately 8 hours per day and would be on call at all times except their break times and as agreed.
What are the living arrangements for a live-in carer? 
A live-in carer must have their own room with clean sheets, chair, wardrobe for hanging their clothes and the usual items to make their stay as comfortable as possible. They would also normally expect to have a television in their room.
What are the sleeping arrangements for a live-in carer? 
A live-in carer is expected to be able to have sufficient rest period during the night time (at least 8 hours’ sleep). If a live-in carer is regularly woken more than twice in the night by the person they are caring for, an additional carer may be needed to cover waking nights.
Do carers have to have their own insurance? 
A self-employed carer is not legally required to have insurance but we recommend that they do have a policy in place which may be bought easily online for less than £10 per month.
Are cash payments to Helpers allowed? 
No, all payments to Helpers should be made via our online payment system as per our T&C’s. This gives both the client and the Helper the security of knowing that all payments are fair and above board.
What if I have a problem with the service provided by my Helper? 
Minor issues should be discussed directly with your Helper in the first instance to find a solution. All Helpers are committed to providing the best care they can deliver and will be happy to receive feedback from their clients as it will allow them to improve their level of service. However, if there is a serious problem such as non-attendance or poor care, please let us know immediately so that we can investigate and take appropriate action. If you believe that a material breach of contract has taken place you will need to activate the arbitration procedure.
What is your arbitration procedure? 
If either client or carer would like to dispute a material breach of contract we will do so on the basis of information provided to us promptly and fairly through our arbitration procedure.
Minor issues should be resolved directly between client and Helper where at all possible.
Do you manage Helpers? 
No we do not manage our Helpers. You will agree in conjunction with your Helper how best for them to provide care. If there is a problem, this should be discussed and resolved with the Helper in the first instance.
How do you select, interview and vet Helpers for the website? 
There is a multi stage selection process for Helpers which means that we only accept the best. We check the details provided on application by the Helper, we then have a telephone interview and finally a face to face interview which includes scenario testing, DBS check (which must be unblemished) and traditional interview techniques. We also check references of previous employers. The Helper must score highly in the following personal qualities in order to make it onto the website: responsibility/trustworthiness, punctuality/professionalism, patience/cheery demeanour, good at listening/communicating, kind/compassionate. We only accept Helpers who we’d be happy to have looking after our own loved ones.
Is Helpd registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)? 
As an ‘introductory agency’, Helpd is not required to register with the CQC. Our helpers operate on a self-employed basis and therefore have no legal requirement to be registered with the CQC. Our helpers go through a multi stage selection process which means that we only accept the best. Helpd does not direct or control the services that are provided to our clients. Therefore we do not provide services such as care plan reviews or sickness or leave cover. We do however offer our clients services that enable them to view the performance of our helpers prior to booking their services. Helpd is unable to monitor individual helpers performance and relies on feedback from clients for this. Our clients can be reassured that a member of the Helpd team is available at all times to answer any queries that they may have about the services that they are receiving. We always resolve concerns fairly, quickly and efficiently. Please copy and paste the below link into your browser for CQC information relating to this question: https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/registration/regulated-activities#personal-care
Can you make a recommendation of a carer to us? 
Yes. In order to determine the type of care worker required or the most suitable worker we can make an assessment of your needs, but we cannot create a care plan. We believe that the client and Helper are best placed to react to the changing needs of the client.
What do you charge? 
We charge a fee of 20% defined as an introductory fee. This is included in the hourly rate on the Helper profile and subtracted regularly and on an ongoing basis from each invoice. If you decide to employ your carer directly and stop using our services at Helpd, a permanent introduction fee will become due as described in the T&C’s.