Hand In Hand - Terms and Conditions

Families First (North East)
Terms and Conditions for Hand In Hand Service

1.1. The terms and conditions set out below constitute an agreement (“Agreement”) between Families First (North East) (Registered Charity no. 1002009) trading as Families First (North East) including businesses trading under any different name which are wholly owned by Families First (North East) ( together “The Company”) and the employing customer (“The Purchaser”) and/or the recipient of care and / or social support services (“The Customer”). The Company is acting as an employment business as defined in the Employment Agencies Act 1973 when dealing with temporary workers.

1.2. The Terms and Conditions of Business set out below have been made available to the Purchaser. Acceptance by the Purchaser of the provision of care and / or social support services via the Company will constitute acceptance of these Terms and Conditions of Business (to include any revised versions) a contractual agreement between the Company and the Purchaser and/or Customer and these Terms will be binding whether or not signed by the Purchaser. Copies of these Terms and Conditions of Business (and any revised versions) are available upon request from our Hartlepool Office.

1.3. The Company introduces such Carers and Support Staff (as defined below) to the Purchaser and/or Customer and assumes responsibility for the collection and payment of the fees. In accordance with Section 134 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988, and related legislation, the Company is required to deduct where applicable all statutory contributions in respect of National Insurance and Income Tax.

1.4. No statement, unless stated to the contrary, contained in any brochure, document or letter issued by the Company will form any part of these Terms and Conditions of Business.

2.1. The Company’s charges (the “Standard Rate”) for the provision of care services by its employees (the “Carers”) and these will be notified to the Purchaser and/or Customer before the commencement of such services and will be confirmed by the supply of a letter signed by an authorised representative of the Company. Any special charges or terms agreed with the Purchaser will be confirmed, in writing, by an authorised representative of the Company and in the absence of such written confirmation; it will be assumed that no special charges or terms exist.

2.2. Any subsequent amendments to the Company’s scale of Standard Rates will be notified, in writing, to the Purchaser and / or Customer. The Company’s Standard Rates are normally reviewed once yearly, but the Company reserves the right, at its absolute discretion, to review its charges at other intervals.

2.3. The Company will give a minimum of one weeks advance notice of its intention to review its scale of Standard Rate and such notice will be conveyed, in writing, to the Purchaser and / or Customer.

2.4. All Bank Holidays are charged at double the standard rate quoted (the “Double Time”) by the Company plus up to four additional days over the Christmas and New Year period in any year will be charged at one and a half times the Standard Rate given by the Company at any time.

2.5. We do not guarantee cover on the following days : Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and New Year Day. Christmas and New Year bookings must be confirmed in writing by the week immediately preceding 30th November at the latest. We will write to you prior to this time to confirm your needs.

2.6. The Company reserves the right to charge an enhanced hourly rate when Carers and Support staff working overnight are continually disturbed (“continually disturbed” meaning disturbance on more than two occasions or for a significant duration during any night).

2.7. There is a limit on the amount of hours a carer may work daily and the Company clarifies this when it sends out the contract for the provision of services. This is in order for the Company to comply with its obligations pursuant to the Working Time Regulations 2008.

2.8. Where the care service is to be provided for a period of 4 weeks or less, the Company will require a pre-payment (for the full period or as agreed by the Company) which will include a shortterm care fee.

2.9. In the event that a Purchaser is engaging the Company for care services and will fund the same, the Company will require a written purchase order prior to the provision of the care service. The Company reserves the right not to provide the service if such a purchase order is not received in advance. Any other expenses or charges, as may be agreed between the Company and the Purchaser and/or Customer shall be clearly itemised by the Company on their invoice(s).

2.10. Any queries regarding charges as per invoice, must be notified to Families First (North East) within 7 days of receipt of the invoice. If no queries are raised in this period, the Client is deemed to be fully satisfied with the charges and is liable to pay the invoice in full within 28 days from the date of the invoice. Queries raised against invoices will not preclude Families First (North East) from seeking to recover the full invoice value from the client, subject to any changes caused by the query.

3.1. The Company uses a digital application solution for assigning staff to Customers and recording their activity. This system replaces a traditional paper based system and allows for the swift preparation of invoices, reports and care planning. In the event of any invoice dispute or review of service, this information can easily be verified and produced to Customers / Purchasers upon request.

4.1. The Company will invoice the Purchaser / Client for any mileage undertaken by the Carer / Support Worker at the prevailing rate for any travel incurred at the request of and whilst undertaking an assignment for the Customer.

4.2. The Company will not invoice for mileage completed by the Carer / Support Worker in their initial journey to meet the Customer nor in their journey home / to the next Customer at the end of their assignment.

4.3. The Company will in turn hand this exact amount over to the Carer / Support Worker and makes no administration charge for this service, nor profit.

4.4. Should the Customer wish to undertake any activity that requires payment at the time, such as (but not exclusively) a meal, swimming, theme park or shopping, the Purchaser / Customer should have adequate funds on them at that time to facilitate this. The Carer / Support Worker will ensure that this is correctly accounted for, including receipts, until the time that the customer returns home. The Carer / Support worker will record this in their digital activity summary.

4.5. Customers / Purchasers should not attempt to pay Carers / Support workers for anything that has not been invoiced or previously agreed with Management of Families First (North East).

5.1. All charges are invoiced to Customers / Purchasers / Third Party Managed Account Holders at the end of every month. These will be within 7 days of the month ending and due for payment within 28 days. (For example, services which have taken place during January would be invoiced by 7 February and therefore due for payment by no later than 7 March.)

5.2. We accept payment via cheque, bank transfer or debit / credit card. Cash is also accepted if it is paid at our Head Office at York Road and a receipt must be given.

5.3. Where the care and support is temporary we will require advance payment and a pro forma invoice will be sent out. Payment must be received prior to the care and support being put in place.

5.4. The Company reserves the right to charge interest at 7% above the applicable base lending rate of HSBC plc on either June 30th or December 31st, whichever is the last date at the time of raising the outstanding invoice, on any sums outstanding 28 days after the date of invoice. Interest so charged will be calculated on a daily basis on the total amount outstanding until such time as the amount overdue is paid.

5.5. The Company will give the Purchaser and/or Customer or their authorised representative 7 days’ notice, in writing, of its intention to charge such interest. The Company also reserves the right, upon written notice of 7 days, to terminate the introduction of carers in the event of continued non payment, or delayed payment, of invoice(s).

5.6. After the 28 days credit period is over, chasing letters and any subsequent letters for the payment of the outstanding sums will be sent and the Company reserves the right to charge for any reasonable costs incurred in taking steps to obtain payment.

6.1. The minimum contract period for the service that the Company provides is two weeks which will be charged regardless of whether the service is required or not. The Company reserves the right to charge the Purchaser and/or Customer a cancellation fee equivalent to the cost of one week’s service, at the Standard Rate applying from time to time, should the Purchaser and / or Customer give less than one week’s notice of their desire to cancel an assignment for which the provision of Carers has already been agreed with the Company.

6.2. Hourly charged care services that are cancelled with less than 72 hours notice will be charged in full.

7.1. Any of the Purchaser / Customer, Families First (North East) or the Carer / Support Worker may terminate an Assignment at any time without reason. The notice period for terminating services permanently is 4 weeks.

7.2. On termination of the service, all previous credit terms are cancelled and any outstanding invoices become immediately due for payment.

7.3. If the Purchaser / Customer reasonably considers that the services of the Carer / Support Worker are unsatisfactory, the Purchaser / Customer may terminate the Assignment either by instructing the Carer / Support Worker to leave the Assignment immediately or by directing Families First (North East) to terminate the Assignment immediately. Families First (North East) may in such circumstances reduce or cancel the charges for the time worked by that Member

7.4. In circumstances where the Company reasonably perceives a significant risk of harm to a Carer, it may give immediate notice terminating the service and this Agreement. The company reserves the right to give notice of one week if the Health and Safety of those involved in the care and support is compromised. To fulfil this notice period the Company may need to insist on additional measures to enable this to occur safely. Similarly if there is an ongoing disparity with regard to meeting the expectations of the Purchaser, the Company reserves the right to give not less than one week’s notice terminating the service provision.

7.5. The Company reserves the right to terminate the service forthwith without notice if the company’s service contract and payment details are not signed and returned within 7 working days of the commencement of the care service provided.

8.1. The professional references and other information obtained by the Company in respect of Carers are confidential and can only be divulged to the Purchaser and / or Customer in exceptional circumstances. In the event of such disclosure, any such information provided to the Purchaser and / or Customer is provided in strictest confidence and must not be transmitted, in any form, by the Purchaser and / or Customer to any third party.

8.2. The Company accepts that all information it holds regarding a Customer’s state of health or personal affairs is held in confidence. No such information will be divulged to any third party without the express consent of the Customer, the Purchaser or their respective legal representatives. Exceptions to this rule include provision of relevant medical or other information, which would form the basis of a normal professional interchange between Carers and a qualified medical practitioner, district nurse or social worker.

9.1. Full and enhanced DBS checks are undertaken on all Carers in accordance with relevant local and national regulations to which the Company is subject.

10.1. When making an Introduction of a Member to the Client, Prestige shall inform the Client of the identity of the Member; that the Member has the necessary or required experience, training, qualifications and any authorisation required by law or a professional body to work in the Assignment; whether the Member will be employed by Prestige under a contract of service or apprenticeship or a contract for services; and that the Member is willing to work in the Assignment.

10.2. Where such information is not given in paper form or by electronic means it shall be confirmed by such means by the end of the third business day (excluding Saturday, Sunday and any public or Bank holiday) following, save where the Member is being Introduced for an Assignment in the same position as one in which the Member had previously been supplied within the previous five business days and such information has already been given to the Client, unless the Client requests that the information be resubmitted.

11.1. Carers / Support Workers are precluded from assisting the Customer in relation to making a will or from benefiting under the terms of any will or codicil made by the Customer.

11.2. The Purchaser / Customer will co-operate with Families First (North East) in relation to any assessment of the risks at the premises where the Assignment is to be carried out and will provide all relevant information upon request to Families First (North East).

11.3. Carer / Support Worker will be subject to Families First (North East)’s policies regarding administering and/or assisting with medication. The policy will also define the limits of the Carer / Support Worker’s assistance and the tasks which may not be undertaken without specialist training. The Purchaser / Customer shall not request the Carer / Support Worker to act in any way which is a breach of the said policies.

11.4. Where the Carer / Support Worker is supplied to a Customer’s own home, any third party owned equipment in the home shall not be used by the Carer / Support Worker unless the equipment is in a safe condition and the necessary checks have been undertaken by the provider of the equipment.

11.5. The Carer / Support Worker will seek the Customer’s informed consent in relation to all aspects of care.

11.6. All policies and procedures are available on our website at www.hartlepoolfamiliesfirst.org.uk

12.1. Carers are not allowed to smoke, take drugs or drink alcohol in the Customer’s home. We respectfully request that Carers are not offered any of these whilst on duty, whatever the occasion.

12.2. Carers are not permitted to accept gifts from Customers and / or Purchasers over the value of £10.00. Carers are not allowed to lend money to or borrow money from a Customer and / or Purchaser.

13.1. We expect you to have high expectations from us as a Company and in the care you receive. Equally, our carers will expect to be treated with respect, not to be exploited in any way and to have the support of Families First (North East) Office Team when needed. We value our employees and would respectfully request that they are treated as you would expect to be treated yourself. Any harassment or discrimination of any type will be treated very seriously

14.1. The Company operates an equal opportunities policy and makes no discrimination on the basis of age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.

15.1. The Company will supervise the Carer during the period of the Carer’s assignment so as to ensure satisfaction with the standard of work provided by the Carer. In order for the Company to successfully supervise its Carers the Company asks that the Purchaser and / or Customer allows the Company’s assessor / staff to attend the location of delivery of Care Services in order to see the Carer(s) whilst they are providing care for the Customer. It is a legal requirement for the Company to demonstrate supervision of Carers.

15.2. If the Purchaser and / or Customer, or their authorised representative, is not satisfied with the standard of work performed by the Carer, then such dissatisfaction should be brought to the attention of the Company and if appropriate the Company should be asked to terminate the assignment. The Company should be notified of any such occurrence and, whenever it is reasonable to do so, the Company will endeavour to replace the carer as quickly as possible.

15.3. The Purchaser and / or Customer will, however, be responsible for paying the Company’s charges in respect of the hours worked by the Carer prior to any such termination of an assignment.

16.1. The Company aims to ensure that all Purchasers and / or Customers are given the highest degree of care and the best possible service. However, a clearly defined complaints procedure exists and full details are set out in a separate document, which is sent to all Purchasers and / or Customers. Further copies of that document are available upon request and downloadable from our website.

17.1. This paragraph is relevant if a customer chooses to employ a Families First (North East) carer / support worker directly rather than through the Company itself.

17.2. The direct engagement or use by the Purchaser and / or Customer of Carers introduced by or through the Company within the Relevant Period (defined below), will result in the Purchaser and / or the Customer incurring the liability to pay to the Company the Introduction Fee as described in paragraph 4 below.

17.3. The Relevant Period is during the course of the Company’s provision of any Carer(s) / Support Workers to the Purchaser or Customer or at any time in the period of 8 weeks after the termination of this Agreement. This period is defined under Regulation 10 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003.

17.4. The engagement or use through an agency or other similar organisation (other than the Company) by the Purchaser and / or Customer of Carer(s) introduced by the Company will result in the Purchaser and / or Customer having the same obligation as detailed in paragraph 1. above.

17.5. The introduction, by the Purchaser and / or Customer, of a Carer to another employer or agency or similar organisation, resulting in the engagement of such Carers by that third party within the relevant period, will render the Purchaser and / or Customer liable automatically and without prior notice (verbal or written) to payment of the Introduction Fee (defined in paragraph 4 below).

17.6. The Introduction Fee will be charged at a rate equal to 15% of the relevant Carer’s charges as at the date of the event giving rise to the obligation on the Purchaser or Customer to pay the said Introduction Fee.

18.1. Carers may only drive the Customer’s vehicle if covered by adequate insurance (this being the Customer’s responsibility) and the Customer will be responsible for checking that their Carer has a valid driving licence and that it meets the Customer’s own insurance company’s policy and criteria.

18.2. Neither the Company nor the Carers will be liable to pay any insurance excesses payable to the Customer’s insurance company in the event of an accident or any other claim made.

18.3. The Company reserves the right to ask the Customer and/or Purchaser to provide a copy of their valid insurance policy or other proof that the relevant Carer is insured to drive the relevant vehicle.

18.4. The Company accepts no liability in respect of parking costs and fines or other motoring penalties incurred by the Carer during the course of provision of the care service. Carers are unable to use their own cars during the course of their work.

19.1. The Company cannot offer or give financial advice to the Purchaser and/or Customer. However, information regarding State Benefits and related financial assistance with the Company’s charges is available, upon request, from the Head Office. Such information is based on UK government published data. The Company accepts no liability for the accuracy of such data or in respect of any Purchaser or Customer’s reliance on it.

20.1. No Carer / Support Worker should use the Customer’s telephones (whether landlines or mobiles or the internet) other than on the Customer’s behalf. The Company cannot accept any responsibility for any Customer’s telephone bills.

21.1. The Company cannot accept any liability for any breakages/damages or other losses caused by Carers in the Customer’s home. This should be covered under the Customer’s household insurance contents policy. It is the Customers and / or Purchasers responsibility to ensure that the household insurance policy covers the Customer for having a Carer in the Customer’s property.

21.2. It will be the responsibility of the Purchaser / Customer and / or their representative to give clear, proper and adequate instructions for the use of items or electrical equipment in the Customer’s home. The Company will not accept any liability for any damage (whether direct or indirect) done by the Carer to any goods or equipment in the Customer’s property.

22.1. The Company shall be entitled to terminate this agreement by written notice to the Purchaser if the Purchaser commits a breach of this agreement and, in the case of a breach capable for remedy, fails to remedy the breach within 14 days after written notice giving full details of the breach and requiring it to be remedied.

23.1. Whilst every effort is made by Families First (North East) to ensure reasonable standards of skills, integrity and reliability from the Carers / Support Workers carrying out the Assignments, no liability will be accepted by Families First (North East) for any loss, expense or damage arising from any failure to provide a Member for all or part of an Assignment or from the negligence, dishonesty or misconduct of the Carer / Support Worker. For the avoidance of doubt, Families First (North East) does not exclude liability for death or personal injury arising from its own negligence.

23.2. The Purchaser / Customer shall advise Families First (North East) of any special health and safety matters about which Families First (North East) is required to inform the Support Worker / Carer and about any requirements imposed by law or by any professional body, which must be satisfied if the Support Worker / Carer is to fill the Assignment and will assist Hartlepool Families Fist in complying with its own obligations under the Working Time Regulations 1998.

23.3. The Purchaser / Customer undertakes that it knows of no reason why it would be detrimental to the interests of the Member for the Member to fill the Assignment.

23.4. In all cases the Purchaser / Customer shall indemnify and keep indemnified Families First (North East) against any costs, claims, damages and expenses incurred by Families First (North East) arising out of any Assignment or any non-compliance with clauses 23.2 and 23.3 and/or as a result of any breach of these Terms by the Purchaser / Customer.

24.1. The Company has affected a Public and Employers Liability insurance policy to indemnify it against costs incurred in respect of proven acts for which the Company can be held liable in law. The Purchaser and/or Customer undertake to indemnify the Company and the Carers introduced by the Company, for any direct or indirect loss or damage, personal injury or death caused by the negligence of the Purchaser and/or Customer or by their default or breach under the terms of the Agreement.

25.1. No liability shall attach to the Company in respect of any fire, flood, casualty,
lockout, strike, labour disputes, industrial action of any kind, unavoidable accident, breakdown of equipment, national calamity or riot, Acts of God, the enactment of any Act of Parliament or the act of any other legally constituted authority, any cause or event arising out of or attributable to war, or any other cause or event (whether of a similar or dissimilar nature) outside the reasonable control of either party to this contract other than a shortage or lack of money.

26.1. The Company has affected a Public and Employers Liability insurance policy to indemnify it against costs incurred in respect of proven acts for which the Company can be held liable in law. The Purchaser and/or Customer undertake to indemnify the Company and the Carers introduced by the Company, for any direct or indirect loss or damage, personal injury or death caused by the negligence of the Purchaser and/or Customer or by their default or breach under the terms of the Agreement.

27.1. These Terms and Conditions of Business constitute all the Terms and Conditions of Business between the Company and the Purchaser and/or Customer. No variation of these Terms and Conditions of Business shall be binding unless such variations are agreed upon by both the Company and the Purchaser and/or Customer in writing and, in the event that such variations have been so agreed in writing, then those variations shall form part of the Agreement between the Company and the Purchaser and/or Customer and these Terms and Conditions of Business, together with any variations agreed, constitute the entire Agreement between the said parties.

28. LAW
28.1. These Terms are governed by the law of England, Wales and Scotland and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England, Wales and Scotland.