There are many details to consider and things to discuss with the rest of your family when agreeing on a strategy for caring for your loved one. A caregiver agreement or contract is a great tool to ensure you, your loved one and your caregiver know what to expect from each other. In this article I’ll discuss what you should include in your contract and you can download this home care contract template and customize for your unique situation.
What to Include in Your Home Care Contract
The following is a list of items I recommend you include in your Home Care Contract.
1. Start Date
2. Worksite Address
Where will the caregiver be expected to work.
3. Work Schedule
The schedule should cover all seven days of the week (note the days off) and be specific about start time, lunch and break schedule, and end time.
4. Job Responsibilities
This should include a detailed checklist of all the tasks and activities the caregiver is expected to perform on a daily / weekly basis. Don’t assume anything. Be very specific on what you want the caregiver to accomplish. It will avoid uncomfortable conversations later if everyone understands what the expectations are up front. Refer to your care plan or caregiver job description.
This should include the caregiver’s regular hourly pay rate, overtime rate and when they will get paid (i.e., weekly, bi-weekly, etc.).
6. Additional Benefits
This section would include any additional items you might wish to pay for including parking, transportation, health insurance, and mileage reimbursement if they use their own vehicle for errands.
7. Tax Withholding and Reporting
In this section let your caregiver know that you will be withholding taxes and reporting to the IRS and state agencies. You will also provide them with a W2 form at the end of the year. Contact your payroll processing company or accountant if you have any questions on how to do this.
8. Paid Time Off & Holidays
Will you provide sick time (some states require this) or vacation time to your caregiver? If so, you should lay out the specifics. Also, if you provide any paid holidays you can provide specifics here.
9. Termination Policy
Here you can list the items for which the caregiver may be terminated so that they understand what is acceptable (and not) while caring for your loved one.
10. Social Media Policy
Most people today are connected to their cell phones and social media accounts on a minute-by-minute basis. You need to clearly lay out what is acceptable to share on social media and what is not. You may not want photos of your loved one floating around on social media. In addition, you may not want the caregiver to post about the daily schedule with your loved one.
11. Raises & Reviews
Let your caregiver know when you will be conducting a performance review and if they will be eligible for a pay increase.
12. Rules & Expectations
This can be an addendum that lays out your loved one’s physical and emotional condition so the caregiver knows how to respond to each situation. This could include any physical or mental diagnosis, impairments, and medications they are taking. I had a specific routine for my mom that I wanted the caregiver to follow so I was pretty explicit and detailed about that. You should also be specific about any “rules of the house” such as your policy regarding visitors while the caregiver is on duty.
13. Daily Schedule
Finally, lay out a schedule of what a typical day might look like and what time medications should be taken.
Handling Payroll & Taxes
Once the agreement has been completed and you have reviewed it with the caregiver, both parties should sign it. This will help lay out expectations and provide role clarity.
Your next step should be finding a payroll processing service or an accountant that can handle the details of paying your caregiver as well as the required withholding and reporting activities that will keep you legal. Care.com provides a service to help you with this if you want to check them out.