FAQs by Clients
How do I search for carer workers or personal assistants?
Type in the postcode in the search bar where care is required and tick the type of care required and the platform will match you with suitable carers. If you then register as a client you will be able to refine your search and message carers. We are adding carers across the UK on a daily basis – if you do not find any carers in your area please email us on email@example.com and we will see what we can do to help.
What areas of the UK do you cover?
Our aim is to cover all of the United Kingdom of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We are adding carers and personal assistants to the platform daily across the UK. We currently have carers from Fort William to Plymouth. Please search for carers to find availability in your area. If we do not currently have carers in your area – we will soon.
Do people see my personal and contact information?
No, only unless you decide to provide them with it. Care workers will only have your contact details once you have contacted them directly.
Is Curam registered with the Care Quality Commission/Care Inspectorate/Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority?
The Curam platform matches clients with carers, who then contract directly with each other - therefore our platform is not required to be registered with the CQC/Care Inspectorate/RQIA. However we at Curam aspire to and expect the carers on our platform to equally aspire to, the CQC/Care Inspectorate/RQIA codes of conduct.
Can we know if and when a carer has completed their visit?
Yes, the Curam carer GPS app emails clients when their carer arrives at the care recipient’s location and when they leave (available end May ’18).
Can organisations or companies use the Curam platform?
Yes, they need to register as commercial partners – please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Does Curam have an affiliate marketing programme?
Yes, we co-operate with a wide range of partners and charities – please email us on email@example.com
How does Curam approve its carers and what background checks do you do on your carers?
Similar to any standard agency we background check and interview all our carers, this includes Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (in England & Wales), Disclosure Scotland and NI Access (in Northern Ireland), identity documents, right to work in the UK, tax and employment status and if relevant driving licence and relevant qualifications. We also insist on two independent referees (one of them a UK resident) who are willing to vouch for the carer. Our carers can also be reviewed by their clients on the platform (carer reviews available July ’18).
But surely Curam should choose the best carers – as agencies claim to do?
At Curam the central ethos of our business is that you the client are the best person to choose and manage your carer or personal assistant. Sometimes, inevitably, this is a next of kin choosing a carer on behalf of someone they themselves help to care for.
We accept that this will not suit everyone or every situation - in such cases an agency may be more appropriate. But where the individual or their family can and want to choose and manage their carer - then we believe that Curam is by far their best option.
Should I meet a carer before agreeing a contract?
Yes. We strongly advise that, where practical, all carers meet their clients in the care location to discuss the client’s care package before agreeing to hire a care assistant. At the very least a Skype or Facetime call should occur. All the carers on this platform have a Skype account.
Is the carer insured?
Yes. All carers that contract through Curam are automatically and fully insured. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Can I contact references and review carers?
Yes. We strongly recommend that all clients contact referees directly. All care workers on the platform will have provided two referees. On request the carer will provide you with their contact details.
Is Curam safe?
Yes, in fact we believe that Curam is safer than the traditional agency model. You or your family actually choose the carer, you check and can speak to the carer’s referees and our technology allows you to be in constant communication with the carer. Curam also have a team of experienced and highly qualified CURAM nurses who are constantly monitoring the carers on this platform and the quality of care delivered to their clients.
What is a Curam nurse?
Curam has a team of experienced and highly qualified Curam nurses who are constantly monitoring the carer assistants on this platform and the quality of care delivered to their clients. As soon as a client contracts with a carer, the relevant Curam nurse in their area will make contact with the client.
What do I do if my carer is sick or on holiday?
All of the carers on this platform are expected to work in a partnership ‘buddy’ team with other carers. At the beginning of the delivery of your care package your carer will inform you as to which of their colleagues on the platform will cover for them in their absence. You can of course select another carer instead if you wish.
How do I pay my care assistant’s ‘buddy’?
Your carer’s ‘buddy’ will simply send you a fixed-term contract via the Curam platform whilst your carer is on holiday. Obviously your main carer will have to amend their contract to ensure you do not pay twice. Your account will be automatically updated with all this accounting information.
What happens if I am not happy with my carer?
The selection of the best care assistant for you is a very personal decision. And like any relationship sometimes the dynamic can change. If at any time you are not happy with your care assistant you can, if you wish, immediately change them for another carer on the site. You can cancel your contract with a care worker at any time and are only obliged to pay for the care that has already been delivered.
How do I pay my care assistant?
You pay your carer with a debit or credit card via the platform. Your payment is managed by the secure payment system at Stripe. Curam does not hold any credit card details. For business, NHS and Local Authority clients please contact the accounts department on email@example.com for details of how to set up a commercial account.
What happens if I pay my carer in cash?
Curam does not allow cash payments between clients and carers that have contracted via this platform. Firstly we insist that all our carers tax affairs are up to date (if not they are not, then they are removed from the platform), and secondly cash payments to a carer worker will nullify their insurance policy.
How much does the carer get paid?
The carer is paid their rate agreed with you less the platform, insurance and transaction costs, which total 12.5%, i.e. if you pay the carer £15.00 an hour, the carer receives £13.12. It is Curam’s policy that no care assistant on the platform earns less than the London Living Wage per hour, currently £10.20, with the addition of our commission this rounds up to a minimum rate of £11.50per hour on our platform.
Is my carer/ personal assistant self-employed?
Yes all the care workers on the Curam platform are self-employed. We check that all care workers have the legal right to work in the UK and complete and submit an annual tax return and therefore there is no risk to you of any employer liability.
I have a personal care budget from my Local Authority – I’m currently using an Individual Service Fund Support Provider – should I move to Curam?
We categorically believe that you should. Although support providers charge less than agencies they still charge around 20/25% of your personal budget - we charge 12.5% and are completely transparent about what we do and what we charge. You can find a personal assistant on our site, they are fully insured, they are self-employed so no employer liability or cost (including no employers national insurance), you are bound by no contract except to pay for the care that you actually receive and you have the comfort of knowing that a Curam nurse is at the end of a telephone and is acting as a mentor to your carer. Your personal budget expenditure is available at the touch of a button if required by your Local Authority and the 12.5% you save on fees can be spent on improving your levels of care or on paying your carers more. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details or ring us in the office on the number at the bottom of the page.
What are the costs of care and how am I charged?
Each contract on the platform is an individual one between each carer and their client. Carers will give an indication of their hourly/daily rate on their profile but the actual rate charged (so long as it is above the minimum rate of £11.50 per hour) is a matter between you and the carer.
How should I deal with care worker expenses?
Regular expenses can be incorporated into your contract with the carer – one-off expenses are best handled directly between you and the carer.
Is there a minimum contract length?
No. You are only contractually obliged to pay for any care that has been received.
Can the Carer help me with advice on benefits?
Usually yes. Most of the carers on Curam have some experience of the benefits system. At Curam we constantly update our carers and the platform on changes to the system. Unfortunately it is very complex, however our carers will help where possible with client applications. There is comprehensive and constantly updated information about benefits and the home care sector in general in our Helpdesk
What happens if I have a dispute with my carer?
Ultimately the relationship between the client and the carer is a working relationship. If the relationship is not working then our advice is for you to replace a carer with another care worker. If the dispute is of a serious nature, eg a criminal act, then you must report it at once to the police and Curam and we will investigate immediately. We take all reports of unacceptable behaviour by carers extremely seriously. If we receive a formal complaint against a carer from a client we will immediately inform his other clients and reserve the right to either prevent the care worker from acquiring new clients or in cases of a serious nature remove them from the platform immediately.
FAQS by Carers
How do I register with Curam?
Click on Sign up box at top right of the carer page.
Do I need experience?
No. One of Curam’s aims is to attract new carer workers into the care sector. However, the more experience you have and the better your reviews and references are, the easier you will find it to acquire clients and the higher rate you will be able to charge.
Do I need to be self-employed?
Yes – or you need to trade through a limited company or an LLP.
Who are the clients of Curam?
Any person in the UK who requires some form of domiciliary care, or any institution that requires experienced care workers.
Can I work full time or part time?
Yes either/or is possible. At Curam you are completely in control of the hours and days that you work.
Do I need a driving licence/car?
No, not necessarily, although if you work in a rural area it may be essential.
How many referees do I need?
Two, one of who has to be resident in the UK.
Can I carry on working for my existing employer as well as being on your site?
How do I upload documents and certificates to my account?
In Carer sign up, you will be prompted to choose relevant files. Follow the instructions. You can save and come back to your application at any time up to registration. Post registration you can amend your profile at any time except for ID and qualification documentation, which will have to be verified by the Curam office. Contact the office on email@example.com
How much I will get paid?
Each carer sets their own hourly and daily rate. That said, we do not allow care workers to earn less than the London Living Wage, currently £10.20 per hour. To allow for the Curam commission charge of 12.5% the minimum the platform will allow you to charge is therefore £11.50 (the minimum visit time is one hour). The average rate at the moment on the platform is £13 per hour. You will receive your advertised rate less the platform, insurance and banking charge of 12.5%. Therefore if your hourly rate is £13.00, you will receive £11.38 per hour.
How do I get paid?
Clients pay a week in advance on contracted hours. The funds are held in a secure account and released to carers following completion of the contracted hours. Carers will be paid by bacs transfer into their bank accounts on Fridays via the secure stripe payment system.
When do I get paid?
Every Friday, one week in arrears.
Are my travelling expenses paid separately?
No. Carers should include in their hourly or daily rate the cost of travel etc. Obviously when it comes to doing a tax return you can offset expenses such as travel against your taxable income.
What happens if I get sick or go on holiday?
Curam expects you to have one and ideally two ‘buddies’ that can cover for you when you are sick or on holiday. They must be signed up as carers on Curam. We strongly advise our carers to introduce their ‘buddies’ to their clients ahead of their holidays. The ‘buddy’ section of the platform where clients can see your ‘buddies’ and where you can contact potential ‘buddies’ in your area is due for Launch in July ’18.
How does the buddy system work?
It is an informal relationship between carers, to provide cover when it is required, for example due to ill health or holidays. The ‘buddies’ must also be members of the Curam platform and thus will be paid directly by your client for any shifts they cover.
What happens if I cannot get on with my client?
The relationship between the client and the carer is a working relationship. If the relationship is not working then our advice is to accept this and ask the client to find another carer from the Curam platform.
I can only work on certain days and times
Curam is ideal for you as you choose the hours and days you want to work.
How do I work with the Curam nurse?
All Curam nurses are highly experienced and qualified, whose responsibility is to support their carers and their clients. You can book a call whenever you want to talk about any issues you might be having with a client or their family.
What training can I get?
We provide online access to training modules to all CURAM carers to help them keep updated with their qualifications. Click here for further details Helpdesk