Rates and thresholds for employers 2017/18

The rates and thresholds for employers for the next year are now available on Find them at

Most notable is the 30p raise in the so-called National Living Wage to £7.50, for employees aged 25 or over. 

But it's always good to know the difference between your lower earnings limits and your primary threshold and important to know what the personal allowance is. See all the rates in one place, in one click. 

What we do and how we do it

Increasingly we've had people from areas outside London ask us 'why isn't there anything like this where I am?' 

So as an independent network of people who deal with frontline issues in self-directed support in both social and health care we're offering to share our experience of running the Forum with people in other areas of the country.

We can:

  • Lead a session describing the Forum and its strengths and explore how you could do similarly your area
  • Lead a technical session for organisations that support people who employ personal assistants (PAs) on some of the practical issues PA employers face.
  • Facilitate a half-day event, adding external speakers to the sessions above, exploring areas of practical expertise, tailoring it to your area and the particular issues you face.

We’ve been running for over 20 years, largely through volunteers whose own everyday work is in self directed support. We have built up considerable expertise and experience in running events, keeping up to date with developing issues and maintaining a lively programme of topics and speakers. As an independent network, we’re proud of our ability to question and highlight issues that our practical expertise tells us aren’t necessarily going to plan and then try to find solutions.

We will not override local expertise. On the contrary, having seen the benefit of meeting regularly to discuss, network and learn we’d like to support existing services to work better together.

If this is something you would be interested in, please contact Peter Gay at the London SDS Forum by emailing 

PAs needed for research project

Personal Assistants are a growing part of the social care workforce in England but very little is really known about them as a group - data in the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) is based on estimates.

However, research that’s being carried out at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London aims to change this.  John Woolham, who works there as a Senior Research Fellow, is leading a study that aims to describe the characteristics of the PA workforce – the backgrounds and motivations of PAs, what their role involves, the terms and conditions of their employment, their perceptions and experiences of their job and the links they may have (or not have) with the wider social care, or health, workforce.

They want to interview 100 PAs across England – in person or by phone. They will offer travel expenses and £20 each to recognise people’s time and trouble. Interviews are confidential.

If you work as a Personal Assistant, think this study is worth doing and might be interested in taking part, please email John directly at .  He can also be reached by phone on 0207 848 8599 – but it’s usually best to email in the first instance because he works from home quite a lot. 

Please do forward the attached information to PAs and PA employers that you are in contact with. 

Useful Downloads: 

"It ain't what you do...." - conference report published

On 15th July the Forum brought together experts on self-directed support with disabled people and families who use direct payments from across London. In particular they were wanting to explore some of the inflexibilities and problems that are holding back full progress within self-directed support. 

This report brings together some of the key findings of the report with the talks, discussion and the results of a poll carried out on the day.

Authors: Simon Duffy, Pat Stack and Peter Gay

With thanks to Ellen Clifford, John Evans, Jane Mawer, Lizzie McCulloch, Ossie Stuart, Steven Pruner and Geoff Smith and all who attended the conference.

Useful Downloads: 


RSS feed Subscribe to News feed