Does a Live-in Companion really mean 24 hours Coverage per day?
NY state law allows resident companions overtime pay by law for any amount of time worked over 44 hours in a week. As a live-in companion of their employer, they are not required to be paid for sleep other times that they are available but not necessarily working. ICONNEL’s policy is that a companion is also entitled to 8 hours of sleep. This give-and-take of sorts will enable a companion to feel valued, and the probability of a lasting engagement will also be higher, thus avoiding a revolving door of private duty companions. When hiring a private duty companion from any agency, we have observed a tendency for private employers who has never had their own “employee” or caregiver before is to milk them as much as possible to get the money’s worth. We at ICONNEL try to provide a little guidance here, to act as a responsible intermediary to help employers act responsibly, and also to ensure a loving and lasting relationship. The element of money always gets in the way, and it is always up to all of us to ensure that there is respect, understanding, and mutual acceptance of each other’s terms. It is this hurdle that causes some to prefer a one-stop-shop service of a staffed home health care agency who takes care of management and payroll taxes along with supervision and assessments. The trade-off is simply the quality of the caregiver. If the average home health aide, personal care assistant, or homemaker barely makes $11/hour from a staffed agency, and a private duty companion earns the entire amount of what you pay him/her, you can imagine the difference in the caliber of capabilities and qualifications that come with such a pay-grade. The less the paperwork and intermediaries involved, the more that can be paid to your employee, which in ICONNEL’s case, translates to a truly incredible caregiver.