Skip to main content

Contact us to arrange your
FREE initial consultation

Call me back Email us

Written on 10th February 2023 by Anne Pearson

Gratuitous care is the care provided by non professional carers. It is care most often provided by parents, family members or even friends and not someone specifically employed and paid a salary as a carer.

When someone is providing gratuitous care, and in a situation where funds are available from either a deputyship or a Trust, they may be entitled to receive a gratuitous care payment. These payments are different to salary paid to a carer who has been either directly employed or who works through an agency. They may also sometimes be described as a family care payment.

In a situation where someone has needs that require care, but they do not have a full team of employed or agency carers, which can be for a number of reasons, they often have family members providing the care. Where this applies consideration can be given as to whether they should receive a gratuitous payment in respect of the hours of care they are providing.

A gratuitous care payment is a voluntary payment and is non contractual, where as someone who is employed receives a salary, which is a contractual payment.

Should someone be paid a gratuitous care payment, this should be registered with HMRC as these payments are not subject to the deduction of Income Tax or National Insurance. It is a voluntary payment that is not income under Section 4016 of the Employment Status Manual issued by HMRC and should not been deemed as income for the purpose of means testing. HMRC will register the person receiving the gratuitous care payment and issue a ‘Carer’s Clearance Certificate’, which will confirm the position. Anyone in receipt of gratuitous care payments, and who are also in receipt of Benefits, should advise the Department of Work and Pensions of the payments and that they are gratuitous, which means they can stop or reduce at any time.

As a professional care team increases, you will see the amount of gratuitous care provided reducing, often to a nominal amount or even none at all. This means the gratuitous care payments will reduce, and then stop completely.

The confusion between gratuitous care and contractual employed carers can arise, even amongst professionals.

An example of gratuitous care is where there is a disabled child who is being cared for only by the parents. We would register them with HMRC for the Clearance Certificate and then make gratuitous payments to them for the care they are providing.

A situation where it is more confusing is where a parent is the Deputy for a disabled adult who requires care. The Deputy formally employs the disabled person’s siblings to provide the care. They have contracts of employment, are paid via an external payroll company and are enrolled on the Workplace Pension Scheme. This is contractual and not gratuitous care, even though they are family.

At Boyes Turner we have experience in all types of proceedings in the Court of Protection. For further information, please contact the Court of Protection team on 0800 124 4845 or email