Personal assistants and disabled people: an examination of a hybrid form of work and care
Work, Employment and Society, 13, (4), . (doi:10.1017/S0950017099000422).
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Welfare states are developing forms of payment for care such that the boundary between ‘work’ and ‘care’ is breaking down. Various types of payment are being introduced, but one of the most interesting is the widespread development of direct payment schemes whereby disabled people are given cash instead of services, and expected to use these monies to purchase directly the services of personal assistants. This paper uses the evidence of a small qualitative study of personal assistants to investigate the question of control and power within the care relationship, and the issue of boundary setting between employer and employee. The paper also considers how far this new type of paid care work is different from other forms of paid care which impinge upon the body.
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