Friday, August 17, 2007

Follow up on powers of attorney and home healthcare workers

Just a few passing thoughts on the previous article Powers of Attorney - uses and problems and Times of London article I was commenting on Power of attorney: what can go wrong? emphasizing the employment law issues.

The original article made the following points about the employment law issues:

The case has important implications for anyone arranging domiciliary care. Consideration should be given to making it a condition of employment that the employee does not discuss legal or financial matters with the person being cared for. If possible, this could be made a term of a written contract. If there is firm evidence that the term is being breached, the contract can be terminated.
I do not know enough about home health care contracts to know if they do include these kind of terms. I do know that temporary agencies have contracts that address these issues with employers. I would not be surprised that in-home medical care providers do not have contracts with similar provisions.

For those receiving in- home care - check the contract carefully about your responsibilities of mixing the care provider with the client's business affairs.

For those companies providing in-home care: 1) check on your employees' background and 2) get your contracts lined up. No, one cannot contract away one's negligence but that is not quite the need or purpose for lining up the contracts.