This terminology describes a person working on a temporary basis, i.e., short-term or long-term contracts for a client, in most cases this being a recruitment agency. Contractors often refer to themselves as freelancers or consultants although other terms do exist.
Your doubts – cleared here:
Recruitment agencies will only issue contracts to Limited Companies and not to individuals. As such in order to carry out your contract and get paid, you would need to be an employee of a Umbrella Company.
No. You are an employee of your umbrella company. And with that you get the benefit of a complete end-to-end back-office function.
By choosing to work with an Umbrella Company, you can carry out your contract without the administrative burden of managing your own company. An umbrella company does all your paperwork. It's cheaper than paying for an accountant, and leaves you free of rules and regulations.
Down to the basics, here are some of the odd jobs you hand over to Umbrella Company:
- Processing timesheets
- Invoicing the recruitment agency
- Off-setting your expenses
- Working out what you owe in tax
- Detailed recordkeeping for HMRC audits
No. However, your umbrella company will help you to claim the expenses and these expenses are adjusted against your taxable income to increase your net take home salary. Hence it is not a reimbursement or refund.
All contractors that use an umbrella company service are within IR35. It is not an issue you need worry about it.
Like a permanent employee, you are also untitled to receive holiday pay as the umbrella company is your employer. The umbrella company withholds some of your pay which you then get given when you take a holiday.
As the umbrella company is your employer, you have the same rights as a permanent employee in this respect. The umbrella company is legally bound to pay statutory sick pay to you after four consecutive days absent from work. Just get a doctor's note.
Yes! Send the original part 2 & part 3 of P45 straight away. Without it you will be paying emergency tax. This is not good - you will be taking home less money! As soon as you pick your umbrella company send them your original P45 (a copy will not do).
If you do not have a P45, your umbrella company will send you a Starter Checklist, which you will need to complete and return to them. HMRC will then tell them your tax code.
Unless your umbrella company receives an up to date P45 then you will be automatically sent a Starter Checklist, your payments then will be calculated using the emergency tax code of 1000L Week 1/ Month 1 until HMRC notify us otherwise.
The Business expense claim guide and claim form will be supplied to you as part of your welcome starter pack. You will need to submit a business expense claim form along with original receipts for expenses (where relevant). “It is important that you submit the expense claim form and relevant receipts at the same time along with the timesheet”
Depending on your agency payment terms/cycle they will pay us but we will pay you the same day we receive the cleared funds in our bank account.
Some agencies are described as being self billing. This is an arrangement between the agency and client in which they prepare the invoice and forward a copy to the Umbrella Company. This means that as you send your timesheet, the agency or client raises their own invoice to be billed each time a payment is made. The main benefit of self billing is the removal of the requirement to supply invoices, therefore resulting in a more efficient payment process.
There are no rules governing how many assignments you carry out for the same client.
Provided you meet the HMRC temporary work place rules, there is legislation in place which governs how long you can be at any one temporary workplace and claim business expenses. This is commonly known as the “24 month rule”.
This rule states that the cost of travel from your home to your client site address (temporary workplace) is only allowable as a business expense for as long as you believe your contract will not exceed 24 months working at the same location.
Once you have an assignment at a new location the 24 month limit of Temporary Work place Rules will start again and enable you to claim these types of business expenses.
Please view the HMRC website here should you require more information.
You can definitely switch over, but firstly, we would suggest you speak with a member of the umbrella company you wish to be with to understand your individual circumstances. After this, once advised you simply need to complete the online registration form, then inform your recruitment agency or end client that you will be working for Us from the agreed date.
If you are going permanent or leaving the country, just inform us in writing and we will end your employment and send you your P45. If you are moving to another agency, just let us know in writing and we will liaise with that agency and you continue as normal.
You will need to submit a personal tax return if instructed to do so by HMRC. We have a business partner who will be able to help with your tax return for a competitive fee.