Umbrella reveals regional pay variations

A UK-wide analysis of earnings for umbrella company contractors has found Greater London and Northern Ireland at odds with each other, for being the best and worst payers respectively.

The average annual salary currently commanded in London is almost £66,000, against only about £24,000 in Belfast, according to Parasol, which analysed umbrella workers’ pay in 10 regions.

Despite concluding that Northern Ireland is therefore “financially the worst place in the UK” for umbrella contractors to work, the analysis found that such temporary staff still earn more than their full-time counterparts.

“The current average hourly rate for umbrella contractors and freelancers in Northern Ireland is £13.53 per hour which equates to an annual gross salary of £23,847,” Parasol said, assuming a working week of 37.5hrs over 47 weeks.

“However, this compares favourably with the average gross annual salary for [the region] which, according to ONS data stands at £21,949.”

Umbrella contractors applying their skills in Wales also “seem to have more earning power than the regional average for permanent workers,” said Parasol Group managing director Derek Kelly, given salary of 23K, rising to £57k via an umbrella.

The regional pay variations will make “interesting” reading, he addded, particularly for umbrella staff considering where to work while, overall, the figures (reproduced below) go some way to showing the “valuable” tax revenue such flexible workers contribute to the exchequer.

His comments yesterday were issued after the UK economy was officially confirmed as having entered the much-feared double-dip recession, following two successive quarters of negative economic growth. 

Region Avg. salary (ONS) Avg. Salary for contractor/freelancer
Greater London £33,135 £65,811
South East £27,495 £62,992
South West £24,299 £61,106
Wales £22,701 £57,334
Scotland £24,346 £53,298
West Midlands £22,842 £51,711
North East £23,265 £51,606
North West £21,996 £49,191
East Midlands £24,722 £45,366
Northern Ireland £21,949 £23,847
National £25,568 £57,087
Apr 26, 2012