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View Full Version : Umbrella Companies - Am I Getting Conned?



Bat
5th October 2010, 09:20
Hi all, Im new here so please be gentle to me :laugh

I have been working as a contractor for 3 months and im about to have another 3 months added.

When i started i was told by my agency that i could only go with 4 umbrella companies on their books.

All 4 of them charge a high weekly rate and i do not want to be with any of the 4 listed.

I did my research prior to picking which one would suit me best but when i asked about other umbrella companies i was told that i couldnt go with them as they were not approved by the Director/Finance manager.

I have since found out that i could be earning an additional £70 a week if i went with an umbrella company not on the agencies books.

Does anyone know what i can do and confirm that this is allowed? £70 a week is a no brainer as far as im concerned?

I dont really want to open a can of worms but surely its my money.

Cheers

Bat

Steven@Parasol
5th October 2010, 12:23
Hi all, Im new here so please be gentle to me :laugh

I have been working as a contractor for 3 months and im about to have another 3 months added.

When i started i was told by my agency that i could only go with 4 umbrella companies on their books.

All 4 of them charge a high weekly rate and i do not want to be with any of the 4 listed.

I did my research prior to picking which one would suit me best but when i asked about other umbrella companies i was told that i couldnt go with them as they were not approved by the Director/Finance manager.

I have since found out that i could be earning an additional £70 a week if i went with an umbrella company not on the agencies books.

Does anyone know what i can do and confirm that this is allowed? £70 a week is a no brainer as far as im concerned?

I dont really want to open a can of worms but surely its my money.

Cheers

Bat

Hi there, your agency can't force you to work with any particular umbrella company but they should have a preferred suppliers list in place based on the quality of service, compliance and financial robustness which can help inform your decision.

I work for an umbrella company so I am not impartial but there is a huge risk to your agency, your end client and ultimately you if you work with an umbrella whose practises could be described as questionable.

DO you know where the extra £70 a week is coming from with the other umbrella you've looked into?

And don't forget that the admin fee charged by the umbrella can also be offset against your income tax bill as per other legitimate business expenses.

Do you know what the reasons are for the four providers being included on your agency's list?

LisaContractorUmbrella
20th October 2010, 09:27
Hi all, Im new here so please be gentle to me :laugh

I have been working as a contractor for 3 months and im about to have another 3 months added.

When i started i was told by my agency that i could only go with 4 umbrella companies on their books.

All 4 of them charge a high weekly rate and i do not want to be with any of the 4 listed.

I did my research prior to picking which one would suit me best but when i asked about other umbrella companies i was told that i couldnt go with them as they were not approved by the Director/Finance manager.

I have since found out that i could be earning an additional £70 a week if i went with an umbrella company not on the agencies books.

Does anyone know what i can do and confirm that this is allowed? £70 a week is a no brainer as far as im concerned?

I dont really want to open a can of worms but surely its my money.

Cheers

Bat

You could not earn an additional £70 per week with another umbrella company; your salary will be calculated according to the rules of PAYE and these are set in stone. The only things that will affect your taxable pay, and therefore the amount of tax you pay, will be the expenses you claim and whether you make charitable donations or pension contributions. It is true that the higher expenses you claim the higher your take home pay will be; however, you can only claim for costs that you have incurred. If an umbrella company reduces your taxable pay by processing expenses for costs that you have not incurred you will be liable to pay the additional tax and also penalties in the event of an invetigation by HMR&C.

bangface
25th November 2010, 10:47
At the high end of the market you could I'm sure pay in excess of £200 per month in fees to some umbrella companies and at the very least you can now expect to pay absolutely nothing in fees with others. For example goumbrella do not charge a fee currently, so when you compare their fees (or lack of them) with that of say Tarpon then yes I agree there would be savings to be made, but an additional £70 per week is a bit excessive, albeit perfectly viable on a monthly basis, particularly when you take into consideration the vast difference in fees across the board.

LisaContractorUmbrella
25th November 2010, 10:56
I would be extremely skeptical of any umbrella company that claims their services are free of charge. It's fairly difficult to run a business with no income and, as far I am aware, none have charity status.

Steven@Parasol
25th November 2010, 11:57
At the high end of the market you could I'm sure pay in excess of £200 per month in fees to some umbrella companies and at the very least you can now expect to pay absolutely nothing in fees with others. For example goumbrella do not charge a fee currently, so when you compare their fees (or lack of them) with that of say Tarpon then yes I agree there would be savings to be made, but an additional £70 per week is a bit excessive, albeit perfectly viable on a monthly basis, particularly when you take into consideration the vast difference in fees across the board.

I think Lisa has put it a lot more politely then I could. The umbrella company must be making somewhere and I would seriously question anyone who claims to offer a free service. I would also be extremely concerned about the lack of transparency.

LisaContractorUmbrella
25th November 2010, 12:53
As Steven says the company must be making money from somewhere and, if you think about it, the only place it can come from is your pocket