View Full Version : Umbrella Negligence - need advice fast please

3rd June 2011, 09:34

I have been with an umbrella company for about 8 months, now on my second client with them. Up until recently they have been excellent and helpful.

I started the new contract mid april, with monthly invoicing. There was a clause allowing for payment to take up to 30 days, which I questioned and was assured it was only used in case I missed invoicing on time, and the payment had to be delayed until the following scheduled payroll date.

ie So long as my umbrella invoices according to their schedule, they will pay within 3 days, otherwise it MAY take up to another month.

I accepted and authorised the umbrella to sign the contracts and make necessary arrangements.

The first scheduled payroll was during the second week, which I opted to miss, so did not request an invoice to be raised, I was happy to wait an extra month.

I then raised an invoice two weeks later (at the actual end of the month), knowing it would not be paid for two weeks, which was also acceptable to me, I just didn't want to leave it too long to enter all my time and expenses, and the client wanted to get the timesheets out of the way.

Two weeks later I entered two more weeks data and another invoice was raised, in time for the May scheduled payroll, which should include 5 weeks work.

No payment arrived, so I asked my umbrella to investigate and they replied that they could not do anything as the first invoice payment was not due until 3 June (30 days after being raised).

I had not receive any payment, until at the end of June I received a "minimum wage payslip" from the umbrella.

I contacted my agent, reminding him of our discussion about the 30 day clause, and that it was supposed to be an exception. He got back to me quickly, saying they had not received any invoices for me.

I went back to the umbrella with this news and they found that the system was not correctly configured with the agnecy details, and the raised invoices had not been sent to them. They apologised and sent the invoices.

The agency has agreed to include them in the next possible weekly payroll, which will go put on the 10th June.

The big problem and reason this is urgent, is that I have made an application for Australian residency, which included a mandate for their substantial fees, which I expect them to request from my account before the 10th. There is not enough money in my account without the payment which was contractually due today (3rd), had the umbrella sent the invoice when raised.

After playing email ping pong with them yesterday (I asked them to get a manager/director to call me, but they didn't) they have gone quiet. The best I got from them was a promise to pay same day, without charge, when the agency paid them, or by the 10th, if the agency payment did not arrive by then.

If my application fee is not honoured by my bank, my application is rejected and 9 months preparation is mostly down the drain.

I just want to do all I can to prevent that situation, and feel the umbrella should be paying me today, same day, without charge (in fact refunding their charges for the minimum pay last month).

I know that legally I can claim any losses for their negligence after the fact, but there is nothing that would compensate me for delaying my visa by another 6 months.

I just want to prevent that situation and get some money into my account from the umbrella.

Any ideas, please? (sorry that was so longwinded)


15th June 2011, 15:51
Whenever I don't get payment after waiting for a reasonable time, I ask my solicitor to send a letter. You can send one yourself, but it has more impact coming from a solicitor.

Most of the time, it scares them in to chasing up invoices and processing payments very quickly ....

15th June 2011, 18:31
Depends how much money they are taking out? I'd look to arrange a temporary overdraft with your bank, whether it's free or a few %, probably worth it...!

16th June 2011, 09:07

Thanks for your advice, although both those solutions would have resulted in me losing my visa application fee and left me back at the start of the process.

Fortunately, the umbrella company saw my thread here, and paid my first invoice same day, which meant my application fee was honoured and the visa processing has begun.

I am still not entirely happy about the outcome or the handling, as I have so far had to pay 4 weeks fees for 2 weeks pay, and am still awaiting payment for the 3 weeks work completed 3 weeks ago. However, next week my pay cycles should be aligned with agency schedules, so I will be able to work out exactly what I have paid and received, and will see whether and how the umbrella offers to make amends - their website claims they make no charges on the next invoice following a mistake!