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gardener
6th May 2014, 12:15
Hi,

Which umbrella companies have good reputation here? Which ones are to be avoided? Cost/quality ratio?
Please share some of your experience, comrades.

ContrataxLtd
6th May 2014, 14:13
Hi,

Which umbrella companies have good reputation here? Which ones are to be avoided? Cost/quality ratio?
Please share some of your experience, comrades.

Hi Gardener

If you are looking for an Umbrella company I'd be tempted not to use price as the main differentiator, just do a search and I'm sure you will find many Umbrella companies that have gone pop in the night leaving many contractor's out of pocket!

Personally, I'd be looking for a solid Umbrella company that has been around a number of years and shows no signs of financial trouble, as, at the end of the day, they are another link in the chain holding onto your hard earned money.

I've never used them or had dealings with them but hear good things about Contractor Umbrella, Lisa often posts on here so give her a shout!

Hope this helps

Martin
Contratax Ltd

gardener
6th May 2014, 14:46
Hi Gardener

If you are looking for an Umbrella company I'd be tempted not to use price as the main differentiator, just do a search and I'm sure you will find many Umbrella companies that have gone pop in the night leaving many contractor's out of pocket!

Personally, I'd be looking for a solid Umbrella company that has been around a number of years and shows no signs of financial trouble, as, at the end of the day, they are another link in the chain holding onto your hard earned money.

I've never used them or had dealings with them but hear good things about Contractor Umbrella, Lisa often posts on here so give her a shout!

Hope this helps

Martin
Contratax Ltd

Thanks Martin,

Didn't think about how long a company is on the market as a criteria, makes sense though.
As to another ink on the chain, Ltd is also just another ink isn't it? Although quite a different ink.

Unfortunatelly cant go for contractor umbrella, because agency (Experis) has their "approved list" of umbrellas. That is just my situation though.

Regards,

Samuel

cojak
6th May 2014, 15:07
(Umbrella) Companies: check them out BEFORE they go wrong (http://forums.contractoruk.com/accounting-legal/85729-basic-advice-when-running-your-own-contractor-business.html#post1923072)

gardener
6th May 2014, 15:13
(Umbrella) Companies: check them out BEFORE they go wrong (http://forums.contractoruk.com/accounting-legal/85729-basic-advice-when-running-your-own-contractor-business.html#post1923072)

Thanks Cojak, I have red that one. Didn't find many names of umbrella companies mentioned there though.

TheFaQQer
6th May 2014, 15:16
Thanks Cojak, I have red that one. Didn't find many names of umbrella companies mentioned there though.

I think that the point Cojak was making is that you need to do some research about whether the company you are working for is likely to disappear with your money and find out about them.

You may be better off asking "out of this list of companies that I can use, can anyone recommend one of them" rather than asking for recommendations from a bunch of strangers and then discounting the recommended ones because you can't use them.

If I was going umbrella, then it would be Contractor Umbrella. But I like to try to reduce the risk of someone running off with my money, so I run my own Ltd.

TheFaQQer
6th May 2014, 15:17
As to another ink on the chain, Ltd is also just another ink isn't it?

No, it's not.

It's not even another link in the chain.

ContrataxLtd
6th May 2014, 15:26
Thanks Martin,

Didn't think about how long a company is on the market as a criteria, makes sense though.
As to another ink on the chain, Ltd is also just another ink isn't it? Although quite a different ink.

Unfortunatelly cant go for contractor umbrella, because agency (Experis) has their "approved list" of umbrellas. That is just my situation though.

Regards,

Samuel

Not really another ink in the chain because it's something you have complete control over where as an Umbrella company is a third party handling your cash in the chain which just increases the risk in my opinion.

Can you (or are you allowed to) let us know the list of Umbrella's that you can choose from as TheFaQQer has said then people might be able to share their own experiences with those Umbrella companies so you can get some specific feedback that way?

Martin
Contratax Ltd

cojak
6th May 2014, 15:38
Thanks Cojak, I have red that one. Didn't find many names of umbrella companies mentioned there though.

There are a number of reputable umbrella companies on here. Have a read in this forum.

Don't go with any company offering you >80% 'take home pay' or a free ipad.

gardener
6th May 2014, 15:55
Not really another ink in the chain because it's something you have complete control over where as an Umbrella company is a third party handling your cash in the chain which just increases the risk in my opinion.

Can you (or are you allowed to) let us know the list of Umbrella's that you can choose from as TheFaQQer has said then people might be able to share their own experiences with those Umbrella companies so you can get some specific feedback that way?

Martin
Contratax Ltd

My list:

Black Diamond Umbrella ltd
CPM (contranet project management) ltd
Focused Consulting
Nasa Umbrella ltd
Parasol Limited
Cascade Management solutions ltd
Danbro
Hyperlink Services ltd
Orange Genie Cover Limited
Paystream My Max ltd
Giant

gardener
6th May 2014, 15:58
There are a number of reputable umbrella companies on here. Have a read in this forum.

Don't go with any company offering you >80% 'take home pay' or a free ipad.

No free Ipad then, got it. :D

gardener
6th May 2014, 16:08
Not really another ink in the chain because it's something you have complete control over where as an Umbrella company is a third party handling your cash in the chain which just increases the risk in my opinion.

Can you (or are you allowed to) let us know the list of Umbrella's that you can choose from as TheFaQQer has said then people might be able to share their own experiences with those Umbrella companies so you can get some specific feedback that way?

Martin
Contratax Ltd

Lets count then.

Ltd case:
client->agency->Ltd->me

Umbrella case:
client->agency->umbrella->me

I count same number of inks in the chain.

Now, about how ltd is "freedom and control": you are still dancing under taxmans tune, only now you have to keep more variables in mind while dancing.

In that respect ltd is another ink just as umbrella is. But that is not what this thread is about.

TheFaQQer
6th May 2014, 16:12
Lets count then.

Ltd case:
client->agency->Ltd->me

Umbrella case:
client->agency->umbrella->me

I count same number of inks in the chain.
Try counting how many links you have no control over:

Ltd case:
client->agency->Ltd->me = 2

Umbrella case:
client->agency->umbrella->me = 1


Now, about how ltd is "freedom and control": you are still dancing under taxmans tune, only now you have to keep more variables in mind while dancing.
Who do you work for if you run your own limited company? Who do you work for if you work for an umbrella company?

How much control does your umbrella company give you over how you operate, or do you have to follow what they say because they are your employer?


In that respect ltd is another ink just as umbrella is.
Apart from the freedom, control and ownership (and the higher take-home pay), yes, you are correct - they are the same.

slatt
7th May 2014, 08:14
I'm not sure why you keep mentioning inks in chains, but anyway.....

I've worked through OrangeGenie for a number of years now and haven't had a bad experience yet.

Their online portal is relatively simply to use for timesheets and expenses etc and more importantly, they pay on time and are quick to answer any queries.

I'd be happy to recommend them, but as always do your own research and make sure whoever you choose is right for you.

LisaContractorUmbrella
7th May 2014, 08:22
Thanks for the recommendations lads :hug:

To the op - there are a number of things you need to be aware of when choosing an umbrella company and how their actions could affect you.

Firstly, you need to ensure that the whole contract value less the umbrella company's margin is subject to PAYE tax; some companies advertise themselves as brollies but, in fact, operate tax avoidance schemes which use loans or trusts that will put you at serious financial risk (there is a whole section on this forum devoted to the trouble that contractors have found themselves in after using an avoidance scheme).

Secondly you should check out the contract of employment that you will be signing with them to make sure that it is genuinely overarching - this is a complicated issue but HMRC have extensive guidance in their own internal manuals ESM2075 - Agency and temporary workers: overarching contracts of employment - background (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/esmmanual/esm2075.htm) - this will give you an overview of the concept but you will find more here: ESM2085 - Agency and temporary workers: overarching contracts of employment - the contract (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/esmmanual/esm2085.htm). If the umbrella company doesn't operate an over arching contract your workplaces will be viewed as permanent by HMRC and you will have no entitlement to tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses which could mean a bill for additional tax in the future. The umbrella company should also ask you to confirm that it is your intention to work on more than one assignment whilst you are in their employment - a single assignment would be viewed as permanent by HMRC and, again, you would have no entitlement to tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses.

Thirdly you should ask them all for quotes and ensure that the figures you are provided with are more or less identical (the only difference should be the margin retained by the umbrella company) - if one company offers more than another then they may be operating a tax avoidance scheme or they may be including an amount for expenses in the calculation that you would not actually be entitled to claim.

Fourthly you should ensure that you would be entitled to all the statutory payments whilst in their employment - this is a legal obligation and any payments should be made from the umbrella company's profits and not from monies which are deducted from the contractor to cover such payments. You should also ensure that any holiday pay will be paid to you when you actually are on leave and not 'rolled up' as part of your weekly/monthly salary.

Fifthly you should ensure that you would be entitled to a salary payment even if the umbrella company had not received funds from the agency - the amount that is processed after the umbrella company's margin has been accounted for as well as the amount that they are legally obliged to pay for Employer's NIC's must exceed minimum wage otherwise there will be a contravention of the legislation surrounding minimum wage payments.

Lastly you should ensure that any questions you have can be answered comprehensively by the person you speak to when you make your enquiries - you should know exactly what to expect.

HTH

LisaContractorUmbrella
7th May 2014, 09:49
My list:

Black Diamond Umbrella ltd
CPM (contranet project management) ltd
Focused Consulting
Nasa Umbrella ltd
Parasol Limited
Cascade Management solutions ltd
Danbro
Hyperlink Services ltd
Orange Genie Cover Limited
Paystream My Max ltd
Giant

You might like to have a read of this: http://forums.contractoruk.com/hmrc-scheme-enquiries/86772-hmrc-enquiries-ebt-loans-cascade-london.html

The Spartan
7th May 2014, 10:50
ContractorUmbrella are the best in my opinion, Parasol are horrendous do a search and you'll find a host of threads about employment charges etc

Andy Hallett
7th May 2014, 15:27
My list:

Orange Genie Cover Limited
Paystream My Max ltd
Giant

These guys are on our supplier list and very good IMHO

gardener
8th May 2014, 12:11
Thanks all who advised me.
Out of few companies I contacted Orange Genie was most responsive and helpfull so far.

CloudWalker
20th June 2014, 13:36
Parasol are a friendly bunch at least they were when I was with them.

Umbrella Company | PAYE Umbrella or Limited set up? | Parasol (http://www.parasolgroup.co.uk/)

gardener
20th June 2014, 14:21
Hi comrades,

After using Orange Genie for one month I canceled their services. It was ridiculous. Hope umbrellas are not all like that.

kal
20th June 2014, 17:03
Hi comrades,

After using Orange Genie for one month I canceled their services. It was ridiculous. Hope umbrellas are not all like that.

Did you accuse them of being parasites?

northernladuk
20th June 2014, 19:57
Hi comrades,

After using Orange Genie for one month I canceled their services. It was ridiculous. Hope umbrellas are not all like that.

Hang on.... You call agencies for being parasites and sitting between you and the client taking your money.... and you are working through a ******* umbrella?!?!??!?!?

You can't make this up :laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh

Oh oh have mercy... stop please... :laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh


:rollin::rollin::rollin:

Oh my aching sides....

gardener
21st June 2014, 10:58
Did you accuse them of being parasites?

Well no, they were supposed to provide a service I pay for. Did I explain my self well enough for you?:)

kal
21st June 2014, 12:30
Well no, they were supposed to provide a service I pay for. Did I explain my self well enough for you?:)

The fact that you fail to grasp irony is no surprise, you work through an umbrella... priceless! The agent also provided you with a service in that you would be sat at home claiming JSA otherwise...

TheDandy
21st June 2014, 12:56
Hi comrades,

After using Orange Genie for one month I canceled their services. It was ridiculous. Hope umbrellas are not all like that.

All like what? What was ridiculous?

northernladuk
21st June 2014, 14:52
Well no, they were supposed to provide a service I pay for. Did I explain my self well enough for you?:)

Which is exactly what agent does....... Hilarious.

SuperWeegie
31st August 2014, 17:35
Thanks for the recommendations lads :hug:

To the op - there are a number of things you need to be aware of when choosing an umbrella company and how their actions could affect you.

Firstly, you need to ensure that the whole contract value less the umbrella company's margin is subject to PAYE tax; some companies advertise themselves as brollies but, in fact, operate tax avoidance schemes which use loans or trusts that will put you at serious financial risk (there is a whole section on this forum devoted to the trouble that contractors have found themselves in after using an avoidance scheme).

Secondly you should check out the contract of employment that you will be signing with them to make sure that it is genuinely overarching - this is a complicated issue but HMRC have extensive guidance in their own internal manuals ESM2075 - Agency and temporary workers: overarching contracts of employment - background (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/esmmanual/esm2075.htm) - this will give you an overview of the concept but you will find more here: ESM2085 - Agency and temporary workers: overarching contracts of employment - the contract (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/esmmanual/esm2085.htm). If the umbrella company doesn't operate an over arching contract your workplaces will be viewed as permanent by HMRC and you will have no entitlement to tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses which could mean a bill for additional tax in the future. The umbrella company should also ask you to confirm that it is your intention to work on more than one assignment whilst you are in their employment - a single assignment would be viewed as permanent by HMRC and, again, you would have no entitlement to tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses.

Thirdly you should ask them all for quotes and ensure that the figures you are provided with are more or less identical (the only difference should be the margin retained by the umbrella company) - if one company offers more than another then they may be operating a tax avoidance scheme or they may be including an amount for expenses in the calculation that you would not actually be entitled to claim.

Fourthly you should ensure that you would be entitled to all the statutory payments whilst in their employment - this is a legal obligation and any payments should be made from the umbrella company's profits and not from monies which are deducted from the contractor to cover such payments. You should also ensure that any holiday pay will be paid to you when you actually are on leave and not 'rolled up' as part of your weekly/monthly salary.

Fifthly you should ensure that you would be entitled to a salary payment even if the umbrella company had not received funds from the agency - the amount that is processed after the umbrella company's margin has been accounted for as well as the amount that they are legally obliged to pay for Employer's NIC's must exceed minimum wage otherwise there will be a contravention of the legislation surrounding minimum wage payments.

Lastly you should ensure that any questions you have can be answered comprehensively by the person you speak to when you make your enquiries - you should know exactly what to expect.

HTH

Hi Lisa

Newbie and 1st time contractor so apologies for jumping right in unannounced.
The sentence I highlighted is interesting. My umbrella (nameless for now but a battle was once fought there :wink) have suggested that very thing i.e. that holiday pay is included in my monthly pay NOT when I take time off. This is contrary to what their paperwork suggests (but I had it clarified). Should I challenge this further, or simply move off if they insist on rolling it up that way??

Steve

LisaContractorUmbrella
1st September 2014, 08:12
Hi Lisa

Newbie and 1st time contractor so apologies for jumping right in unannounced.
The sentence I highlighted is interesting. My umbrella (nameless for now but a battle was once fought there :wink) have suggested that very thing i.e. that holiday pay is included in my monthly pay NOT when I take time off. This is contrary to what their paperwork suggests (but I had it clarified). Should I challenge this further, or simply move off if they insist on rolling it up that way??

Steve

Hi Steve :wave:

As with any other employment contract what happens in reality should mirror what's written in the contract - you could use this page for reference https://www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights/holiday-pay-the-basics

HTH

SuperWeegie
1st September 2014, 16:20
Thanks Lisa....answer given is that they pay it up front or would deduct %age to create a fund to pay when on holiday......

LisaContractorUmbrella
2nd September 2014, 08:25
Thanks Lisa....answer given is that they pay it up front or would deduct %age to create a fund to pay when on holiday......

I understand the reasoning but unfortunately the method doesn't comply with what the Government requires. It's not a massive issue of non-compliance and I think you would need to look at the service you receive and the package as a whole before making any decisions to move. There is lots of info on here on what to look for in terms of compliance so hopefully that will help you be able to make an informed decision.

SuperWeegie
2nd September 2014, 16:55
Thx again Lisa.. will have a trawl...can I contact u directly to discuss should I think more abt moving?

LisaContractorUmbrella
3rd September 2014, 06:53
Thx again Lisa.. will have a trawl...can I contact u directly to discuss should I think more abt moving?

Yes of course - lisa@contractorumbrella.com