New to contracting,which umbrella? New to contracting,which umbrella?
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie

    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default New to contracting,which umbrella?


    I am about to start my first contracting job and am going the umbrella route, at least to start with. I would like to use one that has salary sacrifice schemes like cycle to work and childcare vouchers and would prefer daily payment runs as the date of payment will vary month by month. I will be working away from home and for the first few weeks, I will be crashing on a sofa until I get my first full months payment and can get a deposit for digs. I will be paying towards the bills while I stay there.

    The agency I originally used pushed Giant, but they seem to have got a bit of negative name and do not do salary sacrifice, so was directed towards Tarpon who seemed to do what I wanted and said I could claim £25 for sleeping on the sofa. However, I have been setup with Grouper, who don't seem to have the same benefits, don't have as many payment runs and said I can't claim the £25. The fee is different to what I was originally told as well. Another person has told me about a company called Ship Shape, but no-one else seems to have heard of them, which puts me off.

    I am now confused. Firstly, can anyone advise whether I can claim for sleeping on the settee? I should point out that I have no interest in using any 'dodgy' loopholes, I want to keep everything above board.

    Secondly, does anyone know of a reputable umbrella company who do the salary sacrifice schemes?

    Sorry if this is covered in other threads, I have searched, but can't seem to find anything recent.


  2. #2

    Umbrella Queen

    LisaContractorUmbrella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    Welcome Restella,

    The first thing you should be aware of is that all umbrella companies should all work in the same way and your take home pay from one should be no higher than any other except for the margin that they retain. Secondly, umbrella companies can only give tax relief on expenses that are allowable under HMR&C rules - the £25 for staying with friends or family you mention is no longer allowable and hasn't been since 2009 : Dispensations: travelling and subsistence expenses.

    I am not really sure what you mean by 'salary sacrifice scheme'; under certain circumstances you can claim expenses as an employee of an umbrella company but these are according to the costs that you incur rather than a 'salary sacrifice'.

    Most umbrella companies pay you on the day that they receive funds from your agency/client but I would look at the levels of service that you will receive above everything else.
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