Umbrella company contractors, a group-claim with Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is now open

As 2024 promises to position transparency and ethical conduct as paramount, in wake of questionable and unethical practices which we exposed by umbrella companies in 2023, I’m pleased to announce a ground-breaking industry milestone with Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, aimed at championing the cause of contractors who've been wronged, writes Jacob Bellas of Contractor Voice.

The genesis of Contractor Voice

First, a bit about us if I may. Contractor Voice was born out of a necessity to address questionable practices in the contracting industry. While there are lots of ethical and compliant umbrella companies, we have shown in the last two years that some indulge in questionable practices, unauthorised deductions, and underpayments, reducing the hard-earned take-home pay of contractors.

Raising awareness: a core mission

My primary goal has been to inform and educate contractors about the prevalence of unethical umbrella practices. By collating experiences, conducting thorough research, and publishing findings, we’ve increased our reach and following since inception. This awareness is crucial – it not only helps inform the industry but also empowers contractors to recognise umbrella malpractice and challenge where necessary.

Group claim with Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Recognising the need for potentially more than just individual challenges, we have approached a law firm known for its expertise in employment rights, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. I’m delighted to say that the firm has announced a group claim initiative, allowing umbrella contractors who suspect their pay has been subject to wrongful deductions or underpayments by payroll companies to come forward.

What does this group claim for umbrella contractors say?

Contractors – you are invited to register here. On the registration page, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP states:

We invite any contractors who have noticed or suspect wrongful, unauthorised or unexplained deductions in their wages by umbrella companies, agents, or employers, to register their interest in joining a group claim.

“We are currently collating information from contractors to assess various claims relating to payment of their wages. If you have been or are currently a contractor who has been or is being paid by an umbrella company, we are interested in hearing from you.”  

“If you would like to find out more about the action group, please complete the enquiry form to submit your contact details. Once you have submitted your contact details, we will be in touch to provide an overview of the work we are doing and to gather further information from you.”

Don’t be late…

The current deadline for enquiries is set for January 31st 2024, so any umbrella contractors who wish to register need to do so before this date.

Any contractors who are unsure if they are eligible are welcome to upload their payslips via our own website, where will return the results of the audited payslips to the contractor; allowing you to then decide if you wish to be part of the group claim.

Looking ahead: a future of fairness and transparency

This is not just about individual claims; it's a collective stand against a systemic issue plaguing the contracting industry.

As the group claims progress, it won’t just be individual claimants hoping to see a contracting industry that wholly operates with fairness and transparency. The fight against unethical practices by umbrella companies is not just about financial redress; it's about setting a precedent for ethical conduct and accountability. And that’s particularly important now IR35 reform has positioned umbrella companies as front and centre of contractor working even though the government has declined to regulate umbrellas and their activities. Perhaps this action is a small but significant step in righting the many who’ve been wronged.

Profile picture for user Jacob Bellas

Written by Jacob Bellas

Jacob Bellas is an operating theatre contractor, who was employed by the NHS for over four years. Jacob moved into contracting to get more experience and knowledge on how different hospitals operate, and to gain exposure to different specialties. Jacob has been contracting for around 10 years in which time he’s worked at more than 20 different Private and NHS Trusts. He founded Contractor Voice to provide a platform for contractors to highlight unfairness in the professional temporary working industry.

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