Five Reasons to use an Umbrella Company

So, you’ve taken the plunge into contracting and now you need to get your employment affairs in order. You’ll likely be applying for lots of different assignments that meet your skill set, and (if you’ve done your homework) you’ll know that the way you’re able to operate/be paid is not your choice, it’s dictated by a little thing called IR35, which needs careful consideration from the party requesting your services. If certain conditions are true of the assignment parameters then you may be found “inside IR35” this means you cannot operate via your PSC, you’ll need to be in an employed position. Here’s the predicament, the end-client doesn’t want to employ you for such a temporary role, your recruitment agency may not have payroll functionality, and you can’t work for yourself – so what’s left?

*Cue, stage right* The Umbrella Company!

Working via an umbrella company has its advantages, here are 5 key ones to consider:

1. It’s easier than being outside IR35!

Yep, being outside IR35 means that you can operate as a limited company or sole trader, which has certain advantages when it comes to expenses etc. But, it also comes with all of the hassle of accounting, record keeping, self-assessment, contract of service upkeep etc, etc.

Being inside IR35 and working via an umbrella company reduces admin, responsibility, accountability, HMRC correspondence etc. All tax and NI is deducted automatically for you on a PAYE basis, you still have the freedom of assignment like every other contractor, but you have one employer to look after all of your payroll processing and employment formalities for a small weekly fee. You still work as a specialist in your field, you still get to choose your working hours and assignments, but all of the boring admin is taken care of for you!

2. The on/off switch

Starting out means uncertainty, which is why choosing to work through an umbrella may be the best way to ease in to your new working lifestyle. Umbrellas are also a great way to start when getting into the world of contracting if you aren’t sure whether you would like to pursue contract work long-term. Aside from a payroll processing fee there are no financial demands and there’s no-tie in period. You can simply use an umbrella as and when you need one, making them an ideal solution if you work on shorter contracts or if you may be flipping between inside and outside IR35 assignments. We can’t speak for others, but we’ll only ever charge you a processing fee when you’re actively billing through us, if you decide to take a 3 month break to pursue other avenues then there will be zero charge for staying on our books until you decide it’s time to return.

3. Continuity of employment

Once you’ve registered with an umbrella company, you become an employee of theirs and benefit from continuity of employment. This is beneficial if you’re working in multiple contracts alongside each other. You will still be seen as one employee of the Umbrella Company, and your tax code won’t be negatively affected.

Continuity of employment is really useful for contractors and freelancers who are looking to source finance from a bank, such as a mortgage. Umbrella Contracts has partnered up with Roots Mortgages to help and provide advice on how to help contractors. Many lenders will be favorable to workers with continuity of employment because having one employee over a long period of time shows consistency of reliable income.

4. Pension and Salary Sacrifice

Once you have registered with an umbrella company, you will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension. Umbrellas are legally required to enrol contractors into a pension after 12 weeks. There’s nothing to worry about if you have an existing pension scheme in place or are not interested in continuing with the workplace pension scheme with your umbrella company, you can always opt out.

As you know, workplace pensions are a great way to save for retirement and offer many benefits which include:

  • Automatic payment to your pension pot each time the Umbrella Company pays you.
  • The ability to increase your retirement income beyond your state pension.
  • Unconscious saving! A lot of people don’t notice they are paying into a pension as it is only a tiny amount moment to month.

Salary Sacrifice is a great way to boost your pension pot. It allows you to allocate a percentage of your pre-tax earnings towards your private pension. Plus, contributions to your pension aren’t subject to tax and NIC, making Salary Sacrifice an extremely tax-efficient way to save for the future. Salary Sacrifice is particularly beneficial if:

  • You’re a high-earner.
  • You want to grow your pension pot quickly.
  • You have additional sources of income.
  • You’re happy to see your monthly pay retention decrease as you’ll be allocating more of it towards your pension.

If you’d like more information about this with Umbrella Contracts please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us and we can advise you on how to increase your contributions into your workplace pension. If you’d like a tailor-made Illustration of your take home pay, please fill out our form here and we will get back to you as soon as possible with your projection.

5. All the little things that make a huge difference

Every compliant UK based Umbrella Company will provide you with a PAYE payroll service. However, Umbrella Contracts goes the extra mile and offer little extras to provide better value. Below you can see the extras that you can get:

  • Same Day Payments – We will process your pay and have it in your account the same day we have received it from your agency or client. Not All Umbrellas operate Same Day Payments, and some use GACS instead – This can take 3 to 5 days to process.
  • Access to the Payslip Portal – You will access to our Online Payslip Portal that makes submitting timesheets and viewing your payslips simpler than before.
  • Employee Benefits – You will be entitled to Statutory Benefits, including Sick Pay, Maternity/Paternity Pay and Holiday Pay.
  • Free Insurance Cover – All of our clients are protected with Public Liability Insurance and Employers Liability Insurance. So Umbrella Contracts has you covered.
  • Referral Rewards – You can refer your friends or colleagues to our services and every successful referral we will send you little extra.
  • UCrewards – As soon as you register, you have complete access to our exclusive rewards platform. You will have access to Perkbox Gold, one of the country’s top employee benefits platforms, monthly freebies from food outlets, coffee shop, streaming service and more. You will also have access to discounts on top retailers and experiences. You can find out more about our Rewards Platform here.

Hopefully the above encourages you to explore the world of umbrella companies to fulfil your contracting ambitions. We’re here to help, and our sole objective is to take care of hard working contractors such as yourself. If you have questions we’d love to hear from you.

Andrew Lowing

Andrew Lowing

Andrew is the marketing & web developer of Umbrella Contracts.
He helps grow the business while educating people on the inner workings of the Umbrella world.

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About Umbrella Contracts

We have been providing comprehensive umbrella payroll services for contractors and agency workers for over a decade.

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