Payme provides a variety of services designed to fit
the specific needs of all contractors and agencies.
The freelance sector contributes hugely to UK GDP – in 2022 self-employed people added around £139 billion to the economy – that’s almost 6% of the total. However, employers that use sole traders may fall foul of HMRC’s strict tax rules. Here we look at why, what the implications for employers are and how they can alleviate any issues.
The current Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, recently presented his Autumn Statement in which the government’s five focus areas were outlined: reducing debt, cutting tax, backing British business; building domestic and sustainable energy; and delivering world-class education. Here we examine the Statement and look at how it affects contractors, recruiters and end-clients.
A recent survey by ContractorCalculator, the UK’s leading website for contractors and freelancers, has revealed shocking levels of non-compliance among some of the UK’s umbrella companies, as well as a system which is failing workers. Here we look at the results of it and the importance of compliance within the supply chain.
What does the survey say?
As well as some disturbing information about how some contractors are being treated (some find themselves being pushed into using an umbrella company against their will, some have had their choices of umbrella companies restricted, and some of them are unaware of their basic legal and employment rights), one of the main complaints was that umbrella companies are not regulated, and need to be so in order to protect people from unscrupulous and illegal behaviour.
Three months ago we were delighted to welcome our new National Accounts Manager, Claire Martin, to the Payme team. Here we catch up with her as she settles into her new role and find out how she has found her first three months at Payme.
Q: How have you settled in, Claire, and what have you been doing?
A: Very well, thank you! I’ve really enjoyed my first three months with Payme. As I came from within the industry the move wasn’t a big shock but as I always like to develop myself I’ve taken the opportunity to learn more about certain aspects of what Payme offers its recruitment partners and contractors, such as our Construction Industry Scheme CIS, so that I can make our recruitment partners more aware of all the products we offer.
In the last few weeks we’ve received several phone calls from concerned recruitment agencies who’ve had letters from HMRC in which they’ve been given 6 months to stop using mini umbrella companies. Here we look at what mini umbrellas are, what’s caused this flurry of activity from HMRC, and what agencies and contractors should do if they’re involved with one.
From healthcare wearables to image-generating AI, technology is advancing faster than most of us can keep up with. However, when it’s applied correctly, technology can speed up the things we need in a hurry, ensure that processes and procedures are correct, and improve our lives. Here we look at the technology that we employ in order to serve you better.
The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association’s (FCSA) Code of Compliance Charter, states that: ‘All fees, margins, and charges must be explicitly and fully disclosed to contractors and freelancers before completion of any contractual relationship’. As proud members of the FCSA that’s something we’re in complete agreement with. However, some other, less scrupulous umbrella companies are less than transparent when it comes to their fees. Here we examine what you should look out for when it comes to choosing your umbrella company.
It might surprise you to learn that, unlike banks, building societies and insurance companies, umbrella companies are not legally regulated. You may ask why that is when they deal with millions of pounds of other people’s money every year, tempting rogue opportunists into illegal activity. Here we learn about accreditation and look at how trustworthy umbrella companies address the issue of compliance.
The Government’s ‘Call for Evidence: umbrella company market’ is now closed. In it ministers invited views from stakeholders on umbrella companies’ role within the UK labour market, and their interaction with tax authorities and employment rights bodies. Here we look at the result of the consultation and what action may follow.
The recruitment industry has faced some serious challenges over the last few years – first there was Brexit, then the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, and after that came the Great Resignation, all leading to a fiercely competitive recruitment market, with recruiters having to work smarter as well as harder. Here we look at how, by outsourcing one crucial aspect of your recruitment business, payroll, you can not only help your contractors but also improve your own business’s prospects of success.
We’re delighted to welcome our new National Account Manager, Claire Martin, to the Payme team.
Here we look at Claire’s previous achievements, and learn what she has planned for her new role at Payme.
Welcome to the team, Claire. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Thank you, I’m very happy to be here!
For the last 8 years I’ve worked for another umbrella company, first as a Senior Account Manager then as Associate Account Director. Prior to that I worked as an Employment Liaison Manager for a leading public service provider, helping to improve people’s lives through training, education and employment, and before that I was a recruitment consultant, specialising in the Engineering, Manufacturing and Technical Industries.
Contracting can be an extremely satisfying way of making a living – contractors have the freedom to choose where and when they work and, for many, the variety of clients brings freedom and fresh challenges with every assignment. However, many contractors tell us that they’re worried about how the sometimes itinerant nature of their work will affect their ability to get a mortgage when they need it. Here we look at why they shouldn’t worry, and how partnering with a compliant, reliable umbrella offers them the reassurance they need.
We’re concerned that we’re seeing increasing examples of a particular type of tax avoidance scam recently. In this fraudulent activity umbrella companies entice contractors to sign up with them with the undertaking that their offerings are compliant, then change what the contractors have been promised without their knowledge, leaving them compromised and at risk of investigation by HMRC. We look into this dubious practice and show you how to avoid it.
If you already use an umbrella company to deal with processing your salary, taking care of your Tax and National Insurance contributions, and compliantly maximising your take-home pay, you’ll be aware of the range of work-based benefits they offer. What you might not know, however, is that some umbrellas go further than that, and offer support for contractors that goes beyond merely monetary and administrative.
Here we look at how umbrella companies should be supporting contractors’ well-being too.
The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) has ‘supported and represented’ the professional employment sector since 2008. It’s the body that publishes accreditation standards for umbrella employers and payroll service providers, and has over 170,000 contractors and 70 member firms on its books. However, recently there have been contraventions to its rigorous payslip standards that have, seemingly, been allowed to slip through the net. Here we look at what’s going on and how you can ensure that your payslip provider is accurate and compliant.
The Government’s Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool was introduced in 2017 to ‘help employers (or hirers) and workers to determine how the work being done should be dealt with for tax purposes’. We’ve covered this subject previously here, after several high-profile cases found that the software the Government uses made life difficult for contractors, agencies and employers alike. Here we look at what alternatives should be considered and if self-employment status should be defined by regulation.
There are many abbreviations and acronyms in the world of umbrella companies, some of which can be confusing. Here at Payme we try to keep the jargon to a minimum, but occasionally you might have seen the phrases Agency Workers’ Regulations and Conduct Regulations abbreviated to AWRs and CWRs. These are a vital part of a contractor’s rights as an employee and it’s important that recruitment agents and end-clients understand them too. Here we look at what they are and how they apply to you.
In 2018 the Data Protection Act was introduced to control how your personal data is stored and used by organisations and businesses. It was the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and introduced ‘data protection principles’ to ensure that anyone storing or using your personal data has to follow strict rules. Here we look at what information we hold about you and how we go about keeping it secure.
The good, the bad and the ugly - What are the frustrations, what can we expect to happen - Please use the slide deck to help with the blog.
IR35 Two Years On – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
It’s been two years since the Government reformed its IR35 legislation for the private sector. This meant that the private sector was brought into line with the public sector in terms of who decides a contractor’s IR35 status. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, so we take a look back at the last couple of years, find out where we are now with IR35, and try to predict what will happen in the future.
There are currently 39 umbrella companies on HMRC’s ‘naughty list’: those companies that have been named and shamed as tax avoidance schemes. However, with over 500 umbrella companies operating in the UK at the moment, compliant companies are concerned that this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Here we look at the fact that while the list is a good thing to reference when you’re considering an umbrella company, there’s more to making that choice.
One of the common misconceptions we hear about umbrella companies is that it’s hard to sign up to one. With Payme that’s not the case – we make it as simple as possible. Here we talk you through the steps involved to demonstrate just how easy it is.
There are two ways to sign up to Payme’s compliant and flexible range of products, whether that’s our Umbrella or our Construction Industry Scheme.
First of all you can fill in the payroll services pre-registration form here and a member of our helpful and knowledgeable team will get back to you.
The second way is simply to call us on 0333 200 0845 and in a matter of minutes we’ll have most of your registration completed. Sometimes your agency will already have given us your details but usually you’ll call us directly. During the phone call we’ll verify your details, talk you through our relationship with your recruitment agency, and how you’ll be paid – this will depend on three things: if you’re using our Umbrella, our CIS or even PAYE, which agency you signed up with, and what role you’ll be performing. As always, we’ll guide you through your choices to help you decide which of our services is best for you.
Recruiters are often faced with a difficult choice about which umbrella company they partner with. Many umbrellas say that they offer prompt payment for contractors, and provide payroll solutions for recruitment agencies. What makes others stand apart from their competitors is the added value they can offer their recruitment partners – things such as contractor reward schemes, FCSA compliance, and high-quality training for recruiters. Here we focus on the latter, and look at how Payme can help you ...
The UK is experiencing a severe skills shortage, with around 2.5 million more skilled workers needed to enable the economy to succeed. 13.3% of businesses report a shortage of workers, as of November 2022, according to Government figures. The industries feeling the pinch most are accommodation and food services (35.5%), and construction (20.7%), but there are also vacancies for nurses, pharmacists, vets, care workers, engineers, secondary school teachers and graphic designers that simply can’t be filled. This is not only having a devastating effect on employers – according to the Open University employers’ costs have risen by over £6 billion due to the skills shortage – but also on the wider economy – the Learning and Work Institute estimates that the situation will cost the country £120 billion by 2030.
Dean has been Payme’s National Accounts Manager for the past four years. Here we look at what he does and find out what he thinks will be the main talking points in the umbrella industry over the next 12 months.
It’s estimated that around 5.8 million people in the UK work in the public sector – that’s around 17% of the working population – and many of these people are now turning to umbrella companies as an employer. We look at why, and what advantages this method of working offers them.
All professionals, from engineers to healthcare workers, from IT specialists to teaching assistants, have to undertake regular training.
It’s important to the financial health and productivity of an organisation, leading to higher quality work and longer-term commitment from employees, but it’s equally important in terms of personal development for the individual concerned.
As a recruiter you’re the vital link in the recruitment chain, getting vacancies filled and finding people employment, but also enhancing the UK’s economy in these challenging times.
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) was introduced in April 1999 to protect low paid workers from exploitation, without having a detrimental effect on employment or the wider economy. As of April 2023, the minimum wage is rising.
The maximum State Pension in the UK at the moment is £9,628 per year. It’s well known that the UK ‘devotes a smaller percentage of its GDP to state pensions and pensioner benefits than most other advanced economies’ and, therefore, it’s important to have an occupational pension in place for when you retire.
2022 was undoubtedly a traumatic year for umbrella companies, with scandals, on/off reform proposals and technological difficulties at the highest levels. Here we take a look at what the coming year might bring for umbrella providers and the people who use them.
After a tumultuous time for the IR35 and off-payroll sectors during the last year, here we look ahead and try to predict what lies in store for white collar contractors in 2023.
With the recent news that two government departments, DEFRA, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, and the MOJ, Ministry of Justice, are facing tax bills from HMRC totalling £120 million due to inaccuracies in the government’s own Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool, here we look at what’s gone wrong and what needs to change.
January is a great time to look back at your achievements over the last twelve months, and look ahead to what the New Year will bring.
One really important thing you can do to ensure your continued prosperity over the coming year is to review your Preferred Supplier Lists (PSLs), to ensure that the umbrella companies you deal with are compliant and providing the best possible service to both you and your contractors.
The government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has recently updated its guidance for contractors regarding the information contained in their Key Information Documents (KIDS). Here, we explain what to look for in a KID and why they’re so important if you’re a white collar worker working through an umbrella company.
KIDs explained KIDs were introduced on 6th April 2020, and require recruitment agencies to tell the contractors that they recruit on behalf of end clients crucial information about their assignments.
In the light of a recent scandal involving a high-profile umbrella company, industry leaders are again raising the question of why the industry is not regulated along the lines of banks, mortgage providers and other financial institutions.
With the shocking news that an umbrella company has been found to be salary skimming, here we look at this unlawful and unethical practice and ask what impact compliance has on payroll.
We’re delighted to welcome our new Sales Director, Sean Mackenzie, to the Payme team. Here, we take a look at his past achievements and look ahead to his plans for Payme in the future. Sean, welcome to the team. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. My career started in the banking sector in 2005 with roles including Private Banking Manager with Child & Co and Relationship Bank Manager with the Future Williams and Glyn Team (RBS). These roles gave me a great opportunity to learn about the intricacies of finance, and I developed business, personal and commercial banking experience for over 12 years.
The Government defines an umbrella company as ‘a company that employs a temporary worker (an agency worker or contractor), often on behalf of an employment agency’. With increasing numbers of us now opting to work as contractors, here we take a look at the benefits of engaging with an umbrella company, and ask what reassurances they can offer.
In a surprise move in his first mini-budget, the new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, has scrapped the controversial and unpopular off-payroll legislation which previously meant that the responsibility for determining contractors’ IR35 status lay at the door of the end client. While some have welcomed the changes, others warn of a gaping hole in treasury finances as a result of this legislation.
A recent case in the Supreme Court (Harpur Trust v Brazel) has clarified whether a worker’s right to paid annual leave is accumulated according to the working pattern of the worker, or is pro rata.
The people on the payroll of a company or an organisation are the people who work for it and are paid by it.
‘Gloomy and More Uncertain’ reads the unflinching headline of an IMF report of July this year, which details the UK’s declining economy and predicts that UK GDP will fall to 0.5% in 2023, lower even than Mexico’s (1.2%). There are a number of well-documented factors at play in this scenario, including the ongoing Brexit situation, the effect of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, and now the war in Ukraine. This has all pushed up inflation to 9.1%, its highest rate in 40 years, with warnings from economists that it could soon rise to 13%.
There are now around 4.25 million self-employed people in the UK (Statista, June 2020) many of whom provide their services to clients through a Managed Service Company (MSC). However, after a 2019 civil case in the Court of Appeal (Christianuyi Limited & Others v HM Revenue & Customs), which questioned the definition of ‘involvement’, payme examines whether MSCs are a risk worth taking.
We would like to address the recent news from HMRC around a payroll provider who has a similar name to our organisation. For clarification, we are payme, an FCSA and Professional Passport accredited payroll provider. There is an organisation which is being investigated as a tax avoidance promoter, named PAYEme Ltd.