How to choose the right umbrella company

What are umbrella companies?

An umbrella company is simply a business that employs workers on fixed-term contracts.

It handles the administrative and payroll details of a worker’s employment, while finding assignments is a task completed most commonly by a recruitment agency or the contractor directly themselves.

An umbrella company mainly handles the paying of a freelancer or contractor’s wages through Pay As You Earn (PAYE).

This means it also takes care of deducting taxes, like national insurance and income tax, from their contract earnings.

What do I need from an umbrella company?

No umbrella company sets out to be one of the worst umbrella companies in the marketplace.

Indeed, what one person rates as a bad umbrella company, somebody else may not; it’s a subjective topic, and there are no lists that lay out criteria to identify a poor example.

It’s for that reason that Umbrella Tracker’s service is so highly valued by those who ask us for help.

The worst umbrella companies will be those that don’t match your personal expectations or meet your requirements as an employee.

So, what is it you should you be looking for as a worker?

“I want to earn as much as possible”

It should go without saying that most people want to earn as much as possible.

An umbrella company should never promise that you can keep your full rate, and if it does then an alarm should sound.

When the money comes into your personal bank account, tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) ought to have been deducted and paid to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

If that hasn’t happened, then you’re not operating through an umbrella company.

You should opt for an umbrella company that is transparent about how it works and isn’t attempting to lure you with by mis-selling.

“I want to receive prompt payment”

A reliable umbrella company pays you when it receives funds from your recruitment agency. The timing depends on how quickly your timesheet is processed.

If your relationship manager is doing their job diligently, they will be in sync with your working arrangements and know when you expect to be paid.

They should call you to find out when you’ll be submitting a timesheet and log the details on the umbrella company’s system to make the payment process run as smoothly as possible.

Rest assured Umbrella Tracker expects the providers it recommends to operate proactively and invest in their payroll procedures.

“I want to know there’s support available if I need it”

It’s certain that at some point you’ll require support from an umbrella company, especially if you haven’t been employed by one previously.

Umbrella Tracker’s Preferred Supplier List (PSL) consists of providers that have enough staff to take care of our clients, both at the start of their contracting career and when they move on to pastures new.

If you have a question – after all, you can’t be expected to have an intimate knowledge of commercial affairs – then you should be able to contact your umbrella company and receive an answer.

“I want problems to be resolved quickly.”

Sometimes things go wrong, or mistakes happen, when several parties are involved in a process.

When it does, your expectation is the problem will be resolved quickly and efficiently to minimise stress.

With that in mind, it’s important to choose an umbrella company that has frontline, professional staff equipped to deal with issues in a way that avoids lengthy disruption.

Umbrella Tracker works with providers that are committed to maintaining the highest standards of service.


How do I choose an umbrella company?

There is no checklist to help you identify which company falls into the category of worst umbrella companies.

Everybody’s requirements and expectations are unique, and it’s a personal assessment as to whether an umbrella company has met them.

With hundreds of umbrella companies to choose from, we understand it can feel overwhelming when you want to avoid making a bad choice.

If you know other contractors like yourself, it’s worth asking them if they can make a recommendation.

Alternatively, you can access a service like Umbrella Tracker. We can help you to take back control of your payroll by comparing thousands of fully vetted umbrella companies.

Regardless of whether you work in the IT, medical, or social care sector, we understand the importance of research before you commit to an umbrella company.

This is why we offer temporary workers across the UK free, personalised umbrella company comparisons and unbiased advice.

Contact Umbrella Tracker today

At Umbrella Tracker, we make it our mission to find the best payroll solutions for every temporary worker.

Our team of experts can call on years of collective experience operating in this sector of the economy, positioning us perfectly to identify the best umbrella companies.

Regardless of whether you work in the healthcare, medical, social care, or IT industry, we understand the importance of doing your research before you commit to an umbrella company.

Not only that, you can rest assured the umbrella companies that we match you with have been vetted using our comprehensive assessment process which includes our own research, current client testimonials, and Preferred Supplier Lists (PSLs) from recruitment companies.

What’s more, access to the service is free!

If you want to know more about what we do, or have a question about how to avoid the worst umbrella companies, don’t hesitate to contact us today by visiting our website or by calling 0203 026 3303.

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