Over the last decade there has been an influx of short fixed term contracts. This is highly indicative of the UK’s reliance on a fluid, broadbased and flexible temporary workforce, and this is predicted to continue. This trend has attracted some less than scrupulous providers to enter the umbrella market with, let’s just say, some fantastic offers. This has had the disappointing effect of all Umbrella companies being tarred with the same brush and perceived as unscrupulous, thereby devaluing respectable, compliant providers.
Now is the time to stand together and show the sceptics and the Government what a great job we, as legitimate Umbrella companies, do for this country’s temporary workforce, recruitment industry and economy. For years we have seen chancers shouting from their roof tops about how much a contractor will take home with bogus tax calculations and equally fictional expense allocation.
The question is what have HMRC done about these particular companies? I suspect very little; so the flybynights come and go, all the while eroding the reputations of the compliant hardworking Umbrella companies. Compliant umbrella companies are to the advantage of all parties the contractors, the agencies and not least HMRC, who benefit from a central tax collection point. Contractors need to be assured that the Umbrella company employing them is compliant so they are not being placed at risk. Agencies need to make sure the suppliers on their PSL are compliant and that best practice is being adhered to. It is our opinion that it would be in everyone’s interest for questionable companies in our sector to be investigated quickly. This would discourage the potential rogue element, leaving only genuine Umbrella businesses to meet the demands of the market.
By Paul Young, Operations Manager, Sombrilla Ltd.