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Hot on Compliance

As we are all aware, there are many umbrella companies out there who make outrageous claims to appeal to contractors and to be honest in today's climate, the offer of a higher take home pay is always going to be appealing. However, this also creates a problem for umbrella companies that offer legitimate, above board propositions to contractors. The impact on the perception of the industry has been huge. is an industry website which has been designed to create a level playing field for umbrella companies who want to work under a common charter and for a common purpose.

In an interview, Lisa Keeble, MD of ContractorUmbrella Ltd stated, “Over the last 10 years the umbrella industry has expanded enormously to accommodate the increasing demand in the UK for a flexible workforce. The choice for contractors is therefore great but this has, conversely, led to confusion surrounding take home pay, compliance and potential future tax liabilities.

After conversations with key players in the industry, ContractorUmbrella Ltd decided that maybe it is time to create an unbiased resource which will be informative for contractors and give like minded umbrella companies an opportunity to come together to set standards for the industry. To this end they have carefully put together a "Straight Talking Umbrella Company Charter" which shows the 10-point guidelines that all compliant umbrella companies should work by in order to satisfy HMRC.

As we are all aware HMRC will not approve any umbrella company and therefore it must logically fall to the industry itself to establish best business practice to provide certainty to our core market.

The website sees the Charter published for all to see, alongside details of any umbrella companies that agreed to abide by it. All ‘straight talking’ umbrella companies will contribute ideas and opinions to the site and have committed to answering honestly and transparently any questions raised by contractors about the industry and our working practices.

There are no membership fees to join and paid advertising from umbrella companies will not be accepted, as the intention of this body is to raise awareness for legitimate umbrella companies and provide contractors with an assurance that they are in safe hands. This is not intended as a profit-making scheme but aimed to show the umbrella companies commitment to best working practices.

It is ContractorUmbrella Ltd’s hope that it will create a level playing field for umbrella companies. There will be no league tables, no paid ‘recommendations’ and no individual promotions; contractors will be allowed to judge each company on their merits. After all, All Umbrella Companies are Equal!

We are pleased to have gained backing for the group from HMRC (please click on the button below to download a copy of the letter):