Our journey so far

Organic growth since 2008


Started trading with Orbital Management Services Ltd. in November at offices on Eastgate, Barnsley, specifically targeting business within the construction recruitment sector. The ‘credit crunch’ recession had just started to impact the economy. 1 phone line, 2 members of staff.


Formed Orbital Management Systems Ltd. for agencies that wanted a ‘Net’ CIS status for cashflow purposes. 3 members of staff, paying 150 self-employed workers on construction assignments. £1m turnover.

Previous Address

Moved into larger office space at Regent Street South, Barnsley.

Orbital Umbrella Ltd. set up in November specifically to add an Umbrella PAYE option for workers who prefer PAYE and want to claim weekly expenses, besides our self-employed model. £4.2m turnover.


Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) implemented in the UK to give fairer treatment to agency workers who have been on the same assignment for 12 weeks. £7m turnover.


£16m combined turnover, still mainly achieved within the temporary construction market, reaching 1,000 workers paid per week.  5 members of staff.


A busy year! Approaching 1,500 weekly payments and a £38m combined turnover.

Passed an on-site Employer Compliance Review from HMRC and gained an expenses dispensation for reimbursement of umbrella PAYE expense claims.

Moved our individual companies into a group structure – the Orbital Payroll Group was born.

First spoke with Professional Passport about review and audit of our umbrella PAYE model.

Our first industry related accreditation/affiliations – Lawspeed’s SPA and ARC.

SDC – Supervision, Direction and Control (or the right of) is the new phrase doing the rounds as part of the ‘Onshore Intermediaries Legislation’ or ‘Agency Legislation’.


Upgraded to Merit Software to handle the weekly payroll process. Merit is a bespoke ‘umbrella/contractor’ pay system designed to pay large numbers more quickly with less manual process.

Impact of the ‘Agency legislation 2014’ which increases the risk for agencies contracting with sole traders (the SDC test), is now being seen with more workers going Umbrella PAYE or Ltd. Co. Reporting obligations on pay models are now a requirement per quarter.

Passed the Professional Passport audit and gained our ‘badges’. The PP audit is the leading Umbrella company accreditation. We are also founder members of the trade body, PRISM.


Moved into the Digital Media Centre serviced offices, County Way, Barnsley for extra space and more on-site facilities.

Major legislation changes in the Finance Bill 2016 which restricts T&S expense claims for the majority of Umbrella workers. This leads to different structures of Umbrella models.

Up to 1,800 workers paid, per week with a £44.5m turnover and named in the top 5 of the Sheffield City Region Rapid Business Growth Survey.

Current office

Digital Media Centre, County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW

A massive achievement by being named in the London Stock Exchange’s - 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2017.

IR35 or ‘off-payroll working rules’ impacts massively on public sector contractors engaged through a PSC or Limited Company. This removed the ‘IR35’ status call from the contractor and put liability further up the chain to the ‘fee-payer’.

Affiliate membership of the FCSA and APSCo are our latest industry accreditations.

Figures hit 2,200 workers paid per week with a £52.6m turnover.

Digital Media Centre, County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW

GDPR ready! The big personal data shake-up which replaced the Data Protection Act 1998 comes into force.

Named in the Yorkshire Post’s – ‘Yorkshire Fastest  50’ which recognises the regions fastest growing companies.

£85.5m group turnover with 3,000 workers paid, per week.


Named in the Insider magazine’s ‘Yorkshire Growth 100’ 2019.

Payslip legislation – came into force in April to ensure that all employers provide itemised payslips to all workers.

We have now achieved the ‘top 5’ Umbrella industry accreditations – APSCo, TEAM, PRISM and the unique pairing of being audited by both FCSA and Professional Passport.

We also achieved the ISO 9001 company standard.

Sales team has grown to 5 members of staff supported by 11 back-office staff. Group turnover hits £110m, approaching 4,000 workers paid, per week.

2019 was the year our 1st app launched


A year like no other. A global pandemic of Covid-19 or Coronavirus changed life as we know it with people having to stay at home as part of nationwide lockdowns.

This had a massive effect on everyone’s lives and daily routines with town centre’s and cities deserted, likewise the economy taking a colossal hit because most people couldn’t go to work.

Social distancing and mask wearing became the norm, there were many covid-related deaths and the true cost will not be known for many years.

Business did bounce back in some industries by late summer, but winter time meant that there were further restrictions. We were one of the lucky ones and turnover for the year stayed similar to 2019 due to the sectors we specialise in. On a lighter note we also won our second ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ accolade.

Business overall took a back seat as everyone got to grips with the ‘new normal’ and handled their own personal situations of not seeing loved ones or being able to live a normal life.


Still the hangover from Covid-19 and certain restrictions were a bit stop-start throughout the year

Business wise it was a very busy year for us, with almost too much going off! There was a rush at the start of the year as the delayed changes to the IR35 (private sector) rules finally came into play which meant a lot of confused contractors not knowing what the best pay model option was for them coupled with the fact that whichever way they now went, it might not be as tax efficient.

We also looked at improving our internal logistics by introducing a new CRM with a quicker registration/sign-up process.

We changed our payroll software

Tired of using clunky, slow, running on servers and outdated tech meant we had to move on from Merit, which had served us well from 2015 and into the here and now!

The choice we made was Octopaye – genuine cloud-based payroll software that allows us to scale, develop API links with other apps. and have the ability to be agile when adapting new features.

Workers paid numbers hit a new weekly peak of 4,700+ as life finally felt that it was getting back to normal.


But just around the corner when everyone was trying to get back to normal after COVID-19, the war in Ukraine sent the global economy into a spin and everyone felt a cost-of-living squeeze due to rising inflation which went on throughout the year.

Digital Media Centre, County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW

This economic downturn was not helped by some strange policies in Downing Street by the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, who after replacing Boris Johnson, was herself side-lined for Rishi Sunak. 3 in one year!

Back in Barnsley – we moved to a new open-plan office across the road from DMC01, into DMC02. This was a slight reduction on floor space but this suited us better due to more hybrid working patterns of our staff.

We also increased headcount in our finance and payroll teams and despite numbers consistent best, we have big plans in place to increase our service offerings and the technology we use going into next year.

Overall, a strange year that put the brakes on any growth with talk of a recession in 2023.

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