Umbrella PAYE

The old model that still looks good

Our first Umbrella offering went live in early 2011 and since then we have adapted to the many legislation changes that have almost become customary each year, to ensure that we are offering a clear and compliant model.

The ever-moving target of compliance has seen changes, mainly for the better, on how Umbrella PAYE providers should operate properly in areas like National Minimum Wage rules, expense claims and payslip transparency. To confirm our commitment to compliance we have pursued the best-in-class industry credentials and affiliations including APSCo, TEAM, PRISM plus the unique combination of being fully audited/accredited by both Professional Passport and the FCSA.

In April 2016, the Finance Bill or ‘T&S’ legislation was a major shift in the expenses process for many Umbrella workers, because it meant that those who were deemed to be under Supervision, Direction and Control (or the right of) could no longer claim tax relief on travel and subsistence claims. This meant that the majority of claims would now be disallowed as the tighter restrictions around SDC, similar to the ones that had affected CIS contractors a couple of years previously, meant that Umbrella companies had to minimise their potential tax risk. In HMRC’s eyes, the expense claims were open to a certain level of manipulation leaving the exchequer out of pocket, and with this major advantage of using an Umbrella model now gone, many thought that this would be the end of the industry.

However, the Umbrella industry flourished as it still serves a purpose on a basic level for many agencies/end clients looking to outsource and thousands of temporary workers who will be engaged on various assignments and don’t want the hassle of self-employment.

Aspects of Umbrella PAYE engagement:

  • Straight forward set up with all tax/NI is deducted at source.
  • Not time consuming with HMRC administration compared to self-employment.
  • Many workers make a direct claim for expense tax relief at year-end.
  • Over-arching contract of employment with full employment benefits, including SSP, SMP etc.
  • Itemised weekly/monthly payslip available on contractor portal.
  • Access to Employee benefits.
  • It has longevity – no need to be swapping to different models/tax loopholes.

Compliant Umbrella PAYE models post-April 2016:

Umbrella – No expenses

  • This model is what many existing agency workers will fit into if they are currently paid an uplifted ‘umbrella rate’ by their agency and working in roles likely to be under Supervision, Direction & Control.
  • If they are caught by SDC and don’t qualify as mobile workers, then no expenses can be reimbursed throughout the assignment and all payments will be subject to PAYE.
  • The minimum take-on rate will still apply to ensure compliance for National Minimum/Living Wage and Holiday Pay purposes.

Umbrella – Mileage only

  • This model is suitable for workers who have a high mileage count claim compared to other expenses, over a series of assignments.
  • Changes to the Finance Act 2015, and the rules around ‘Relevant Salary Sacrifice’ prevent earnings fluctuating as a result of expenses being reimbursed. Mileage, however, is outside of these rules so remains unchanged.
  • The worker will still have to be assessed for SDC on their assignment, but where they pass the test or a mobile worker, they can claim the expense.

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