Question:

I work in the NHS part time and do some locum shifts on my days off. I have just paid for my Practical and Online Training required by my agency. I get paid through an umbrella company. Can I claim back the £79 pound it cost me? Where do I claim this back from and will I be able to claim the full amount or just some of it?

Answer:

Yes, you can claim Training expenses required by your agency from Umbrella Companies as HMRC allows tax relief for the expenses that are specifically related to your work and incurred wholly and necessarily for the performance of work duties.

Tax and NIC savings are follows:

  • Higher rate tax payer will save minimum £30.10 which equates to 38% saving approx.
  • Basic rate tax payer will save minimum £22.72 which equates to 29% saving approx.

Question:

I am a full-time locum and I have just paid for my Professional Body Registration £250.00 which is a requirement to practice. I get paid through an umbrella company. Can I claim back what it has cost me? Where do I claim this back from and will I be able to claim the full amount or just some of it?

Answer:

Yes, You can the claim the tax and NIC relief on the full amount £250 through your Umbrella on fees or subscriptions you pay to some approved professional organisations – but only if you must have membership to do your job or it’s helpful for your work. For example, subscriptions paid for NMC and GMC fee etc.

Tax and NIC savings are follows

  • Higher rate tax payer will save minimum £95.06 which equates to 38% savings approx.
  • Basic rate tax payer will save minimum £72.06 which equates to 29% savings approx.

Question:

What is rolled up holiday pay and how do I check if I am getting this?

Answer:

Holiday pay should be paid at the time when annual leave is taken. An employer cannot include an amount for holiday pay in the hourly rate (known as ‘rolled-up holiday pay’). If a current assignment contract still includes rolled-up pay, it needs to be re-negotiated. Some Umbrella companies accrue your holiday and keep the money if you do not claim or forget to claim.

However, with good umbrella companies you get your earned holiday pay included in your weekly pay. They don’t not keep hold of your holiday pay or any part of your pay. Good Umbrella companies should not use the “rolled up” method


Question:

I am a full-time locum. Can I claim maternity pay, holiday pay or sick pay?

Answer:

You should get full Statutory benefits entitlement from Umbrella Companies including Holiday, Sick, Maternity and Paternity pay.


Question :

I used to locum full time and then I became a mum. I cannot charge gross and get paid through my limited company. My pay rate is £25 per hour but after the deductions working through an umbrella, are there any benefits to locuming or is there any child care relief I can have? There don’t seem to be may Pro’s anymore to be a locum?

Answer:

Childcare vouchers are a Government scheme aimed at helping working parents to afford quality childcare.

Childcare vouchers normally work through a system known as ‘Salary Sacrifice’. This means that you receive the childcare vouchers instead of part of your salary.

Unlike your salary, you don’t pay any tax or National Insurance on childcare vouchers. The saving in tax and National Insurance can be worth over £900* a year per parent.

Any good umbrella company should provide you with Childcare Vouchers that give you great saving on your child care expenses not only that there are so many other benefits you should get from good Umbrella Companies  like:

  • All legal, employment, tax and contractual obligations taken care of
  • Greater earning power compared to permanent employment
  • Claim legitimate business costs and expenses
  • Statutory benefit entitlement including holiday, sick, maternity and paternity pay
  • Spend far less time and effort on administration duties compared to a company director
  • Get paid quickly, accurately and on time
  • Benefit from employment rights, plus Professional Indemnity and Employers/Public Liability insurances
  • Entitlement to work-based pension contributions
  • Fully compliant with all new and existing tax and employment legislation.
  • Dedicated Client Care teams
  • No under/over payment of tax notices from HMRC by using the correct tax code.

Question:

My agency has a ‘PSL’ for the umbrella companies they work with. Why is this and what do I need to look for in an umbrella company?

Answer:

Agencies have responsibility to make sure all umbrella companies with whom they work should be fully HMRC compliant and operate according to IR35 guidelines. For that reason, they have to conduct strict compliance checks on each umbrella company they operate with. If any umbrella company does not pass that compliance check then should remove them from their PSL (Preferred Supplier Lists).

Tax Avoidance Schemes identified have involved companies that although on the face of it appeared to be UK based were in fact Offshore Umbrella Companies. These types of schemes leave recruitment agencies at severe risk of transfer of debt penalties in respect of any tax found to have been underpaid. In April 2014 the rules changed regarding Offshore Employment Intermediaries making Recruitment Agencies responsible.

Other issues identified involved use of employment loans in place of taxable wages, non-adherence to The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), businesses registered overseas in the Isle of Man and even Panama and employment contracts written in a foreign language.

Benefits of a PSL to Recruitment Agencies include:

  • Ensuring all the Umbrella Companies dealt with are Compliant;
  • Simplified pay runs as you only having to deal with up to 5 main umbrella contacts;
  • By showing you have acted appropriately this can be used in defence of any transfer of debt issue;
  • Control over vouchers or rebates being paid to your recruitment consultants
  • By dealing with the best umbrella companies agencies can ensure their contractors will be paid on time, every time and that they will remain happy in their assignment.