Welcome to Umbrella Companies

Over 10 years ago, we made it our mission to help contractors and freelancers in the UK. Ever since IR35 legislation was introduced (2000), there has been a real increase in the number of umbrella companies. In fact, there’s now well over 150. Choose a compliant umbrella company for your payroll – you have nothing to worry about. Choose a non-compliant umbrella company – you could find yourself in serious trouble with HMRC.

Our website is dedicated to helping contractors and freelancers make well-informed decisions about their payroll. We’ve done what we can to offer reliable and impartial advice, and we cover all-things umbrella, including IR35, how umbrellas work, the importance of compliance, how to identify evil tax avoidance schemes, and more!

We hope you find the site useful. Please feel free to comment on our blogs and to share any information you find helpful.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out our top 10 umbrella companies!

Thank you for visiting!

The Umbrella Company Checklist For Contractors Inside IR35

If you take on an assignment inside IR35, you may decide that you’re better off using an umbrella company for your payroll. After all, if you’re a limited company contractor– you won’t be able to pay yourself with a combination of dividends and salary because the fee-payer will make deductions …

The Umbrella Company Checklist For Contractors Inside IR35 » Read the full story

Is it easy to switch between a limited company and umbrella company?

The answer to this question depends on quite a few circumstances, but in theory – yes. It should be easy for contractors to switch between a limited company and umbrella company. With off-payroll in the private sector (IR35) changes coming into effect from April 2021, we expect several limited company …

Is it easy to switch between a limited company and umbrella company? » Read the full story

What is Supervision, Direction and Control?

Supervision, Direction and Control (SDC) came into effect on 6th April 2016 to limit the number of contractors who were able to claim travel and subsistence expenses. The legislation was introduced because HMRC believed that many contractors working through umbrella companies were taking advantage of tax relief – when they …

What is Supervision, Direction and Control? » Read the full story

What deductions appear on umbrella company payslips?

When you’re paid through an umbrella company, you’ll receive a payslip that’ll show similar deductions to an employee in a permanent position. However, there are a few key differences that you need to be aware of. Keep reading and we’ll explain what deductions appear on an umbrella company payslip. Margin …

What deductions appear on umbrella company payslips? » Read the full story

Do umbrella companies offer salary sacrifice?

There are plenty of ways employees can benefit from salary sacrifice, but the most popular is tax-efficient pension contributions. If you’re prioritising your pension – salary sacrifice may be an awesome way to boost your pot. And, there are some really useful tax-benefits that you may not be aware of. …

Do umbrella companies offer salary sacrifice? » Read the full story

What are the umbrella company alternatives?

Before you begin contracting, one of the first things you need to consider is which business structure you are better suited to. From what everybody ought to know about umbrella companies to the advantages and disadvantages of umbrella companies – we have it all on our website! But what about …

What are the umbrella company alternatives? » Read the full story

Umbrella Company v Agency PAYE: Which should you choose?

If your contracts are deemed inside IR35 and you work through a recruitment agency, you’ll probably be given two options for getting paid: umbrella company or agency PAYE. Both payment methods operate in a very similar way. Your payroll and administration will be taken care of – and your income …

Umbrella Company v Agency PAYE: Which should you choose? » Read the full story

Are you familiar with Status Determination Statements (SDS)?

If you’re contracting with a personal service company (PSC) in the private sector, you should be familiar with Status Determination Statements (SDS). However, if you’re not, we’ll provide a quick snapshot for you. After all, we’re not just here to advise contractors looking at umbrella companies! We want to assist …

Are you familiar with Status Determination Statements (SDS)? » Read the full story

Late self-assessment tax returns will avoid fine if submitted by 28 February, HMRC confirms

To help people cope with the pressure of the pandemic and the confusions it’s bought to the UK, HMRC has confirmed taxpayers now have until the 28 February 2021 to submit their 2019/20 tax returns – to avoid a penalty. However, it’s still advisable to meet the end of January …

Late self-assessment tax returns will avoid fine if submitted by 28 February, HMRC confirms » Read the full story

What are the benefits of using an FCSA accredited umbrella company?

There are masses of umbrella companies out there! With so many to choose from, how do you know which one is best? We recommend you look for an FCSA accredited umbrella and then make your decision from there. It’s a great way to start your search. But you may be …

What are the benefits of using an FCSA accredited umbrella company? » Read the full story

10 facts about using a contractor umbrella company

If you’re interested in using a contractor umbrella company for your payroll, but aren’t sure how they work, you’ve found the right article! Here are 10 facts about umbrella companies. How many of the following were you already aware of? Firstly, we must make it clear – the following facts …

10 facts about using a contractor umbrella company » Read the full story

How Brexit Affects Right to Work (RTW) Checks for Umbrella Companies

Brexit has finally happened and the UK left the European Union at the turn of the New Year. As a result, we thought an article on How Brexit Affects Right to Work (RTW) Checks for Umbrella Companies would come in really useful. Umbrella companies are employers, and like every employer …

How Brexit Affects Right to Work (RTW) Checks for Umbrella Companies » Read the full story

The FCSA fights for contingent workers in response to lockdown #3

Nobody wanted a third lockdown, but after the rising numbers of coronavirus cases and associated deaths, the government was left with very little choice. And, to the governments credit, they have provided several support packages for businesses and workers to help keep the impact of lockdown number three to a …

The FCSA fights for contingent workers in response to lockdown #3 » Read the full story

How to identify the worst umbrella companies in the marketplace

Our website is full of useful information to help contractors and freelancers identify the UK’s best umbrella companies. However, we haven’t dedicated an article that explains how to identify the worst umbrella companies. Therefore, we’ve collated 9 points that we think you need to be aware of. Whatever you do …

How to identify the worst umbrella companies in the marketplace » Read the full story

What to look for from an umbrella company in 2021

With upcoming changes to off-payroll legislation looming, more and more contractors and freelancers are likely to require an umbrella company’s services. However, with hundreds of providers in the UK, what should you look for from an umbrella company in 2021? Keep reading, and we’ll explain the most important factors to …

What to look for from an umbrella company in 2021 » Read the full story

Who is the FCSA, and why does FCSA accreditation mean so much to its members?

Throughout our website, we reiterate how important it is that contractors and freelancers only use compliant umbrella companies for their payroll. And, we frequently mention that using an FCSA accredited umbrella company is a great idea! But who is the FCSA (Freelancer & Contractor Services Association), and why are we …

Who is the FCSA, and why does FCSA accreditation mean so much to its members? » Read the full story

What is Pay as You Earn (PAYE)?

If you’re using an umbrella company for your payroll, or you’re considering it, you should already know what Pay as You Earn (PAYE) is. However, if you’re not, or you’d like a friendly reminder – keep reading! We’ll cover the basics. What is PAYE? Pay as You Earn, or usually …

What is Pay as You Earn (PAYE)? » Read the full story

Your Umbrella Company Does Not Decide How Much You Are Deducted – HMRC Does

Time and time again we hear “why is my umbrella taking so much of my money” or “my pay is too low through this umbrella, I want to find out what I can get through another one”. Sadly this is a misunderstanding, and tax avoidance schemes are to blame. They …

Your Umbrella Company Does Not Decide How Much You Are Deducted – HMRC Does » Read the full story

The warning signs of a tax avoidance scheme

Using an umbrella company is a simple, hassle-free way to get paid as a contractor, and the majority of umbrella companies operate in a compliant fashion. Unfortunately, there are a few unscrupulous tax avoidance schemes that disguise themselves as umbrella companies, and using one of these could land you in …

The warning signs of a tax avoidance scheme » Read the full story

Useful tips for limited company contractors who may need to use an umbrella company in 2021

Changes to off-payroll in the private sector are set to roll out in April 2021. They may be a year late, but they’re coming! It’s expected that several limited company contractors may find themselves inside IR35 at some point in the future, and as a result, umbrella companies may see …

Useful tips for limited company contractors who may need to use an umbrella company in 2021 » Read the full story

Are there any benefits to using an umbrella company?

We all like to get a return on our investments – a return that leaves us with the satisfying feeling of having received value for money. But what about umbrella companies? It’s no secret that limited company contractors who are told they’re inside IR35 are likely to see a reduction …

Are there any benefits to using an umbrella company? » Read the full story

“Mini umbrella companies” (MUC) are the latest thing to try and give the marketplace a bad name

A majority of umbrella companies are compliant, but it only takes one or two non-compliant providers to come to light to give the marketplace a bad name. Well, it’s happened again. And it’s really annoyed us. We’re not going to announce the names of the irresponsible providers that are responsible, …

“Mini umbrella companies” (MUC) are the latest thing to try and give the marketplace a bad name » Read the full story

Limited vs umbrella: which option should you choose?

Contracting through a limited company has many benefits, with the most obvious being the tax advantages for those who are outside IR35. However, using an umbrella company has its advantages too! We’re going to investigate both options so that we can help you decide which one is best for your …

Limited vs umbrella: which option should you choose? » Read the full story

HMRC issue warning in new corporate report covering marketed tax avoidance schemes – “please be vigilant”

A report published on the 26th November 2020 by HMRC discusses marketed tax avoidance schemes, and it makes for some fascinating reading. Entitled ‘Use of marketed tax avoidance schemes in the UK’, HMRC cover the size of the UK’s tax avoidance market, promoters of tax avoidance schemes, and what HMRC …

HMRC issue warning in new corporate report covering marketed tax avoidance schemes – “please be vigilant” » Read the full story

What do changes to off-payroll (IR35) in the private sector mean for limited company contractors?

Changes to off-payroll in the private sector were scheduled to roll out in April 2020. However, after one of the most stressful and unpredictable years of all time, the amendments were put on hold for 12 months (Coronavirus pandemic). Despite a few rumours that the legislation changes will be postponed …

What do changes to off-payroll (IR35) in the private sector mean for limited company contractors? » Read the full story

Getting the most out of an umbrella company calculator

Whether you’re new to contracting or you’ve been doing it for donkey’s years, you’re probably keen to get an accurate indication of your take home pay before starting an assignment. And, as we’re dedicated to helping the UK’s temporary workforce understand all-things umbrella – we thought it’d be really useful …

Getting the most out of an umbrella company calculator » Read the full story

A Quick Guide to Umbrella Company Expenses

If you are a director of your own limited company, you will probably be used to claiming tax relief on a variety of business-related expenses. While this used to be the case for umbrella company employees, the rules have recently tightened around umbrella company expenses, and the tax relief you …

A Quick Guide to Umbrella Company Expenses » Read the full story

Understanding Umbrella Company Deductions [Sponsored Editorial]

The following editorial has been written for umbrellacompanies.org.uk by Umbrella Company UK – an FCSA accredited umbrella company. Umbrella company deductions are single handily the cause for most confusion to contractors and freelancers – and it’s no surprise. While using an umbrella company is very similar to permanent employment (PAYE), …

Understanding Umbrella Company Deductions [Sponsored Editorial] » Read the full story

If you use an umbrella company, do you need to submit a personal tax return?

An interesting question – and one that is regularly asked online by umbrella company employees. The short answer is that it depends entirely on your personal circumstances. If your only source of income is paid to you via an umbrella company (PAYE) – you don’t need to submit a personal …

If you use an umbrella company, do you need to submit a personal tax return? » Read the full story

The right way to conduct an umbrella company comparison

Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a Sherlock Holmes when it comes to identifying a deal? We certainly don’t blame you if you do! When it comes to looking for an umbrella company, we suggest you make a real effort comparing the providers out there. We’ve put a …

The right way to conduct an umbrella company comparison » Read the full story

Understanding umbrella company take home pay

One of the most frequently asked questions by contractors and freelancers before they register with an umbrella company is how much they will get paid? We thought we’d answer this question in a simple and straightforward way so you can easily understand the umbrella company take home pay. The margin …

Understanding umbrella company take home pay » Read the full story

Umbrella company benefits – 10 reasons why using a brolly is a good idea!

If you are new to the world of contracting, there are lots of different options to consider. Arguably the most critical decision is whether to set up your own limited company or work through an umbrella company. With the legislation changes to off-payroll working in the private sector just around …

Umbrella company benefits – 10 reasons why using a brolly is a good idea! » Read the full story

How to properly shop around for an umbrella company deal

Everyone likes a bargain! As a result, you should absolutely look for an attractive deal from an umbrella company. After all – the umbrella market is pretty competitive due to the rising number of providers. And as a result, there are some super offers out there! Keep reading and we’ll …

How to properly shop around for an umbrella company deal » Read the full story

How do umbrella companies work?

If you are new to contracting, have never used an umbrella company before, or are a director of a limited company, the workings of umbrella payroll may seem confusing. Working through an umbrella company is by far the easiest way to operate as a contractor. Unlike working through a limited …

How do umbrella companies work? » Read the full story

Umbrella companies are not the bad guys!

In a world where more and more contractors are finding themselves inside IR35, umbrella companies have seen a rapid rise in popularity. Well, maybe popularity isn’t the right word to use. Why? Because we’ve seen so many negative comments and articles about umbrella companies over the recent months. As a …

Umbrella companies are not the bad guys! » Read the full story

£30 a week for an umbrella company margin? No thanks!

We are not here to antagonise anyone, especially umbrella companies that are committed to operating compliantly. However, we recently came across an article that grabbed our attention – for the wrong reasons. The article in question suggests that a margin up to £30 per week for an umbrella company is …

£30 a week for an umbrella company margin? No thanks! » Read the full story

Can you trust an umbrella company calculation?

Can you trust an umbrella company calculation? ‘Umbrella company calculation’ is a much-searched phrase by contractors and freelancers in the UK. And it’s no surprise. Whether you’ve been contracting for years, or you’re relatively new on the scene, it’s only natural that you want to get an idea of your …

Can you trust an umbrella company calculation? » Read the full story

How does Holiday Pay work with an umbrella company?

Umbrella company holiday pay can confuse contractors and freelancers, and this doesn’t surprise us. Umbrella company holiday pay is slightly unusual, but don’t worry – it’s not as confusing as you think. Whether you’re new to contracting, unsure how umbrella companies work, or just want a friendly reminder – we’ll …

How does Holiday Pay work with an umbrella company? » Read the full story

Hopefully a fair world awaits contractors after April 2021

Off-payroll in the public sector came into effect a few years ago now, and the impact on the temporary workforce has been massive. Hats off to all the public sector organisations that took the legislation seriously and had reliable and efficient IR35 assessment protocols in place. Unfortunately, loads of companies …

Hopefully a fair world awaits contractors after April 2021 » Read the full story

Umbrella companies aren’t finished yet – according to HMRC

This week when speaking to a contractor, I got told: “your lot are finished, HMRC have seen to that.” Quite who my “lot” are, or how we have offended this gentleman – I don’t know. However, this did encourage me to go and do some research into what this chap …

Umbrella companies aren’t finished yet – according to HMRC » Read the full story

How to spot a tax avoidance scheme, and why you should never use one

To put it bluntly – tax avoidance schemes are evil. They trick you into thinking paying less tax is fine and they’ll help you retain more of your hard-earned money. But what they fail to mention is the fact that if you engage with one, you’ll more than likely face …

How to spot a tax avoidance scheme, and why you should never use one » Read the full story

What is a Key Information Document?

Under new employment legislation, recruitment agencies will present contractors and agency workers with a Key Information Document before a contract is signed or agreed. The Key Information Document will give you a realistic take home pay projection and outline the deductions you can expect to see to your pay. The …

What is a Key Information Document? » Read the full story

Why a Good Umbrella Won’t Stop You Paying Tax

Some weeks, here at UCHQ, while we spend far more time than we should wondering exactly what the intern does, we also spend a good deal of time wondering how the umbrella company industry managed to get itself into such a mess. The tales of the umbrella companies of old, …

Why a Good Umbrella Won’t Stop You Paying Tax » Read the full story

Job Skills to Have in the Post-Covid Era

It’s been a rough year for contractors. As we have previously reported here, the industry is showing signs of recession, not made any easier by the still-lingering threats from IR35 and a nation of new work-from-homers. But there is some good news. Some of you have already got some key …

Job Skills to Have in the Post-Covid Era » Read the full story

Disguised Renumeration and Spies in the Grass

This week here at UCHQ, life is returning to something approaching normality. The intern is back to wasting time on social media, the old ‘umbrella’ jokes keep flowing, and we ponder what autumn will bring, besides a renewed need for actual umbrellas.   There seems to be something of a …

Disguised Renumeration and Spies in the Grass » Read the full story

Is the Self-Employed Dream Ending?

It seems the lockdown dreams of the life of a freelancer were cut short for many self-employed during lockdown. It has been reported by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) that over a quarter of a million self-employed workers returned to full time employment during the COVID crisis, we assume …

Is the Self-Employed Dream Ending? » Read the full story

More news on the Job Retention Bonus Scheme

Yes, more news this week as those further details that we were promised back at the start of July about what was going to happen with the Job Retention Bonus Scheme Payments has finally been announced by the UK government.   As discussed in an earlier post, we were not …

More news on the Job Retention Bonus Scheme » Read the full story

Back to work (for some)

This week sees more people than ever back at work. In theory anyway. Today was the day that the great British public were meant to be back at work – office workers included, but that isn’t what has happened.   Public transport remains far emptier than usual, famous landmarks in …

Back to work (for some) » Read the full story

The future of the job market? It could go either way..

While life appears to be returning to something approaching reality, the view ahead is not quite so cheery.

Umbrella Windfalls

As the weeks go on here at UCHQ, the world is starting to return to normal for us, thankfully. We are all back in our socially distanced office (although we could just call that ‘the office’ – it wasn’t like we were that close to start with). The intern is …

Umbrella Windfalls » Read the full story

Sun’s out – who needs an umbrella?

Another week, another COVID-related budget update from the chancellor, Rishi Sunak. And, as the sun is shining, the forecast is that umbrellas may not be needed. (Well. One kind, anyway). Umbrella companies are still definitely needed for all those contractors who would be financially worse off without them. In his …

Sun’s out – who needs an umbrella? » Read the full story

Got Furlough? August Changes Incoming

Another week, another sting in the tail for some contractors who are using umbrella companies. If it wasn’t bad enough that many contractors felt they had no choice but to move to an umbrella company, from a limited company because of the imminent (and now deferred) IR35 legislation, those self-same …

Got Furlough? August Changes Incoming » Read the full story

Cowboys and Covid-19

As if people haven’t had enough to deal with these past few months, news reaches us here at UCHQ that Umbrella Companies are, once again, finding themselves in the news for all the wrong reasons. This time it is a group of Umbrella Companies who have been deliberately targeting NHS …

Cowboys and Covid-19 » Read the full story

Furloughed? Or Not? It’s Still All Up in the Air

Yes, despite being months into lockdown, news reaches us here at UCHQ that for many of you, you are still not seeing any money coming in from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, despite being unable to work for some months now. While any clarity from the government about exactly how …

Furloughed? Or Not? It’s Still All Up in the Air » Read the full story

Umbrella Companies and COVID-19 – what you need to know

Yes, we’ve been gone for a little while, but just for some essential work on bigger things at UCHQ, such as furloughing the intern and the rest of the team.

Should Umbrella Companies be Regulated?

In a week where there is clearly a dire need for umbrellas (of any colour) outside, we thought we’d turn our attention away from the never-ending will they/won’t they saga of IR35 and instead, turn our attention back to the matter of whether or not umbrella companies should be regulated. …

Should Umbrella Companies be Regulated? » Read the full story

Umbrellas in Alderley Edge

Breaking news here from our intern, who, rather than focusing on researching and writing about tax affairs and business administration is, as always more concerned with the fashion world, who tells us that last week, Coleen Rooney was spotted last week in Alderley Edge with an umbrella costing a whopping £185.

IR35 Changes off the Table

It’s been a disappointing start to the year here at UCHQ. Not only is the intern still performing abysmally and is more concerned with her social media and planning her holidays than doing any actual work, but we are saddened to hear that the forthcoming review into any potential changes …

IR35 Changes off the Table » Read the full story

Tax Doesn’t Have to be… Fattening?

January already! Well, didn’t Christmas just fly by in a heady daze of socials and locals and too much time with friends, family and a box of Quality Street? To be honest, we’re quite glad to be back in the office and the regular cut and thrust of high paced …

Tax Doesn’t Have to be… Fattening? » Read the full story

Another year comes to an end…

As we reach the passing of another year, another decade, no less, we reach that fiddly time of year, where we’re not quite ready to get back to work, all cylinders firing, full of gusto for the new year ahead, and, instead, spend the week in quiet reflection of things …

Another year comes to an end… » Read the full story

UCHQ Carol Service

Well, it’s that time of year, folks. Our Christmas party is later on today, the intern is spending all her time online shopping and trying to decide what she’s wearing (and probably which of the boys in accounts she’s going to snog), and generally avoiding any actual work (no change …

UCHQ Carol Service » Read the full story

UK Recruiters not Confident with Umbrella Companies

A new study has found that 24% of recruiters do not feel fully confident with the umbrella companies they use. Meanwhile, 35% of them do not have a preferred list of umbrella companies to choose from, the study finds. So, that’s nearly one-quarter of them who don’t really back the company …

UK Recruiters not Confident with Umbrella Companies » Read the full story

Big changes in the Gig Economy

We are all still reeling here at UCHQ with the news that Uber has lost its London license. The next General Election is imminent, with all three parties vowing to crack down on zero-hours contracts and unfair working practices for self-employed workers. (Let’s see if any of them actually mean …

Big changes in the Gig Economy » Read the full story

Uber Loses London License (Again)

Uber’s loss of its London license may be particularly impactful on the gig economy. With 45,000 drivers, if it can’t work a way to get out of losing its license, that’s a lot of newly unemployed with nowhere to go. Will politicians let that happen, when the unemployment figure is going to reflect on a newly formed government?

Young, gifted, freelancing and broke?

While we all love the idea of not being chained to our desks here at UCHQ as much as the next person, especially given that you have a very clear insight into our lives here, spent writing about how great freelance life is, and the prospect of not having to …

Young, gifted, freelancing and broke? » Read the full story

Top Cities for Small Businesses Revealed

Self employed? Working alone or in a small business? We kind of envy you. While of course, we relish our days here at UCHQ, the daily commute and the minutiae of being news desk boss at such an esteemed publication, it isn’t all fun and games. The job comes with …

Top Cities for Small Businesses Revealed » Read the full story

Freelancing – a Den of Inequality and Exploitation?

So, you may have noticed that we’ve not written much about the new intern these past few weeks here at UCHQ. She’s still here, leaving on the dot of 5 o’clock and pretending to research things on her phone (coincidentally, we’re not on Instagram, where we spot her frequently browsing). …

Freelancing – a Den of Inequality and Exploitation? » Read the full story

Another Month, Another IR35 Twist in the Tail

News is reaching us here at a rainy UCHQ that the Government may be set for a few more fireworks than even Guy Fawkes managed way back in 1605. Voice of many, Contractor UK, has summoned the troops in the form of a group of other contractor allies, and has …

Another Month, Another IR35 Twist in the Tail » Read the full story

A Winter of Discontent?

As autumn chills start permeating the air and we gaze outside, wondering if this really will be a winter of discontent, or simply yet another winter of I’m A Celebrity with a nice glass of red, the world, my friends, is changing.

An Umbrella Education… Part two

As you may recall, we have a new intern at UCHQ.

In terms of her education, the going has been decidedly slow.

I found her the other day, browsing the hashtag #umbrella on Instagram. “These purple ones look nice, don’t they, Ed?”

I felt my blood pressure rising. “Have you looked into IR35 yet?” I asked.

The Naïveité of Youth – An Umbrella Education

All change here at UCHQ, we’re training up the new intern on the importance of umbrella companies…

Uber Sued Over New “Gig” Contractor Law

In the State of California one thing they need is the humble taxi. It takes movie stars from their million dollar mansions to the Hollywood sets, as an example.

4 Apps Every Self Employed Person Should Download in 2019

This is boom time for self employment in the UK. Around 5 million people work for themselves, with many more planning to quit their job.

Self Employed Workers Need a Holiday, Says Study

“Rain, rain, go away, come back another day,” said the frustrated self employed worker who was tired of putting their umbrella up and down.

Making Tax Digital Fine? WAIVED!!

It has been all over the news for years…the upcoming explosion of Making Tax Digital in the self employed community.

46% of Self Employed Are Over 50

Did you think being self employed was a young persons game? Then think again, because a new report suggests otherwise.

32% of Gig Workers Have Good Mental Health

The gig economy has received much negative press in recent years. Despite this, it continues to go from strength to strength.

Self Employed Mortgages – “Don’t Bother”

Being accepted for a self employed mortgage is tough. I think we can all agree on that, can we? Good. So we are now on the same page, You and I.

Do Self Employed Cleaners Need CIF?

If you are a self employed cleaner then you may be working as a contractor, freelancer, or gig worker. Low pay is common.

£7500 More Tax!!

It’s raining tax…so grab your umbrellas because we are in for a real storm, and guess who is behind this? Yes, you guessed it…

Would You Accept 16 Euros An Hour?

If the government offered you a minimum of 16 Euros an hour to be self employed, would you accept it?

29% Self Employed Tradespeople = No Insurance!

So I was sitting here at the UC desk with that Rihanna song playing on the radio (can’t remember the name) and then a report lands on my desk.

Self Employed Mortgage Myths BUSTED (Number 4 is SHOCKING!)

75% of self employed people in the UK are fearful about getting a self employed mortgage. They fear being declined.

Rise Of The AI Gig Economy

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is cracking the whip at the forefront of this gig economy revolution. But humans are still benefiting.

Scottish Self Employed – 54% Are “Confident”

There has never been a better time to be self employed in Scotland. If you are a contractor, freelancer, gig worker, or business owner…

Self Employed and On The Dole…In Ireland

If you live in Ireland and your business is failing…then don’t worry…because you can now sign up for the dole and get 203 Euros a week.

Two Thirds Of Self Employed = No Pension!

Despite me writing about self employed pensions here on the UC blog many times…the message is not getting across it seems.

Can’t Pay? HMRC Will Take It Away

“We are here to collect payment or remove goods. Your choice.” said the bailiff.

7% Of Self Employed Are “Slashies”

“I am a slashie,” said the self employed woman. “I am self employed chef – slash – blogger – slash – dog walker,” she went on to add.

MPs Attack the BBC Over Freelance Mess

If you are a regular reader of the UC Blog then you will be well aware of the BBC freelance saga. We talk about it all the time.

You Make £57,546…But Guess What?

You are self employed and you are raking in the cash…to the tune of £57,546 a year. “Life is good,” you say.

Demand for Self Employed Electricians is Strong

It was feared self employed electricians were hitting a slump. Pay was down in January, and February was not looking bright.

Fight For Your Right, To be SE and Pregnant

You got to fight, for your right…to be self employed and pregnant and still get paid. That is the message from Loose Women presenter Stacy Solomon.

670,000 Self Employed Feel “Discriminated Against”

If you are self employed and struggling to get a mortgage then you are not alone. In fact, there are 670,000 of you who feel “discriminated against.”

1 Meal A Day Keeps The MIF Away?

You’ve heard us talk about MIF on the UC blog before. Stay away from MIF we told everyone. MIF is no good, we went on to add.

Late Payment in Scotland…No More?

Umbrellas are very popular in Scotland. “It rains a lot.” Umbrella Companies are not so popular, but we do have a small but loyal following.

Aged Between 25 to 40? You Won’t Retire Until…

If you are self employed and aged between 25 and 40, then get ready for a shock, because you might be working for longer than you think.

Do This, And Don’t Do This…In The UAE

The Umbrella Companies website is truly international. Every day we get visitors from all over the world.

Only 1 in 10 Qualify For The HMRC VIP Line

There is a new HMRC VIP line reserved for the rich and famous. If you qualify, then you jump the queue and get right through.

Field Service Techs Must Embrace Gig Economy, Say Experts

The field service tech industry has long been traditional and set in its ways. There has always been a set way of doing things, until now…

Freelance in France? There Is a Bank For That

If you live and work in the country of France then you might be looking for a dedicated freelancer banking service? Here it is…

49.6% of Malta Self Employed Have Low Education

Here at Umbrella Companies we get visitors from all around the world. We are truly international, spanning the globe 1 blog post at a time.

Only 14% of Self Employed Saving Into Pension

Here at Umbrella Companies we talk a lot about self employed pensions. And for good reason, because most of you ignore it.

Upwork and Microsoft Join Hands For The Self Employed

If you are a freelancer, contractor, gig worker, or self employed, then hold on to your hat, because we have exciting news.

Self Employed in the EU (And Lovin It)

There are approximately 228 million people working in the EU, and around 32 million of those are self employed people.

“Suitable Opportunity” Say 42% of Bulgarian Self Employed

In the country of Bulgaria there is a self employment boom happening all around the nation. Bulgarians want to work for themselves.

70% of Dutch “Happy” With Self Employed Pensions

A crack team of survey givers hit the streets of Holland recently. Their mission? To survey 5000 self employed Dutch workers.

He Committed Tax Fraud For REVENGE

There is a bus company in Harrogate where nothing special ever happens. Every day the buses come and go. Again and again.

Are you 35 to 55 And Self Employed? Look Here…

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to visit Umbrella Companies. If you are aged 35 to 55 then keep reading, because…

Gig Worker Insurance by the Hour

The gig economy is booming and millions of gig workers are putting in the hours, around the clock, 24 hours a day.

Self Employed and in £10,000 or More of Debt? Read This…

15% of the UK workforce is now classed as “self employed,” but is everybody rolling in cash? Apparently not.

Latest Score: HMRC 1 – Premier League 0

Its a Saturday afternoon. 3:14pm to be exact. And in the red and white are HMRC, while the Premier League are in all blue.

Which Bright Spark Did This?

It’s a great time to be a self employed electrician right now. Some would even say it is a boom time, with more work than ever before.

87 Year Old Woman Fights Back Against HMRC Scammers

Remember last week when I alerted the nation about HMRC scammers? These “Phishers” want to reel in the cash from your bank account.

ALERT: Fake HMRC Emails Target The Self Employed

Every day millions of self employed people check their inbox and read important emails from customers, clients, and…HMRC.

Are Gig Worker Wages CRIMINAL?

Your typical image of a criminal is someone who slips through your side window at night and nicks your television. There are other criminals though.

64% of Gig Worker Drivers NOT Safe

One of the main gigs almost anybody can get in the gig economy is driving. Companies such as Uber and Deliveroo will hire you.

“Universal Credit” – Protestors Take to the Streets!

Anger is in the air. The reason? Because of “universal credit,” that is why. Hundreds are taking to the streets and the internet in protest.

Best City For Contractors? The Answer is Here…

Have you ever wondered what is the best city for contractors and freelancers? Well, you are in the right place, because right here we have the answer.

“Taste The Tax?” – Coca Cola Warned by MP

Coca Cola, that well known beverage company who go with the slogan – “Taste the feeling,” have just got into the coffee game.

2 Out of 5? No Pension!

Financial disaster is on the horizon for 2 out of 5 self employed people. The reason? Because they have no pension.

“PAYE Us Now!” Say Gig Workers

The gig economy has been in the headlines almost constantly through the last few years, and now, it’s PAYE back time.

The Self Employed “Oscars” in Worcestershire

In the county of Worcestershire they are searching…searching for self employed and small businesses that are “outstanding.”

Rage Against The…Blankets? Contractors Fight Back…

Thousands of contractors around the country are preparing for a battle. Who is the enemy? It’s those pesky blanketers, of course.

4 In Demand Work From Home Jobs YOU Can Do

If you are a wannabe contractor, freelancer or gig worker, then you might be wondering what jobs are available.

1 Million Of Over 50’s Out Of Work

The Women and Equalities Committee got together recently and looked at some numbers, and what they discovered shocked many.

IR35 in Private Sector? REVOLT!

Contractors around the country have banded together to make their voices heard regarding IR35. The mood right now? Revolt!

2 Self Employed Builders and Benefit Fraud – JUSTICE!

There was 2 self employed builders in Nottingham who thought it was a good idea to claim benefits…while still on the job.

Auto-Enrolment Pensions – “Counter Productive,” Says Government

There has been a lot of talk recently about auto-enrolment pensions for the self employed. Most people are in favour, but one guy is not.

#SelfieLeave – Fathers Day is Here!

Right now, as we speak, it is Fathers Day…a day for celebrating and eating Sunday Dinner, maybe even watching a bit of TV.

Over 6 Million Self Employed in UK

The boom time for self employment is right now as recent figures show that over 6 million people in the UK are now working for themselves.

Hello, Is It HMRC You’re Looking For…

A new report found that 1 in 10 callers to HMRC HQ never reach an operator. That is 4 million Brits ignored last year.

Half of Self Employed Not Worried About AI

Something we have mentioned on this blog quite a bit is AI…robots…”The Machines.” Why? Because they are expected to take over.

50% of Self Employed Complain About Mobile Reception

What is the biggest problem facing our nations self employed right now in 2018? The answer is…”mobile reception” according to a survey.

Contractors and Freelancers – Get Paid Instantly, Every Time

Working for yourself is a great experience. You are the boss. What isn’t great is when you don’t get paid. Nobody likes that.

£10 A Day, From Today, For Self Employed Workers

If you are a self employed worker who didn’t care about getting in your tax return by 31st January…get ready for a shock.

£490 a Month for Unemployed Gig Workers

What happens if you can’t find any gigs and are generally struggling to make any money in the gig economy? You get £490 into your bank account.

Robots in The Public Sector? 65% Think So

Contractors in the public sector have been caught up in the IR35 madness recently, but could they soon be out of a job completely? Perhaps…

20% of Specialist Mortgages Are For The Self Employed

It was only a few years ago that your chance of being accepted for a self employed mortgage were slim to none. “REJECTED,” was the one word answer.

Gig Economy Workers – You Are Losing £344 a Month!

What would you do if you caught a pickpocket trying to sneakily pull £344 in cash out of your pocket? Turn round and punch him, maybe.

Only 28% of Self Employed Consider Pensions to be Safe

In a world where saving for your pension is considered “normal,” many self employed workers are raging against it.

IR35 Online Assessment Tool…Confidence is Low

The whole IR35 thing is controversial, we know that, but the IR35 online assessment tool on HMRC website is there to make things easier.

“Blame The BBC,” Say The Stars

Being a television star is mostly about glitz and glamour, but when you are hauled in the interview room at HMRC HQ, then not so much.

Coldplay and Coronation Street Unite for The Parents

Who are the best people in your corner when you want parental leave for the self employed? Pop singers and soap stars of course. Who else?

“Your Taxes Are Done My Lord”

Most contractors have to hire an accountant to do their books and taxes. What if you didn’t have to do that though…what then?

She Owes Half a Million, Thanks to IR35

While BBC presenters might be earning a nice bit of change (all thanks to the licence payers), that hasn’t stopped the IR35 crackdown.

The Contractors, Soon To Be Under “House Arrest”

If you have comitted no crime then wouldn’t you find it strange to be tagged? Just like a “scally,” so to speak, under house arrest.

A Contractors Guide to Working Abroad

While there are many contracting jobs in the UK, with cities such as London and Glasgow being at the top of the list, some are looking elsewhere.

TPAS Take Action, Contractors Confused

A press release hit the major news hubs this week, in a big announcement that all contractors should take notice of. It was from TPAS.

Government Break Their Pledge (Self Employed Pensions)

We all know that not enough self employed people are saving for their retirements. Millions are going to be coming up short, unfortunately.

30% of Gig Economy Workers Have At Least Two Jobs

If you thought that having one job was enough then try having two. That is what around 30% of gig economy workers now have to do.

162 Million Are Independent Workers, But…

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, AKA IPSE, recently looked more closely at independent workers…

Contractors…SNOW Your Rights

The last few years have seen winters in the UK remain unusually snow free, but this year it looks like the snow is here for a while.

1 in 5 Self Employed Workers Are “Insecure”

We all know how common self employment is becoming in the UK, but is everybody satisfied? According to new research…NO!

The Truth About K&B Contractor Accountants

If you are reading this then you have probably already heard about K&B Accountancy Group and their new special offer. A lot of contractors are talking.

Judge Hands Deliveroo a Victory Over Employment Rights

Just when you thought companies such as Deliveroo and Uber were beaten…a judge in Birmingham slammed down the hammer and said…

“DECLINED!” – HMRC Refuse Credit Card Payments

When you go to pay your tax bill what is the one payment option most self employed people want to see? The credit card of course.

She Was Cheesed Off and Ready to Quit, But Then…

How would you feel if you had been made redundant twice and gone to 60 job interviews without any success at all? Most people would quit I think.

Self Employed for 12 Months – Lessons Learned…

Many people in the UK want to become self employed but they are concerned about landing flat on their face. Nobody wants to fail.

Factory Workers, The New Work From Home Contractors…

Working from home has typically been the domain of so called white collar workers such as IT professionals. Not for long it seems.

“Down The Drain!” – Public Sector and IR35 Reforms

It’s no secret that many public sector contractors were planning to down tools and head towards the private sector. The reason? IR35 of course.

IT Temporary Contractors Are Paid £700 a Day Right Here

There has never been a better time to be a temporary IT contractor. You roll in, do the work, and then take home a big bag of cash. Easy.

I’m a Freelance Contractor and I’m Tired of Hearing This…

It a great time be a freelance contractor in the UK, no doubt about that, but sometimes it can be frustrating to hear people say the same things, over and over.

Do You Pass The IR35 Public Sector Test? Most Do…

A well known and respected tax advisory company have recently done some research, and what they found will surprise many, especially in the public sector.

“DON’T Show Me The Money,” Say Contractors

Working is all about that money, wouldn’t you agree? Apparently not, as a recent survey found that in the contracting world other things are more important.

“Be Pragmatic” Says Accountant, Regarding IR35

The IR35 changes have had contractors complaining and moaning, there is no doubt about that…but should they all leave the public sector? Maybe not.

75% of British Contractors Have NO Pension

The world of contracting in Britain is booming, and rightfully so, but not all contractors are very good at looking into the future it seems.

New Self Employed Survey – Southampton, The Place to be

Being self employed is great as many of you will agree…but having a good quality of life is even better, don’t you think? I do.

73% of Self Employed Called “Financial Underclass”

Many think self employment is all about living the high life. Not true. New research says that self employed are the “financial underclass.”

NO Tax Cut for Contractors Says Chancellor

If you are a contractor in the UK then you probably want to pay less tax. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be a tax cut any time soon.

Freelance Contractors Are a…”Security Risk” Says Expert

In the past you got a job and stayed with 1 company for years, but these days things are a lot different. Enter the freelance contractor.

Research Confirms IT Contractors Leaving Public Sector

One subject I’ve talked about before is how IT contractors would be leaving the public sector once those unpopular IR35 tax changes came into force.

Government Scrap Tax Grab, Admit Defeat

If you read this blog every week then you will no doubt remember how I reported on the cheeky tax grab the government tried to bring in at the budget.

Only Digital Banking Please…We Are Self Employed

Do you ever get tired of cashing cheques and paying in money at your local bank? A digital banking company might just change that.

Deliveroo Fight Back With Pay Per Delivery for Drivers

The takeaway delivery company Deliveroo have been in the news a lot recently, mostly being accused of hiring employees under the guise of “contractors.”

Demand for IT Contractors Strong in May

If you thought IT contracting was hitting a rough patch due to Brexit or IBM firing contractors, then think again, as demand was strong during May.

Contractor Plans Legal Fight Against IR35 Reforms

An IT contractor has taken the bold step of planning to take on the government and their IR35 reforms in a legal battle.

Freelance Friendly Parties? The General Election Explained

It’s only 2 days until the UK General Election, and from what I’m hearing many freelancers and contractors are still undecided about who to vote for.

IBM Tells Contractors “Take Pay Cut or Go”

It’s a harsh environment out there in the contracting world, and there is none as harsh as the IT industry, as proven by a recent IBM memo.

New Figures Suggest 176,000 Self Employed People in Wales

Wales is quickly becoming the UK hub of self employment, with 176,000 now working for themselves. That is 32% of new jobs in the country.

Working From Home – 40% Are Lonely According to Report

Many people are choosing to become their own boss and work from home, but a report suggests that many have to deal with loneliness.

Over 15% of Workers in Harlow are Self Employed

According to a new survey, one in six workers from the town of Harlow in Essex are classed as self employed, with many of those classed as contractors.

Sky News Sued by Freelance Photographer

A freelance photographer by the name of Eddie Mitchell isn’t afraid to take on the Sky Broadcasting Corporation, after it was announced he was suing them.

Contractors to Finally Get Paid on Time…Maybe

I reported right here on this blog about how contractors spend an average of 20 days a year chasing clients for late payments. Sometimes they never get paid.

UK “The Worst” for Self Employed Pensions

A panel of pension experts recently took to the streets of 15 countries around the world and their findings were not exactly surprising.

27% Leave School With No Career Advice According to Study

Just over a quarter of Brits leave Secondary school without any kind of career advice…that is according to a new study of over 2000 adults.

Boss of Twitter Launches Payment System in the UK

We all know how frustrating it can be for small businesses, freelancers, contractors and gig workers to get paid by clients, but there could be a solution.

Bank of Ireland to Introduce Mortgages for Contractors

I’ve said it before and I will say it again…getting a mortgage if you are a contractor is tough. Most people who apply are declined, that is the reality.

Hammond Does U-Turn on Tax Grab

Just like I reported about last week, the Chancellor Philip Hammond went after the self employed in his budget with a tax grab, and many were outraged!

Tories Say No to Tax Grab on Self Employed

It’s that time of the year again…The Budget with Chancellor Philip Hammond, but some experts are predicting there could be a tax grab on the self employed.

Public Sector Contractors Walk Out – “had enough” They Say

As you might be aware, changes are about to happen in the public sector with thousands of contractors facing disruption to their tax situation.

UK Population “Optimistic” About Entrepreneurship

In a recent study it was revealed that people in the UK were more optimistic about working for themselves, compared to other European countries.

40% of Brits will Never Retire According to Survey

In a brand new survey by experts, it was found that 40% of British people in the workforce believed they will never get to retire.

Contractors Spend 20 Days a Year Chasing Late Payments

According to IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and Self Employed, if you work for yourself then you spend 20 days a year trying to get paid.

New Mortgages for Self Employed Launched

I’ve talked before on this blog about how difficult it can be for contractors to get a mortgage or any kind of loan. For many people it’s almost impossible.

Research Shows Self Employed Work 10 Hours Less

If you thought working for an employer was the best option then it’s time to reconsider, as new research shows self employed people work 10 hours less a week.

Jeremy Corbyn Attacks Umbrella Contractors (Again)

I’m sure that Jeremy Corbyn has attacked contractors before…well he seems to be at it again, with remarks made in a recent speech.

Barclays Now Offer Near Instant Business Lending

If you’re a contractor or small business owner, then you will no doubt be pleased to hear that Barclays now offer lending without the usual hassle.

50% of UK Contractors are too Busy to Exercise

While being self employed no doubt gives you more freedom, it seems that half of UK contractors can’t find the time to hit their local gym.

Medium Sized Businesses Need More Contractors

Experts are advising medium sized business owners around the country to focus on hiring more contractors as part of a flexible employment strategy.

Christmas a Quiet Time for IT Contractors

Despite IT contractors being in huge demand this year, new reports are suggesting that Christmas will be a quiet time.

Contractors will Lose Jobs to Robots Say Experts

There was a time when the thought of robots doing ordinary jobs seemed far fetched, but the reality could be closer than you think.

Some Contractors Looking Forward to Digital Tax

If you are an umbrella contracting professional then you are no doubt aware that income tax is about to change…by going digital.

Theresa May Advisor Criticises the Gig Economy

We all know the gig economy is becoming popular among contractors. However, a key advisor to the prime minister doesn’t like it at all.

Minimum of £67,000 Would get Contractors to Quit

What would it get you to quit the contracting lifestyle and back into employment? A new survey found that an offer of at least £67,000 a year would do it.

Umbrella Contractors Lose £5000 a Year

According to the IPSE, umbrella contractors in the UK are losing 5 thousand pounds a year because of unpaid work.

Ed Vaizey – “Minimum Wage for Gig Workers”

Tory minister Ed Vaizey has gone on record saying that freelance workers in the so called “gig economy” should be on minimum wage.

DWP Let Hundreds of IT Contractors Go

When it comes to IT contractors there appears to be no shortage of work, but that isn’t the case at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Guy Left Shocked After Boss Rewrites his Resignation Letter

Chester Ang is a call centre worker who decided it was time to become self employed, so he handed in his resignation letter.

May Appoints Blair Employment Law Advisor

In a move that is sure to be interesting for contractors around the UK, Theresa May has appointed Tony Blair’s old employment law advisor.

FCA Concerned About Mortgages for Contractors

It wasn’t long ago that umbrella contractors struggled to get a mortgage, but now the opposite is true, and the FCA has spoken about their concerns.

Only 1 in 5 Contractors Saving for Pension

A new report published by ONS, suggests that just 1 in 5 contractors are putting any money away for their pensions.

Contractors Told “Challenge HMRC”

Have you ever felt unfairly treated by the HMRC? If so, then you must do something about it experts are telling contractors.

Experts Say Making Tax Digital is Too Soon

Most umbrella contractors are by now aware of the plans to make tax digital (MTD), but some people wonder if it might be rushed.

IT Contracting Market back to “Pre-referendum”

As we are all aware, the UK voting to leave the European Union had a massive effect on the economy, not to mention the value of the Pound Sterling.

Deliveroo Challenged About Workers Employment Status

You’ve no doubt heard about the food delivery company called Deliveroo, but lately they have been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Research Suggests IT Contractors are Confused

We all know that IT contractors are in huge demand right now around the UK, but it seems that many of them may actually be confused.

Now is “Perfect Time” to be a Contractor

A recent industry report from respected organisations within the UK suggests it’s never now is the right time to be an umbrella contractor.

£8.1 Billion Lost in Late Payments Every Year

It’s official…the self employed (including umbrella contractors) are losing out on an estimated £8.1 billion in late payments from customers each year.

Contractors More Important than ever Post-Brexit

Since Brexit, permanent placements are down to their lowest since the recession, which means the UK is relying on contractors to get back to a strong economy.

Vast Majority of Umbrella Contractors are “Very Satisfied”

The Office for National Statistics have just released their latest report, and it has emerged that most self employed people are happy with their status.

The New PM Should Back Umbrella Contractors

It’s time to realize that umbrella contractors are the foundation of this country and should be treated as a priority by new Prime Minister Theresa May.

IT Contractors Accept Lower Pay Rates

It seems that umbrella contractors working in the IT sector have decided to accept lower pay rates from Clydesdale Bank in a move that has left some experts shocked.

Uncertainty for umbrella contractors post-Brexit

Umbrella contractors accosted by Nigel Farage’s smiling face in the wake of the Brexit vote are all wondering: what’s going to happen to us now?

North-west has curious mix of contractors in demand

In news that shows just how queer the employment sector can be, a new report shows the most in-demand roles in the north-west of England as of late.

Steady wages highly desired, new survey says

Turns out umbrella contractors are no different than traditional employees – a new survey found that steady wages are highly desired by temp workers.

Umbrella contractor pay levels up year on year

Despite everything, pay levels for umbrella contractors are actually up year on year, even if it seems impossible with the current market conditions.

Working from home worth a pay cut, contractors say

To hell with getting a pay raise – many Brits say they would rather just be able to work at home in peace and quiet, a new research study says.

Could marathon-running be good for contractors?

Want to become a more successful umbrella contractor? Maybe you should start running a few marathons!

Contractors need to be higher skilled than ever

The contracting landscape has changed over the years, with freelancers and umbrella company contractors now needing to be more skilled than ever.

FSB urges parties to support SMEs

There’s a major election cycle upon us – and the Federation of Small Businesses is urging everyone to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Contractor vacancies remain flat in UK

With the EU referendum hanging in the balance, contractor vacancies have arranged flat in the UK with just a 1 per cent increase year on year.

24pc of SME employees want to be self-employed

When it comes to the number of traditional permanent employees working for SMEs in the UK, nearly 1 out of 4 wish they were self-employed.

Both men and women embracing self-employment

Working as a freelancer or an umbrella contractor is becoming increasingly popular with both men and women – and the trend is set to continue.

Contractor demand continues unabated

New reports from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) say that demand for freelancers and contractors in the UK is still high.

Mortgage restrictions ease for umbrella contractors

So here’s some good news: self-employed Brits like umbrella contractors and freelancers are finding it easier than ever to secure a mortgage.

Many Welsh want to be self-employed, new research says

A new research study conducted on behalf of NatWest found that a sizable proportion of Welsh would love to delve into freelancing or contract work.

SMEs need experienced management

New research from the FSB says that small firms need experienced individuals in leadership roles – a clarion call for self-employed management types.

Women benefit from contracting, study finds

A new study has found that women who adopt self-employment benefit greatly from working as a contractor or a freelancer.

Consultancy a booming career path in UK, research shows

Thanks to the perfect storm of a persistent skills shortage and a robust contractor community, consultancy has become a brilliant career choice.

REC finds mixed bag when it comes to employment

According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the nation’s high employment rate is a mixed bag of positive and negative.

Demand set to rise for IT security contractors

Are you a freelancer or umbrella company contractor that works in the IT security sector? Well good news – you’re going to be very, very busy.

Flexible working touted as biggest draw to contracting

In case you hadn’t already sussed it out yourself, a new research study found that flexible working is one of the biggest draws to contracting.

New “gig economy” benefits contractors

Employment opportunities for freelancers and contractors in the new “gig economy” abound, according to newly released economic research.

Flexibility attracts Brits to contract work

New research has shown what umbrella contractors and freelancers already know: flexibility is a massive draw when it comes to the self-employed.

New round of freelaner hiring on its way

A new round of hiring on freelancers, contractors, and umbrella workers is in the cards for the UK according to the newest research study.

IT contractor demand strong, research reveals

The demand for IT contractors, freelancers, agency workers and other self-employed experts in the UK is going strong and is likely to stay that way.

Short on skills, long on pay: contractors could see a raise

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation has announced that the skills shortage gripping British employment could lead to raises for contractors.

Contractor pay up year-on-year

Yes it’s true that the end of 2015 saw a decline in pay rates, salaries for freelancers and umbrella company contractors is on the up for the year.

REC: Labour market shadowed by skills shortage

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation says that the British labour market has been dogged by the shadow of the skills shortage as of late.

New think tank founded to study contractors

Umbrella company contractors, freelancers, and other self-employed Brits will soon be under new scrutiny from a think tank recently founded to study them.

SMEs plan to expand in New Year

Small and medium-sized companies are set to expand in 2016, increasing their workforce – and increasing their need for contractors and freelancers.

Almost half of Brits want to freelance, study says

Nearly one out of every two Brits want to start their own business, according to a recent survey conducted by Small Business.

Professional employers still looking for contract workers

Good news for contract workers and freelancers: employers in professionals sectors are still keen to source temporary staff for their vacant roles.

Skills shortage continues to benefit contractors

Freelancers and umbrella company contractors alike are continuing to benefit from the skills shortage gripping the UK, according to new reports from the REC.

Contractor figures bounce back in UK

For the first time in seven long months, the number of contractors in the UK has begun to increase once again according to new data from ONS.

2015’s third quarter a good one for IT contractors

Researchers say that IT contractors, either working as freelancers or for an umbrella company, had a fantastic third quarter of 2015.

Can we replace oil and gas with pixels and explosions?

This bloke Chris van der Kuyl says that the moribund oil and gas industry should be replaced by game development, and it will save Scottish contractors.

Aberdeen new hotspot for creative SMEs

When it comes to creative SMEs, freelancers, or umbrella companies, Aberdeen is the newest hotspot in the UK according to a new research study.

Government creates new self-employed interest group

Believe it or not, the Government has just taken what could be viewed as a positive step towards supporting freelancers and umbrella company contractors.

Brand reputations matter in a post-CV world

What does your online persona say about you? As recruiters rely on social, job boards, search and the web more, what you post online matters.

Self Employment in the UK falls for 6 months straight

The UK’s self-employed have been hit for six and it shows. Another 51,000 shut up shop in the 3 months to July. It’s time to plug the leak. Now!

Next gen IT Contractors to come direct from full time edu

Microsoft, Siemens and others back the introduction of “tech levels” to the UK school curriculum. Will the new exams help fill the skills gap?

The government: killing the NHS (not so) softly?

New rules came into force on Sept 1st governing the manner in which NHS Trusts can outsource nursing staff, midwives and health visitors. Ouch!

Time for captains of industry to set sail

Graduates can’t get jobs that befit their education; businesses can’t hire people with the right skill set. Is the skills gap really such an easy fix?

Freelance confidence at record high, but can it last?

IPSE’s Q2 Freelance Confidence Index recorded an all-time high in freelancers’ confidence in their business. But that was before the Emergency Budget…

Taxman heading along an ill-advised route to implement IR35

With SDC reforms imminent, a new IR35 discussion document launched putting the onus of vetting contractors onto the client, we ask: What IS HMRC doing?

IR35 – Up for Discussion

The government has fulfilled its budget promise and issued the IR35 discussion document. Should it worry contractors? Only if MPs take a huge pay cut

The northern powerhouse is stoking up the coals

The Q2 2015 jobs report from CV Library sees Edinburgh, Liverpool and Birmingham record higher growth than London. Is the tide changing for good?

Reaction to the 2015 emergency budget (not good)

Will SDC really have a huge impact on the UK economy? Can remote digital freelance sites take up the slack? Yes and no, respect-ively and -fully.

Why this budget will only deliver conservative changes

Today, Chancellor Osborne delivers the first Tory-only budget for almost two decades. Paul’s laughing. Peter? Not so much.

Doors are opening to self-employed opportunity in Whitehall

The Chancellor has invited the FCSA to a post-budget chow-down. Solopreneur Julie Deane’s to head up a govt. report on self-employment. Just, Wow!

Will HMRC deprecate IR35? Has the shift to SDC already begun?

HMRC remains silent on many of the issues affecting contractors; as such, we’re left to speculate. Here’s our punt, with a h/t to Lisa Keeble.

IPSE, ITC and CBI all want a slice of the transport budget

London takes centre stage as TfL lays out is Business Plan up to 2020/21, while IPSE gets behind ITC report for better airport connectivity.

Govt Urged to Use Its Swede as Darby and Joan Worth £100bn to GDP

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ ‘Golden Age Index’ suggests that if the UK utilises workers aged 55+ the same as Sweden does, it could add £100bn to GDP.

How bad is UK skills shortage? 72% of HM Govt vacancies go begging

We knew the UK skills shortage was bad. But even the HSMP can’t help fill ministerial jobs, 72% of which went unfilled in 2014/15 (Bullhorn)

The changing face of recruitment: there’s an app for that

Two articles reminded me how interviews used to be. Now, there’s a mobile app for interviewing, Google Maps and websites. Where were they in 1988?

Chancellor’s Economic Vision Blind to the Elephant in the Room

George Osborne’s vision for the UK is exciting and bold. But the skills gap is a real threat to both short and long term growth, and it’s getting wider.

Preview: Derby University’s Higher Accounting Apprenticeship

Using contractors on an ad hoc basis has aided recovery, but it’s a limited pool. Derby University higher apprenticeships seek to close the skills gap.

Zero Hour contracts’ exclusivity clause terminated

So, zero hours exclusivity clauses are no more. Is the flexible workforce overjoyed? Well, not as cock-a-hoop as you might expect…

Does the government understand NHS agency contractors?

Jeremy Hunt’s comments about agencies supplying NHS staff at ‘rip-off’ prices have ruffled feathers. Kevin Green of REC

Disturbing report finds self-employed pension pots shrinking

The Resolution Foundation report into self-employed pensions is plain scary. Those contributing have dropped by half since 2001/2. Is this why?

Silver lining of skills gap burns bright for lucky few

An NSCC study projects stalling in the construction sector without investment in skills. For those already qualified, opportunity knocks.

High earnings tax threshold raised, but does it do enough?

We have an idea of how Chancellor Osborne will raise the higher tax rate threshold following the budget. But does it go far enough soon enough?

Small business focus: we know what we want; now, deliver it!

The FSB’s #IBackSmallBusiness video implores the new government to focus on the right areas for UK Small Biz growth. Here’s what we REALLY want:

Are you this year’s best UK independent professional?

IPSE is running a competition to find this year’s top independent professionals: Freelancer Awards 2015. Here’s why now’s the best time to enter!

Professional vacancies grow, but are placements sustainable?

APSCo, REC, KMPG and HM (new) Govt all foresee economic growth. Plus, new job posts are increasing. BUT, skilled labour is in decline. What to do?

HMRC taking no prisoners in the war against IR35

Should you set up a Limited Company just to avoid paying tax? Most contractors do it right. But with 600k now operating this way, HMRC is on the warpath!

Would a third tier work system sort out UK taxation?

The US is presiding over the term “Dependent” Contractor, a role between employee and contractor. So why is HMRC intent on blurring our definitions yet further?

Brits take top spot on economic growth

The UK’s economic growth is simply barreling along – and the contributions of freelancers and umbrella company contractors has been helping.

UK contractors missing out by not having IT skills

If you’re a freelancer or an umbrella company contractor and your IT skills aren’t up to par, you’re not alone – but you also could be selling yourself short.

Contractors paid better than permanent workers, survey says

A new research survey has found that interim workers like freelancers and umbrella company contractors often receive better pay than permanent workers.

CBI: beware ‘war on talent.’ Also: the sky is falling

The Confederation of British Industry has sounded the alarmist klaxon, swearing up and down that there’s a ‘war on talent’ destroying British industry.

Hiring confidence falters yet contractor demand soars

Demand for self-employed Brits like freelancers and umbrella company contractors is soaring even as the looming election is causing hiring confidence to falter.

All hands on deck in Cumbria, university chancellor says

The vice chancellor of the University of Cumbria says that it’s an all hands on deck situation to combat the region’s STEM skill shortage.

Government extends Prompt Payment code to help contractors

The Government has announced that it will be extending the Prompt Payment Code to help contractors and other sole traders cope with the horrors of late payment.

APSCo says Budget tax relief plans could be positive step

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies says the plans in the new Budget to provide relief to umbrella company contractors could be a positive step.

Bank of England says UK workforce undergoing major shift

According to the Bank of England, the UK workforce is undergoing a major shift thanks to the hard work of umbrella company contractors and freelancers.

Contractors in deep demand in February, REC says

Umbrella company contractors and freelance workers were in deep demand last month according to new figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

Engineering contractors, rejoice: 2015 is your year

If you’re a freelancer or an umbrella company contractor in the engineering sector, you have some good news waiting for you: 2015 is likely to be your year.

Will engineering contractors win big this year?

A new research study seems to think that when it comes to 2015’s big winners, engineering contractors are going to be a tough act to follow.

Self employment ambassador takes Labour to woodshed

David Morris, the government’s self employment ambassador, has had it with Labour’s rubbish when it comes to speaking down to freelancers and contractors.

Cheap petrol isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, IPSE says

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed said recently that cheap petrol prices at the pump might be nice, British oil is in danger.

More women needed in self-employment, BIS says in new survey

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says in a new survey that increasing the number of female Brits in self-employment would benefit the UK.

IT worker hotspots revealed in new contractor study

When it comes to popular lines of work for umbrella company contractors the IT field is up there at the top, and a new survey shows where in the UK the top is.

Skills shortage finally takes its toll on contracting market

According to the REC, the skills shortage has finally persisted long enough to finally impact the freelancing and umbrella company contracting communities.

Umbrella company contractor opinions wanted by HMRC

If you’re an umbrella company contractor, freelancer or any other type of sole trader, HMRC wants to hear from you about how it can make itself better.

REC sends 193 recruitment agencies packing

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation, one of the biggest contracting trade industry bodies out there, just told 193 applicants to jog on.

IT, engineering contractors to be in high demand in 2015

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation says that IT and engineering contractors were in high demand in December and that demand levels are only to go up.

Contractors least miserable people in the UK, study says

When it comes to misery, the UK loves to hate itself. However, it turns out there’s a sure-fire way to be less miserable – become a Umbrella company contractor.

Enough with late payment to contractors, industry bodies say

Trade industry bodies have come out of the woodwork lately demanding an end to late payment, one of the major thorns in the side of the self-employed in the UK.

Brits flock to contracting as way of life, new figures say

New figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that Brits are flocking to contracting as a way of life in droves and droves.

Creative contractors get pat on the back from the Government

When it comes to creative types in the freelancing or umbrella company contracting fields, the Government has finally given these people their due praise.

REC has good news for umbrella company contractors

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation has some excellent news for freelancers and umbrella company contractors when it comes to temporary job billings.

Reap the rewards of the skills shortage while you still can

According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales the skills shortage is still raging strong, but that shouldn’t stop clever contractors.

Confidence or hubris? Contractors say bring it on in 2015

Whether it’s the quiet confidence of knowing something others don’t or it’s just plain straight up hubris, contractors say they’re ready to tackle 2015.

Nick Clegg pats himself on back for Regional Growth Fund

The deputy prime minister has been patting himself on the back after his pet project, the Regional Growth Fund, has found to have delivered economic results.

Need some workspace? Go to Barclays

Of all the places contractors and freelancers could turn to, Barclays may be the best place to find some temporary workspace believe it or not.

FSB warns contractors to wear their wellies

You’re going to need your wellies this winter, according to the Federation of Small Businesses, as it predicts an especially nasty winter.

CBI begs Government for more help

The Confederation of British Industry has begged the Government for more help when it comes to supporting the UK’s smallest businesses – including contractors.

Frightened firms call for more cyber security contractors

Firms terrified of being subject to hacking attempts have been tripping over themselves to increase the number of cyber security contractors they have on staff.

Demand streaks higher for contractors in November, REC says

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation says that demand rates have streaked ever higher for contractors and freelancers last month.

Oil and gas contractors told to stop slacking on skills

It’s time for oil and gas freelancers and umbrella company contractors to stop slacking when it comes to polishing up on their skills, a new study says.

Government to provide free online support to contractors

The Government is coming to the rescue of umbrella company contractors, freelancers and other sole traders everywhere by providing free online branding support.

UK creative sector gets its own trade industry body

All you creative types out there – including freelancers and umbrella company contractors – will be glad to know that you now have your own trade industry body.

Female contractors earning more than men, survey says

Stop the presses; female contractors and freelancers could very well be earning more than their male counterparts for the first time in what feels like forever!

Digital and marketing contractors raking it in, APSCo says

Digital and marketing freelancers and umbrella company contractors are positively raking it in right now, according to a new report from APSCo.

UK on top when it comes to IT umbrella company contractors

The UK has come out on top when it comes to the information technology sector – and that includes the number of IT umbrella company contractors as well.

Industry boffin says contracting growing in popularity

The popularity of working as a freelancer or umbrella company contractor is soaring ever higher, according to an industry insider that knows more than you or I.

Clients want you – they just don’t want to pay you

So it turns out that freelancers and umbrella company contractors in the IT field are in high demand right now – but not if you charge too much.

You might be able to get that contractor mortgage after all

Don’t look now, but the financial services landscape is changing; lending to umbrella company contractors and small business owners was up in September.

Go get some sun or your brain will melt, researchers say

Researchers say that freelancers and umbrella company contractors that routinely undergo night shift work are most likely melting their brains.

FSB to bend the ears of politicians through social media

The Federation of Small Businesses has a plan to bend the ears of politicians by using social media to engage them over contracting issues.

HRMC to scrap Business Entity Tests, contractors rejoice

In news that falls under the “it’s about damned time” category, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs has decided to scrap Business Entity Tests for IR35.

Skills shortage could impact Christmas shopping season

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation has added fuel to the fire when it comes to fears that the UK skills shortage is going to ruin everyone’s Christmas.

Industry body launches umbrella company sector survey

A major trade industry body has taken it upon itself to launch a major survey of the umbrella company sector to determine its scope and value.

Drill, baby drill: North Sea needs contractors

If you enjoy frigid and probably dangerous conditions there’s good news for you: a position in the North Sea may be waiting for you.

ONS: contractor growth outstrips traditional employment

There are more than three new contract workers for every one new traditional employees, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics.

Monthly contractor pay rate increase hits 7 year high

September saw the highest pay rate increase for contractors in seven years, according to newly released monthly research data.

Umbrella contractors to get mortgage help

For the first time in a long time, it looks like freelancers, umbrella company contractors, and other self-employed Brits will be getting mortgage help.

Government provides support to creative contractors

The Government is planning to provide support to creative types in the freelancing and contracting industry with the creation of a new skills academy.

Don’t forget your broadband voucher, contractors!

Umbrella company contractors and freelancers, if you’re complaining about poor internet speeds don’t forget you might be able to qualify for a broadband voucher.

Miliband begs for contractor support in next election

Desperate to edge out the Tories and the Lib Dems next election, Labour leader Ed Miliband has begun to court freelancers and umbrella company contractors.

What skills shortage? ONS says unemployment is down

While much has been said about the so-called ‘skills shortage’ strangling the employment sector, data from the Office for National Statistics says otherwise.

Contractors remain in demand north of the border

Whilst the issue of Scottish independence has thankfully been bottled for this generation, the country still needs plenty of umbrella company contractors.

REC finds contractor demand increasing at record rate

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation has some big news: last month saw the rate of demand for umbrella contractors hit highs unseen in decades.

Contractors: the Treasury wants your opinion this autumn!

I never thought this day would come but it’s here: the Treasury wants the input of freelancers and umbrella company contractors ahead of the Autumn Statement.

Younger contractors will save us all, trade body declares

Ladies and gentlemen, rejoice for our prayers have been answered: a major trade industry body says we can just dump our problems on the younger generation.

FSB urges more local help be given to contractors

The Federation of Small Businesses recently called for more attention to be paid to contract workers by Local Enterprise Partnerships in the UK.

British contractors have become the low-cost option

Hold on to your hats, contract workers: new research has shown that it costs less to hire a Brit than many other European workers.

Contractor pay gap widens along gender lines

While the economy, aided by freelancers and umbrella company contractors, has recovered, not everyone’s reaping the full rewards of the new financial stability.

British self-employment hits 40 year high

Brace yourselves for some good news: never in 40 years have self-employment figures been this high, according to the Office for National Statistics.

STEM contractors look out: you’ll be fought over soon

If it feels like there’s blood in the water, you wouldn’t be wrong, especially if you’re a STEM contractor: employers are hungering for your expertise.

Financial risk management is a booming business

The financial risk management sector is booming right now – and it needs skilled umbrella company contractors and freelancers in a major way.

Contractor demand spikes sharply year-on-year, survey says

Year-on-year demand for freelancers and umbrella company contractors has risen by a significant margin, according to the results of a new ASPCo survey.

Demand begins to outstrip contractor availability in the UK

Looks like that slippery slope is steeper than we thought: more research findings are indicating that the demand for contractors is outstripping availability.

Contractor vacancies grow whilst availability shrinks

While vacancies for freelancers and umbrella company contractors might be growing by leaps and bounds, contractor availability is starting to dwindle.

Confidence of IT sector soars, brings new opportunity

Industry experts are predicting a banner year for any freelancers or umbrella company contractors involved in the IT sector after the results of one report.

20,000 startup loans and counting: how contractors benefit

It’s finally happened: the 20,000th Start Up Loan has been handed out by the Government, and all this funding in the hands of SMEs is good news for contractors.

Contractor pay rates are increasing, PCG confirms

The Professional Contractors Group has confirmed that pay rates for freelancers and umbrella company contractors are on the increase.

REC says skills shortage worsening in the UK

The talent gap int he UK is worsening, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation says, based on its newest research survey results.

The uninhibited growth of the contractor: new results are in

Well the jury is no longer out on how much growth the flexible working sector has undergone lately. In fact, you might not believe these new research findings!

Umbrella contractors enjoying their summer more?

Whether you work around the clock or it just feels like you do, it might be time for a break – and this year more Brits are enjoying their summer holidays.

Contractors courted with increased pay rates, REC says

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation says that employers are courting freelancers and umbrella company contractors with increased pay rates.

Everyone loves contract workers according to ASPCo

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies has been chuffed to bits lately on the back of new research that says everyone loves using contract workers.

Tories court contractors by suggesting tax system simplification?

The Conservatives are courting freelancers and umbrella company contractors by breaking news that a future Conservative government may overhaul the tax system.

House of Lords criticises Government’s PSC response

The House of Lords Select Committee has just issued some rather choice words on the Government’s recent personal service company consultation response.

Will adding women to the sector save the oil & gas industry?

With reports surfacing that the oil and gas sector may soon be hurting for staff, new initiatives to increase the number of female workers are going forward.