Contractors – don’t forget to have your say on umbrella companies to help the government improve the industry

Contractors – don’t forget to have your say on umbrella companies to help the government improve the industry

The government has opened a consultation into the umbrella company marketplace, and it is seeking assistance from contractors, payroll providers and industry stakeholders. If you use an umbrella company or have feedback that could help the government, you’re being encouraged to participate. The more participants, the better the government will understand the umbrella company sector. Hopefully, this will ensure they roll out suitable rules and regulations to protect workers from non-compliant providers. Please keep reading and find out more about the call for evidence and how you can help shape the future of the umbrella company sector.

Call for Evidence: umbrella company market

In an unusual series of events, the government has launched a call for evidence into the umbrella company marketplace and they are seeking help from stakeholders within the sector. If you use an umbrella company for your payroll or you work within the supply chain, your input could significantly help the government understand the sector and to roll out suitable rules and umbrella company regulations to improve compliance in the future.

The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) describes the government’s call for Evidence into umbrella companies as a “fact-finding mission to understand the umbrella company market, in anticipation of introducing formal legal regulation of the sector.”

Contractors are being encouraged to help the government improve the umbrella company industry

Many industry stakeholders have shared their views on the government’s consultation focusing on umbrella companies. Without a doubt, the consultation has been met with very positive feedback. Contractors, freelancers and temporary workers are being encouraged to participate to ensure the government receive in-depth and accurate feedback that’ll help improve the industry moving forward.

CEO at Professional Passport, Crawford Temple, has also encouraged contractors and freelancers to partake in the government’s consultation. He told Contractor UK:

“The government… is keen to hear from [umbrella] contractors.

So I would urge contractors to share and air their views on umbrella working with the government so that a fair system can be put in place that protects contractors from being caught up in schemes that will punish them and their pockets significantly.”

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is also trying to rally contractors together to take part. As well as featuring several tips for contractors, an article on the LITRG’s website states:

“HMRC want to ensure they hear a range of views about umbrella companies, including from workers from all walks of life. They also want to make the call for evidence process inclusive and accessible to all.

As such, if you don’t want to write in, but still want your voice to be heard, you can join a small group video call with some other workers and HMRC staff members (who will take notes) and tell HMRC about your experiences of working through an umbrella company. HMRC would like to hold a specific call for lower income, unrepresented workers, probably in the week of 24 January 2022.”

Ciaran Woodcock, director at one of our top 10 umbrella companies – Churchill Knight Umbrella, has shared his views on the government’s consultation. He is also actively encouraging umbrella employees to help the government.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the government to identify the good practices within the sector and spot any unethical behaviour from supply chain members. Hopefully, the consultation will help protect contractors and freelancers and make it even harder for tax avoidance schemes to exploit UK workers.

If you use an umbrella company for your payroll or work in the supply chain, I actively encourage you to participate in the call for evidence. This is an opportunity like I’ve never seen before. It is the perfect chance to share your thoughts on the positive and negative aspects of the umbrella company marketplace.

Is there anything you don’t like about umbrella companies? Do you have any suggestions to improve umbrella companies? Have you used an umbrella that provided a service above all others? Do you have any compliance concerns about umbrella companies, staffing agencies or end-hirers?

Please – answer the questions and share your thoughts to improve the future of payroll for temporary workers.”

How to participate with the government’s umbrella company consultation

Firstly, please read the call for evidence web page on the government’s website, available here. Also, please thoroughly review the official PDF document and identify which of the questions you are supposed to answer.

If you want to participate, here are the many ways to send your responses:

  • You can email your answers to umbrellacompanyevidence@hmtreasury.gov.uk.
  • If you would prefer, you can send your responses in the post. The address is: Umbrella Company Call for Evidence, Personal Tax Team, HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ.
  • Online surveys are available too. If you represent an employment business or you work for an end-client, you can complete a survey available here.
  • If you’re a temporary worker who uses an umbrella company (or you have in the past), you can complete this survey.
  • Umbrella company representatives are also encouraged to participate in the consultation, and you can email your thoughts to the address above.

If you are interested in participating in the umbrella company consultation, you have until the 22nd of February to complete some pre-specified questions and send your responses to the government.

Top 10 umbrella companies

If you are looking for an umbrella company you can trust, or you’re unhappy with your current payroll provider, please look no further than our top 10 umbrella companies. They are all accredited by either the FCSA or Professional Passport, and some have special offers at the moment.

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Click here to see our top 10 umbrella companies!

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