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 returners to join them with the promise of between 78-85% of their salary as take-home pay if they join them.

Of course, it sounds too good to be true because it is.

The dodgy companies in question were telling returners that they were able to take advantage of tax loopholes to be able to deliver such great returns. However, many of these ‘loopholes’ were nothing more than outright tax avoidance, which could see those taking them up not only facing an unexpected tax bill down the line, but also open them up to potential prosecution.

If that wasn’t bad enough, these sham umbrella companies had the audacity to charge over four times more in weekly fees than their more reputable brethren – up to £80 per week, compared to the much more reasonable £15-£20 per week.

It seems that however much the likes of us here at UCHQ do to try and campaign for the credible, reputable Umbrella Companies out there, call for legislation to get rid of these cowboys and report on those who do flout the law, the government is still willing to stick its head in the sand.

It’s just despicable that these companies see fit to try and target the people helping to keep our country together in the midst of a global pandemic, using social media to reach out to those who may not, as a result of their origin or being out of the industry for a time, be totally au fait with what is and isn’t allowed. These healthcare workers face potential ruin when (and it is a when) the tax man catches up with them for the amount they owe him.

So, we will say what we always say. Choose your umbrella company carefully. Ask lots of questions. Check their credentials and if it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.

 

Stay safe everyone.

 

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