I was forced to join an umbrella company through an agency who told me they would not be able to offer me work unless I did and that this was their policy. I had heard some agencies have the same policy, but by no means all, so although I wasn't keen on paying an umbrella company to do my tax and insurance, which I could easily have done for myself, I needed the work so was not too concerned about it. Recently I received a breakdown of my first pay and discovered that I was being charged not only my own tax & national insurance but an 'employer's national insurance' too. I have queried this with the agency and am waiting for a reply, and also with the umbrella company. The latter told me that when I signed with an umbrella company I became an employee of theirs, yet I was given to believe I was employed by the agency. The umbrella company said they have an 'agreement' with the agency whereby, according to legislation, an employer's liability for national insurance gets passed on to the employee. In effect this means I am being charged 2 lots of national insurance - my own and that of my employer ! I have never heard of such a thing ever. Despite what the umbrella company say, I am still not sure who I am actually employed by - them or the agency ! Has anyone ever heard of this or is in the same situation? What with being forced to pay a fee to the umbrella company for something I could do for myself + 2 lots of national insurance, when I receive my pay there isn't a lot left ! I am thinking of contacting DWP or the national insurance office for clarification. As far as I can see there seems to be no way I can have this 'employer's national insurance' refunded. It really sounds like a bogus arrangement similar to the scam of forcing people to apply for multiple CRBs, or at best, a loophole exploited by agencies and or umbrella companies whereby they can offload their legal liability on to the hard-pressed employee. I really can't get my head around the fact that it might be legal to make an employee pay an employer's national insurance ! Any reponses appreciated.