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remind me again why I use Key?!?!

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by bigpig, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. bigpig

    bigpig New commenter

    One of my agencies made me switch over to Key during the summer. The week before last I worked 3 days at £90 a day so they sent over £270 to key...... I took home £189!!!
    It wasn't very far and I only claimed milage (27miles over 3 days) as I took my own lunch and read I should only claim lunch if I actually bought it on the day.
    Why do they take off employers NIC again? Shouldn't our agency be paying this.
    I'm being taxed BR through them as my other agencies have my tax code split but can claim this back through self assessment for my s.e work in April as I'm not going to work enough to pay tax this year. I know the BR takes alot off, but I've paid £25 in employers NIC and Key margin for nothing...
  2. I feel for you!! I never get used to the shock of the amount taken from my wages by using key (I actually never knew a life before them as I've been with them since I started supply). I never buy food out but I always claim breakfast, lunch and dinner because my agencies told me to. My friend never claims any expenses for some reason and loses so much money!!
  3. bigpig

    bigpig New commenter

    I might start claiming lunches then, do we say lunch was £7.50 even if we had a 'school lunch' that cost teachers about £2.50 or something?
    I've emailed my agency asking if it's the only way and said that I thought they were supposed to add money on for the employers NIC. Will see if I get a reply.
    One of my other 2 agencies, (the other is LEA) asked if I wanted to go onto key, I said 'no thanks!' as supply is so rare and all I've had from them recently is nursery work that I'd be paying key a fortune.

  4. Ditch the agency and key as soon as possible. You have to pay employers NI and there is no uplift in your daily rate.The only way this is worth it is if 1) You leave home very early. 2) You have to travel 150 miles per day.. 3) You spend more that 10 hours away from home each day. Also beware that HMRC will, I think, look into these companies to ckeck their legality. If they rule against, you could find yourself with a nasty tax bill plus fines. Avoid
  5. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    After finally getting some supply work last week I got to fill in a time sheet from my agency. They also say that I can claim for mileage and meals. There was a nice PDF file that explained that they had an agreement with HMRC about claiming for such things and that receipts weren't needed. I haven't claimed for anything as I'm still incredibly sceptical about the whole thing.
    It sounds like this agency (deer backwards) has it's own umbrella thing. I will be really annoyed if I'm out of pocket in terms of NI contributions. As far as I can tell they should pay the employer contribution.
    If there are any issues I might take my payslips to Citizens Advice to see if they know anything about it and can advise me on how to proceed.
    It will be a really rubbish time on supply if I can't even get a decent take-home wage after a daily rate of £130 a day [​IMG]
  6. Wow a daily rate if £130 you are so lucky there. On the other point Key phoned me twice and actually told me not to go with them as I wasn't earning enough. Firstly they said I needed at least 2 days per week to make it count and to claim the expenses they suggest as they take charges off you and you can end up out of pocket. Secondly, I signed on in April and got no work til after may half term then did 5 days by the summer. Last half term I did 1.5 days. I have not earned enough to pay tax and NI and I then asked Key about the expenses thing as it is claimed through tax relief. I was right to then say I wouldn't be able to claim if I am not paying tax hence their charges would leave me out of pocket. Key agreed they were no good for me.,as my agency are recusing PAYE since the AWRs came in I am now technically self employed and invoice the full amount before tax. I am registered with HMRC and save 20% of earnings for tax and have an NI small earnings exemption certificate. I have secured 5 afternoons a week this term and possibly til summer but with the last couple of weeks not working due to school covering PPA with a DVD as its Xmas - my role is PPA/SENCO/NQT cover.
  7. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    The only reason I use Key is cos my agency guarantee I'll be at least £1 per week better off using them. If I don't claim enough expenses to make it worth my while, they top up my pay. As it's November and I've done barely any work yet, I'm not paying any tax. Therefore, no point claiming expenses. Therefore, they pay Key and I end up better off.
    My other agency asked if I wanted to use them. They pay monthly, and said Key take £75 per month flat fee, and they wouldn't be guaranteeing anything about being better off. As my daily rate is £80 and I pay no tax, there was no way that'd be worth it - 1 days work in a month and I'd get £5?! Thankfully that agency let me be paid through PAYE.
    I'm dubious about expenses too. I did ask at my agency and of course they said "we're a big company, of course we wouldn't do anything illegal" but it's not illegal it's a grey area (whether we're self employed or not or something, and whether we need receipts or not). And they won't have to answer to HMRC - we will!
    I'm sure legally they can't force you to use Key, push and push and you'll probably find they let you use PAYE.

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