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Umbrella rip off

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by grshall, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. grshall

    grshall New commenter

    Anybody getting ripped off by
    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    ? ... Employers fees increased again. Net salary down again! When will this madness end? Soon I'll be back on minimum wage !!!!!
    ex-agency-manager and wicked4u2 like this.
  2. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Leave them.

    I was with Key Portfolio, Their fees were quire reasonable, better still move to an agency that doesn't use a Umbrella company.
    ex-agency-manager and pepper5 like this.
  3. wicked4u2

    wicked4u2 Occasional commenter

    When I started working with them last year, those employment costs were broken down so you could see what you're paying for. Maybe following so many complaints they decided to cover it up now....
    ex-agency-manager likes this.
  4. wicked4u2

    wicked4u2 Occasional commenter

    Just received my payslip. Yeah, ten percent are employment costs... Damn... Eh... That's that. By this time next week I'll be saying goodbye to them. For a very big while, I hope.
    God bless!!!
    ex-agency-manager likes this.
  5. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    What a strange question.
  6. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    I'm not sure that's the case. IR35 has always applied. It was just overtly stated by HMRC following the recent parliamentary enquiry.
    ex-agency-manager and pepper5 like this.
  7. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    As supply, self employed I used to be able to invoice direct.
    However, now I cannot.
    From my wage, I now pay:
    Income tax
    National Insurance, These we all pay. workplace pension scheme payments
    HOWEVER, since I was forced into umbrella, I now have further deductions.
    EMPLOYERS NATIONAL INSURANCE approx £65 per week
    APPRENTICE LEVY 3% of earnings per week.
    £15 to the umbrella just to get paid (per week)
    So you do the math, ~ £400 per month less, just for going through the umbrella
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    well, don't go through umbrella. There is no need for an outsourced payroll provider.
    I don't need to be told in capital letters in blood red ink what I already know.
    As has been mentioned on here several times, if you can prove that you were "forced" into umbrella co. payroll, you have recourse to law.
    No one is entitled under law to exercise undue influence to make you agree to a disadvantageous contract. Such coercion immediately renders that contract invalid. Your Union would definitely back you up on this, as we already have had sucesses in the NEU against agencies. They settled immediately.
    UCs are not statutory bodies, they are just intermdediary businesses.
    You need to let your union know all the details and forward them all the correspondence that you have received.
    Also notify your MP. The UC debate is not closed.
    Ask them why you have to pay an apprenticeship levy when you work in a sector (schools) that does not offer apprenticeships. Ask where that money is going.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    Well put it in red to stand out. The problem is that it is very difficult NOT to go through the umbrella, especially as most agencies now only work via this route. Probably because, the agency keeps the 13% employers NI in their kitty and put this payment on the shoulders of the supply teacher.. I have sent copies to MP etc, waiting for replies.

    Where possible I will go direct with the schools/colleges, but this work is almost as scarce as hens teeth.
  10. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    I worked with an agency that would only pay through an umbrella company. I asked to be paid directly and was told no, and that they had to go through an umbrella as when they used to pay directly some of their employees 'started wanting things like maternity and sick pay'. Imagine that, workers wanting some rights!! Also, I believe that the more workers an agency has on an umbrella companies books, the cheaper it is for them per worker, so they will push you towards one particular company. Then we get to pay all the deductions. I now work through agencies that pay direct, and although the daily rate is slightly less I don't have to pay employers NI, employers pension or a payroll fee. The main thing is I feel more comfortable as the whole umbrella company set-up bothers me as I have read forums where workers in other jobs, such as construction, are ripped off more than we are.
  11. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    It is still imperative that teachers contact their MP. There was a parliamentary enquiry into UC and it was clear that agencies have to offer PAYE as an option. There is no advantage to the worker to be on UC.
    Most supply teachers work part time and would therefore be entitled to a full tax rebate if they earn les than £15k,thus rendering UC unnecessary.
    Paying a worker s lower rate for opting out of UC is unlawful.
  12. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    nearmiss Thank you. I will definitely contact my MP as I was forced into Umbrella. The agency kept trumpeting what a great rate they paid and how lucky I was. Now I am with another agency on a lower rate but PAYE and I am coming out with more money per day. Yay!
  13. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    nearmiss I have been looking for more information about this subject. I can't find anything concrete about agencies having to offer PAYE direct and not forcing the use of an umbrella co. Could you point me in the direction of any official information that states being forced to use an umbrella co is illegal. Thank you
  14. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Using umbrella co is not illegal. There is info about this on the NEU/NUT website.
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    I realise using an umbrella company is not illegal, but do agencies have to offer PAYE? A previous agency I worked for insisted on Umbrella. I have looked for official info on this and can't find anything. I did speak to my union (NUT), but they didn't seem sure.
  16. pjs1111

    pjs1111 New commenter

    I have not done much supply but hope my experience is useful...

    I have previously done a medium term contract where the agency paid me via a payroll company and I was not charged. Lovely agency, lovely placement but they do not do day to day, which is what I now need.

    I am now with a day to day agency, they use an umbrella company but I am not charged for this. The daily rate is pretty good too (as far as supply teaching goes).

    Another agency who was very keen to get me on board (and I believe it is one of the bigger agencies, has several branches) offered 3 umbrella companies (RACS was one of them) but I would have had to pay a fee whichever one I chose. I have not signed up with this agency as yet, and will not do if I can get enough work from the other one.

    So I would have a go at seeing if other agencies can offer you a better deal, not just on daily rate but on the set up for how you get paid.
  17. TheCuddlyCoyote

    TheCuddlyCoyote New commenter

    Umbrella Companies are a rip off. 'Many' agencies use them to get you to pay the Employer NI, meaning they nor the school have to pay it. (note schools are involved) . Umbrella companies actually should have gone out of business in April 2016 when HMRC made it illegal for temp workers to claim back quite major expenses such as food and travel. Overnight temp workers take home pay was hit, but basically agencies had tactics to keep them with umbrellas, because for an agency, a temp moving to a direct PAYE, brings an extra cost of 15%, and that means, they will sort of have to make a very uncomfortable call to the school to try and get them to pay the extra 15% ( more on this another time)

    A decent agency should therefore pay you higher by at least 15% to compensate you for the EMPLOYERS NI, and others (pension, apprenticeship and umbrella fee. ) BUT, for long term supply teachers going through AWR period of 12 weeks, you have to make sure your new higher rate = the comparable rate + 15%. It is really easy for the agencies to get that 15%.

    I know
    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    . I don't think they differ from most other umbrella companies.

    The unions absolutely hate umbrella companies, and I do to. Umbrella companies are also pointless. Last year about £800m was spent on supply teachers. I've not seen an estimate about how many supply teachers are paid through umbrella companies, but I would guess there is about £10million out of that £800m going to the umbrella companies.

    Also, note that this is only really happening because HMRC are so terrible at their enforcement and are not targetting the umbrella companies or agencies either. The only way to improve the system for the time being is to
    1 play the agencies a bit at their own game,
    2 find an agency that doesn't use an umbrella company
    3 find an agency that will pay you the extra 15% before and after the 12 weeks of AWR.

    I've noted since joining the community that a majority of people active here are doing daily cover or short term cover - is that fair estimation? The majority of 'business' for agencies is for long term teachers, permanent placements and teaching assistants..
    Hope this helps
    I plan to write some more posts on umbrella companies to try help teachers get a fairer deal. And would really welcome any comments on this. Sorry if I have hijacked your post, but it is called 'umbrella rip off' - but bear in mind it isnt just the umbrella ripping you off.
  18. TheCuddlyCoyote

    TheCuddlyCoyote New commenter

    You are right it is deliberate on the part of the agency. The consultant is paid on commission, so is incentivised to get you on the umbrella company as well. If you are not compensated for the various EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS you are being underpaid. Underpayment of £15 per day = anything from £1-5 more pounds a day to the consultant alone.

    There is hope though, I am sure there are normal agencies that you can get paid normally through (what is needed is some sort of database where you can see them all. Has a union not done this maybe?

    I spotted one app based supply company talking through a transparent pay method that are based in SE London, and other apps will definately be better payers. the NASUWT officially endorsed one such company 2 weeks ago.
  19. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    ex-agency-manager - Thank you for your insight. The more information we get the better.

    There are some agencies that pay direct now. I was previously with an agency that would only pay through an umbrella company but changed to one that pays direct. Although my gross rate per day is quite a bit lower, my take home pay is actually a few pounds more.
    What really grates is the way my previous agency made out going through an umbrella was such a good deal. (It was - for them!)

    I hope the mobile apps become more popular with schools as they do sound a better deal.
    ex-agency-manager likes this.
  20. hairremover

    hairremover New commenter

    I have just started work with an agency that gave me the option of being paid PAYE or through the umbrella company that they use (and recommend). There was absolutely NO benefit in going through the umbrella company. All I could see was that I paid their charges and their NI contributions. Needless to say I chose PAYE.
    TheCuddlyCoyote likes this.

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