Contractor FAQs

If you’re thinking about becoming a contractor or are already one of our existing customers, we’ve put together a list of helpful FAQs.

Working with iConsult

Firstly the ‘Timesheet Analysis’ section. This shows the number of hours/days worked and at the agreed rate with the agency for this contract multiplied to give the total amount of money that we receive from your agency.

The rate however is a ‘Ltd company rate’ and does include within in the employers NI. For this reason, the rate will be slightly higher than if it had been a normal PAYE rate, and this is in order to include the employers NI, which would normally be paid straight to HMRC from the employer, without the employee ever knowing about it. However, with an umbrella company or ltd company it is included in the rate instead.

From the total amount of money that we receive from the agency we deduct our iConsult margin, employers NI and any allowable tax reducing expenses. This leaves us with the total pay amount (gross taxable pay) which is run through our payroll software and PAYE and employee NI deductions are calculate). We then add back on the allowable tax reducing expenses which haven’t been taxed, leaving the total amount payable to the employee (net pay).

This is not a problem; we can work with almost every agency and client. Just tell the new agency that you are with Umbrella.co.uk and pass them our contact details. Your Account manager can liaise with the agency over the contract details.

ou can simply continue with our service.  If you have previously requested a P45, or not been paid for more than 2 calendar months we may have to restart your employment with us but this is not a problem.  We can liaise with your agency over the new contract details.

You will need to let your relationship manager know immediately.

We will ask you your employment circumstances over the phone to ensure we place you on the correct tax code.  You can also complete a P46 form if you wish.  If there are any issues with your tax, you will need to arrange with HMRC for them to instruct us of your correct tax code.

If you have a P45 from your previous employer, please send the originals of parts 2 and 3 to us by e-mail or post.

We store your data on a secure database.  The electronic system is username and password protected.  When you call us we will ask you security questions to comply with the Data Protection Act.

After we have discussed your options and you have selected the correct one yourself, we will send you an electronic registration form and contract that you can complete online in less than 10-15 minutes. Once we have received this with all relevant documentation your registration will be complete.

The simplest way is to give us a call on 0117 374 1114. Our team of experts will discuss all the options available to you and help you choose the best payroll solution.


IR35 was introduced as new legislation as part of the finance act 1999, as a way of plugging the £400m loophole in the tax law of the time.

Up until this legislation, contractors operated through either an Umbrella or Limited company. In doing so they were able to freely manage their income themselves, normally with the assistance of an accountant.

IR35 is an HMRC tax law designed to increase government tax revenues. It prevents contractors avoiding tax. Contractors could benefit financially if their contract was outside of the IR35 laws.

This is because they could have taken a proportion of their income as a dividend and so avoid an element of tax. The IR35 tax law, which has been around for nearly 20 years, covers most contractors in the UK. This means that a contractor gets less tax breaks than they used to get before IR35 came into effect.

Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)

The scheme covers all types of businesses and other concerns that work in the construction industry, including:

  • companies
  • partnerships
  • self-employed individuals

These businesses can be:

  • contractors
  • subcontractors
  • contractors and subcontractors

Under the scheme, the terms ‘contractor’ and ‘subcontractor’ have special meanings that cover more than is generally referred to as ‘construction’.

The scheme covers all construction work carried out in the UK, including jobs such as:

  • site preparation
  • alterations
  • dismantling
  • construction
  • repairs
  • decorating
  • demolition

The UK includes UK territorial waters up to the 12-mile limit. The scheme doesn’t apply to construction work carried on outside the UK. However, a business based outside the UK and carrying out construction work within the UK is within the scheme and must register accordingly.

The scheme sets out the rules for how payments to subcontractors for construction work must be handled by contractors in the construction industry and certain other businesses.

Under the scheme, all payments made from contractors to subcontractors must take account of the subcontractor’s tax status as determined by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This may require the contractor to make a deduction, which they then pay to HMRC, from that part of the payment that does not represent the cost of materials incurred by the subcontractor.

Agency Worker Regulations (AWR)

The new regulations derive from European legislation designed to give temporary agency workers parity in pay and employment conditions as they would have been entitled to had they been employed by the hirer directly to do the same job. Whilst in other [arts of the EU, this entitlement comes into effect from day one of an assignment, the UK has a derogation period of 12 weeks of service with the same hirer, in the same role, in order to qualify.

The new regulations will not change the employment status of agency workers who will still not have the right to claim unfair dismissal, redundancy pay or maternity leave. Nor will agency workers be entitled to the same benefits such as occupational sick pay, company pension schemes, financial participation schemes and bonus payments based upon organisational or company performance. These are considered a reflection of the long-term relationship between and employee and employer. Agency workers will therefore remain a flexible labour source.

Agency workers will be entitled to the same basic pay and working conditions. This includes the basic hourly rate and any additional entitlements that are linked to the work done by the agency worker during an assignment. It will include the same overtime and shift allowances, unsocial hours premiums, payments for difficult or dangerous duties and lunch vouchers. Bonuses which are directly attributable to the quality and quantity of work done by an agency worker will also be included. Agency workers will also be entitled to the same rest breaks and annual leave allowance.

Whilst the other benefits are only given after 12 weeks, there are some benefits which agency workers will be entitled to from day one of an assignment. Firstly, you will need to ensure that agency workers are made aware of vacancies that arise in your organisation. Secondly, agency workers will also be entitled to access several collective facilities including creche and childcare facilities, canteen facilities and the provision of transport services but access to these can be refused if there are ‘objective grounds’ for doing so. ‘Amenities’ e.g. subsidised gym membership, season ticket loans and childcare vouchers are out of scope.

Agency workers who have successfully completed 12 weeks service in the same job, will have a right to equal treatment in basic pay, overtime, bonus and commission related to individual productivity and the right to be paid and take the same holidays as a comparable permanent employee. Agency workers will also be entitled to receive luncheon vouchers and other vouchers with a monetary value (but not those provided through a salary sacrifice scheme such as childcare vouchers). Agency workers will have the right to work the same hours as comparable permanent employees.

Agency workers will not be entitled to equal treatment in relation to occupational pension schemes, share schemes, redundancy pay, maternity/paternity rights or bonuses related to the company’s performance, occupational sick pay, non-cash awards, advances in pay or loans, additional discretionary and non-contractual payments. This will not affe3ct their entitlement to statutory sick pay or statutory maternity/paternity pay from the agency if they qualify for these.

After the 12-week qualifying period, a pregnant agency worker will be entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments. Agency workers will not however, be entitled to receive equal treatment with regards to client’s maternity pay arrangements but may be entitled to statutory maternity pay/maternity allowance from the agency.

The regulations give agency workers the right to ask their agency for information relating to their equal treatment right. After the 12-week qualifying period has elapsed you can request a written statement from the agency (and subsequently from the client if you do not receive a response from your agency within 28 days).

Managed Service Companies Legislation

The definition of an MSC is based on four conditions:

  • The company’s business consists mainly of providing the services of individuals to third parties.
  • The individual receives payments that represent most of the fees received by the service company.
  • Had all the payments been subjected to PAYE, the payment would have been greater than what it is now.
  • A MSCP is involved with the company.

Since 6th January 2008 the transfer of debts from MSC legislation has begun. Any debts that cannot be recovered from the MSC provider can now be transferred to a third party.

The following fall into the third-party category:

  1. The director, or other office holder or associate of the MSC.
  2. The MSC provider, or the director, or holder of the associate MSC provider
  3. Any other person who directly or indirectly has encouraged or been actively involved in the provision by the MSC of the services of the individual, or a director, or other office holder or associate of such person.
  • Recruitment companies fall into the third category and if you have directly advised contractors to use an MSC provider or influenced their decision then HMRC can issue a transfer notice for recoverable funds.
  • iConsult can reassure agencies and contractors alike that we offer purely a PAYE Umbrella Solution which treats all income as employment income and therefore do not fall within the definition of a Managed Service Company, therefore iConsult will not owe any liabilities to HMRC and therefore there will be no debt to be transferred.
  • iConsult as a PAYE Umbrella Company does not meet the 3rd condition quoted in HMRC guidance:
  • ‘In umbrella companies, workers are treated as employees of the umbrella company and all payments to workers treated as employment income which is paid in the form of salary and allowable expenses. It follows therefore, what the worker has received from the umbrella company is the same as they would have received from any other company through which the worker operated, and which treated all payments as employment income. Consequently, the third condition is not met, and the umbrella company does not meet the definition of a Managed Service Company.’

Swedish Derogation Model (Contract)

The Swedish derogation relates to the opt-out clause negotiated by the Swedish delegation when AWR was debated at EU level. To put it simply, it means that the AWR rights to equal pay of an agency worker no longer exist when agency workers are employed on a permanent basis by their umbrella company or temporary work agency and receive pay in-between assignments.

The conditions of this are that the agency worker needs to be genuinely employed by the umbrella company or agency with a permanent contract of employment in place and that the contract was entered before the beginning of the workers first assignment. 

For agencies or umbrella companies, they will obviously have an obligation to pay agency workers during non-working periods as well as:

  • Ensuring that suitable steps are taken to seek suitable employment for the worker.
  • Making sure that any available is offered to the worker.
  • Paying the worker, a minimum amount for an aggregated period of not less than four calendar weeks (subject to national minimum wage).
  • The minimum amount must be at least 50% of the workers basic pay while on assignment. However, it cannot be less than the national minimum wage.

iLove Rewards

iLove Rewards is a platform that provides employees of iConsult access to hundreds of lifestyle benefits. 

Users will receive their welcome email from the Rewards team within 12 hours of registering with iConsult containing their personal log in information.

After confirming your personal details, you will be asked to select your shopping preferences and complete your account set up.

To login click here.

  • Access to discounted shopping including supermarkets and high street stores.
  • Savings at Cineworld, Odeon and Vue Cinemas.
  • Eat out for less with a selection of restaurants. 

From the home screen users can click Shop in Store > Vouchers & Cards > select the retailer of your choice or select multistore cards from the available selection. Each card will have a default amount that will need to be loaded onto the card. The cards are free however, the user will need to pre-load the card with the amount stated by the retailer chosen e.g. £10. The user also can see how much Cashback they will receive upon the activation of that card. Once they have chosen the card and uploaded the required pre-loaded amount, the user can start shopping. 

If you have chosen to receive a physical card, then it will be sent to you in the post and you will need to activate the card(s) before using them. You will receive instructions of how to do this included in the packaging. To do this you can navigate to My Account > My Reloadable cards.

The user will see the cards they have ordered. Any active cards will be under “My Activated Cards”. Non-active cards will appear under “My Non-activated Cards”. Each non-activated card will have a button under it saying “Activate”.

When the user clicks “Activate” they will be asked to enter the long digit number on the back of that card and provide the card a name e.g. “My Zizzi’s Card”. Once this process is complete, the card will be active, and the user can use the card.

To do this you can navigate to My Account > My Reloadable Cards – Click the button “Load” and then you will be taken to a screen asking you to confirm the amount you wish to load onto the chosen card. You will then be taken through the checkout process and instantly be rewarded with cashback which can be seen on the right-side menu.

You can find Wellbeing on the main navigation menu and the following services are included below:

  • Articles and Tips
  • Discounted Health Cash Plans
  • Free Credit Scoring
  • Retirement Planning – Provided by Aspire to Retire
  • Virtual Gym
  • Money Advice – Provided by Money Advice Service
  • Legal Helpline – Castle Keep Law (Free 30 Mins)
  • Elderly Care Helpline
  • Debt Management – Harrington Brooks
  • Eyecare and Savings (Free Eye Tests using Optical Express)

Online Savings is located on the main navigation menu and you will be presented with several categories ranging from Electrical to Home and Garden.

You can call customer services on 0870 908 008 or email: csdept@peoplevalue.co.uk.

, Contractor FAQs
0117 374 1114
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