FAQ's 

Umbrella Companies 

What is an Umbrella Company? 

Umbrella Companies employ temporary/agency workers on behalf of an employment agency, who provides the services of the worker to their clients. This is mainly due to particular legislation (IR35) enforcing strict rules on who can and cannot be classed as a self-employed contractor, to minimise instances of tax avoidance. 

Why am I being paid via an Umbrella Company? 

There are certain factors used to determine whether an individual is truly self-employed or whether they should be classed as a worker. For instance, self-employed contractors can determine the days and hours that they would like to work to complete their job, and could supply a substitute to complete a job on their behalf. 
 
Individuals without these rights are unlikely to be truly self-employed, and must therefore be hired as an employee of an Umbrella Company and be paid through this company. 

Are there any registration forms to complete? 

Your recruitment agency will register your details with us on your behalf and share with us the proof of address (i.e. bank statement or utility bill) that you provided to them. 
You will need to complete two documents before we can pay you for the first time, and these must be completed no later than midday the day before you are due to be paid. These are: 
PSC Contract of Employment – containing the terms and conditions of your employment with PSC, and an opportunity for you to confirm information regarding; your desired payment frequency, holiday pay options, the working time regulations, and your preferred bank account details. 
 
HMRC New Starter Checklist – used to allocate your tax code and determine whether any student loan deductions are required. You will not need to complete this checklist if you can provide a P45 from the current tax year instead. 

What deductions will be made to my pay? 

Umbrella Payrates are calculated to be higher than standard PAYE rates to compensate for the additional requirements and deductions within an Umbrella Payroll System. The ‘Income’ section of your payslip shows the Umbrella Payrate Total, which is what we receive from your recruitment agency to process your pay. 
 
From the Umbrella Payrate Total, deductions include an administration fee (margin) and employers’ statutory deductions (e.g. Employers National Insurance and the Apprenticeship Levy). These deductions are shown within the ‘Deductions/Administration Charges’ section of your payslip. 
 
This will produce your Gross Taxable Pay, which is shown within the ‘Payslip’ section of your payslip. Your Gross Taxable Pay is composed of your Pay and Holiday Pay for that pay period. From your Gross Taxable Pay, employee statutory deductions will be taken (e.g. PAYE/Tax and Employee’s National Insurance). Employee’s National Insurance is calculated by our payroll system and is percentage based. 

Payday 

What day will I be paid? 

There are two payment frequencies that you can choose between – weekly or monthly. 
 
Weekly – you will be paid every Wednesday. 
Monthly – you will be paid on the 22nd of each month.  
 
If this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, you will be paid on the closest working day before the 22nd. 

What time will I be paid? 

We aim to issue all payslips by midday on your chosen payment day. If you have a query or issue regarding the amounts on your payslip, please contact your recruitment agency directly ASAP who will aim to resolve this before payments are made. 
 
Payments are made in the early afternoon and usually take around 2 hours to reach your designated bank account. This can vary slightly depending on your bank of choice. In the event that it is your first time being paid, payments may take longer to reach you due to additional verification from your bank. We aim for all payments to be received by 17:30 PM on your chosen payment day. 
 
The times stated here for payslips and monies to be received are only guidelines and can vary in the event of extenuating circumstances. 

Can I change my payment frequency? 

Once you have been paid for the first time, your payment frequency will be locked in and it will not be possible to change this. 
 
Providing you have not yet been paid, you may request to change your payment frequency from monthly to weekly. However, this can only be actioned if you have completed no more than 2 weeks of work. Any more than this, the payment will be too large to be processed in a weekly payment so it will not be possible. 

What days are included in each pay period? 

Key 
Payday 
Days Included 

Weekly 

Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 

Monthly 

If the 22nd (or the closest working day before the 22nd if this is a weekend or bank holiday) falls on any of the following days, the week immediately prior will be included. 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
If the 22nd (or the closest working day before the 22nd if this is a weekend or bank holiday) falls on any of the following days, the week immediately prior will not be included. 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 
Mon 
Tues 
Wed 
Thurs 
Fri 
Sat 
Sun 

Holiday Pay 

Am I entitled to holiday pay? 

All employees are entitled to statutory annual leave, which is 28 days or 5.6 weeks per year (pro rata). To be able to accommodate for this, a portion of your pay rate constitutes a holiday pay allowance, which equates to 12.07% of the current national minimum wage. Therefore, it is important to note that holiday pay is simply a reallocation of your own funds, not paid to you on top of your agreed rate. 
 
If you choose to accrue holiday pay – 12.07% of the national minimum wage will be retained in a separate fund for you in each pay period. Your payslip will include an itemised breakdown of what constitutes your pay and what is your holiday pay. Accrued holiday pay will be shown on your payslip as a negative entry entitled “Holiday Pay Retained”. You can then withdraw from this fund at any time, such as when you take annual leave. 
 
If you choose not to accrue holiday pay – your entire hourly umbrella pay rate will be paid to you during each pay period, and therefore you will not have the option to be paid for any days you do not work. 

How do I request the release of my holiday pay? 

Ideally, please use the form on our website *PLEASE INSERT HYPERLINK TO THE HOLIDAY PAY FORM PAGE OF THE WEBSITE*, or alternatively send us an email with your request. 
 
If requesting this via email, please note that we require the following information: 
 
• How much holiday pay you would like to be released – you can request a specific amount (i.e. £250), a number of hours (i.e. 7.5), or a portion of your accrued amount (i.e. 50% of your current balance). 
• When you would like the pay to be released – this can only be paid to your standard payment day (i.e. a Wednesday if you are paid weekly, or the 22nd of the month if you are paid monthly). 
 
In order to action your request, it must be made no later than midday the day prior to your payment day (i.e. the Tuesday or 21st of the month). 
Please note that if you request to withdraw more holiday pay than you have accrued, a member of our team will contact you at our earliest opportunity to advise you of the options available to you. 

How do I check my holiday pay balance? 

Please email us directly at payroll@ps-contracting.co.uk, wherein a member of our team will verify this information for you and provide you with your balance via email. We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. 

Can I switch holiday pay options? 

You are freely able to start or stop accruing holiday pay at any point within your employment. To do so, please email us any time at payroll@ps-contracting.co.uk where we will action your request at our earliest opportunity. 

Pension 

Can I contribute to my pension? 

It is a legal requirement for all companies to enroll their employees into a workplace pension scheme. The pension provider that we use is Smart Pension. 
PSC operates a 3-month postponement period, wherein you will be automatically enrolled after 12 weeks of employment. You can choose to enroll sooner if you wish by contacting Smart Pension directly. 
 
At the time of your first payment, Smart Pension will send you two letters via email – a welcome letter and a postponement letter. 12 weeks later, at the time of auto-enrollment, you will receive another letter from Smart Pension with details including; how Smart Pension works, their pension scheme, how to access their portal, how to contact them, and how to opt-in or out of your pension. 

How do I opt out of contributing to my pension? 

Due to regulations put into place by governing bodies such as the Pension Regulator, the act of opting in or out of your pension must be done through your pension provider directly. Therefore, if you wish to do so, please contact Smart Pension directly who will send us a notification which we will action at our earliest opportunity. 
 
Unfortunately, you will not be able to opt-out of pension contributions before the first deduction has been made. If you opt-out within 30 days of auto-enrollment, the initial deduction can be repaid to you. However, no deductions will be refunded to you if you action this any later than within the specified 30 days. 

General 

What are your opening hours? 

PSC operates from 09:00-17:30 on Monday-Thursday, and 09:00-17:00 on Friday. 
 
Any queries, emails, or phone calls sent outside of this time frame will not be received until the next working day. 

How can I contact you? 

PSC is contactable by phone and email. 
 
Phone – 0208 159 8580 
 

When can I expect to receive a response to my query? 

Due to the large volume of correspondence, we receive daily, PSC cannot always guarantee to respond to your query immediately.  
We endeavor to respond to all queries within two working days, and within our business hours only. 
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