Umbrella.co.uk Halloween Spooktacular
Editor | 31 October 2017
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Umbrella.co.uk staff are fundraising for charity with a Halloween 'dress up' day in the office...There's some scarily good costumes, giant spiders and zombies creeping about......

OECD calls for self-employed tax hike
Editor | 24 October 2017
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Calls from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to revive plans for a self-employment tax hike have been met with scorn and confusion from self-employment pressure groups.

The last budget, delivered before the general election in June, included plans to increase National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for self-employed workers.

But in an embarrassing U-turn the Chancellor was forced to drop the tax hike when MPs pointed out that it contravened a 2015 election promise not to increase VAT, NICs or income tax.

New agencies for the provision of supply teachers

The government’s buying department, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), is creating a new national framework for the provision of supply teachers.

 

Amid growing concerns about a nationwide teacher shortage, the government wants a better deal for temporary staff and the schools that recruit them.

 

Working with the Department for Education (DfE), the CCS is finalising a new agreement that will cover all temporary and fixed term teaching and non-teaching roles.

 

This includes unqualified teaching assistants, cover supervisors, supply teachers and head teachers as well as non-classroom personnel like clerical workers and cleaners.

 

To justify the new framework, CSS highlighted school spending figures on supply staff. 

Congratulations to Rebeca Rivas - September employee of the month

Umbrella.co.uk is delighted to announce that our Employee of the Month for September is our lovely Spanish Senorita, Rebeca Rivas!  Rebeca joined our Welcome Team 6 months ago and since then has made herself invaluable for her attention to detail, and very popular with our new customers!  Well done Rebeca!!

Three things contractors could find in the Autumn Budget 2017

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced the date for the government’s Autumn Budget, which will take place on Wednesday 22 November.

Delivered after Prime Minister’s Questions, the annual budget statement is presented alongside the latest economic forecasts produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The statement is both an appraisal of the state of the economy and a plan for how the government will respond.

The Autumn Budget has a little more significance attached to it this year because, for the first time in a while, there will only be one Budget statement held each year – in autumn. 

‘Too good to be true’ payment scheme users risk bankruptcy

A recently concluded court case could have far-reaching consequences for contractors on ‘too good to be true’ tax avoidance schemes.

In a warning sign to contractors that are thinking about using a dodgy ‘too good to be true’ remuneration scheme, MPs have been told that users of one type of tax avoidance scheme could risk bankruptcy in the near future.

The charge centres on a recently concluded Supreme Court Case between Rangers Football Club and HMRC and a tax avoidance scheme where an offshore Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) paid players and other staff through loans. 

FreeAgent fortifies NatWest ties for even easier sign up

Cloud Accounting software provider FreeAgent has moved a step further in its integration with NatWest and now enables users to sign up with their existing bank logon details.

This provides quick, easy sign on that is also secure and provides flexibility under Open Banking for the Natwest customer to decide what information is shared with FreeAgent

FreeAgent and Natwest have been trialling the system with around 2,00 customers and it has proven to be extremely successful, hence the wider rollout.

Operations Director Neil Armitage said “Contractors are constantly on the go and under a lot of pressure so anything that can simplify their lives like this is more than welcome. Closer integration with banking partners such as NatWest can only benefit our customers and it’s great to see FreeAgent continue to innovate”

Entrepreneur named first Small Business Commissioner

Former MP and small business owner Paul Uppal has been appointed as the first Small Business Commissioner, with a mandate to tackle the late payment crisis and put a stop to big business bullying.

The Commissioner role, which was first proposed in the summer of 2015, will give small businesses the support they need to thrive in line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy. 

Umbrella attends the When You Wish Upon a Star's 20th Black & White Ball

Our employees of the year had a great time at the When You Wish Upon a Star's 20th Black & White Ball on Saturday night.

The team snapped some great celeb selfies with stars such as Saracen from Gladiators, Nikki Sanderson from Hollyoaks, Will Mellor and the singer Carly Paoli.

A fabulous dinner and bubbly was followed by dancing into the night with some 'special moves' from Adam in Customer Services.

Umbrella.co.uk are proud to support and fundraise for this amazing charity who continue to grant the wishes of children living with life threatening illnesses.