Fighting Back! Separating The Good, The Bad And The Ugly In The Great Umbrella Company Debate
A recent swathe of negative press coverage has somewhat enveloped the Umbrella Company industry in the past couple of weeks. First up, the Union of Construction, Allied Trades And Technicians (UCATT) have further vocalised their entrenched reservations about umbrella companies. Their fundamental argument has been to debate what they see as unfair business practices carried out towards contractors by umbrella operators.
UCATT’s attitudes seemed to chime with viewers tucking into Channel 4’s recent ‘Dispatches’ programme, which sought to ‘expose’ the sham activities of disreputable umbrella companies paying construction professionals under the living wage. And to complete the hat-trick of high profile dissenters ripping at the Umbrella industry, the Daily Mirror ran another story about the misleading activities and ‘rip-off’ culture that predominates amongst umbrella companies.
Naturally, here at Umbrella reaction to this wave of negativity has been swift! Director Miles Grady had this to say: “We need to be quite clear about what the very worthy works from Channel 4, and the Daily Mirror article, achieved: they exposed a small number of so-called umbrella companies whose activities make it difficult for the vast majority of legitimate companies to go about their work.”
“On that level, such media investigation and exposure is welcome. However, there needs to be checks and balances here. Umbrella – and an overwhelming percentage of other umbrella firms – operates with the best interests of our contractors at heart. That’s the bottom line.”
“Here at Umbrella we work with highly skilled, sought after professionals who choose to manage their contracting careers through umbrella companies such as ourselves. We engage our contractors under comprehensive employment contract terms. Our contractors work to PAYE regulations, and are protected by statutory employment rights as standard.”
“One thing this sudden media focus will cause is actually a positive for companies like Umbrella. We welcome any probing questions from existing or potential contracting partners, and we will seek to put minds at ease in explaining how we work, and the standards we adhere to.”
“Its up to us to continue proving that we work only to the highest professional standards, representing the best of an industry that strives to do all it can to improve the working lives of its contractors.”