freelancer Articles

Business Continuity Update from Customer Service - COVID-19

Umbrella.co.uk have of course been putting together comprehensive plans to ensure that we are fully prepared for whatever the next few months brings.  

The planning has considered all key parts of our business.  We consider these to be:

  1. ​Business partner relationship management
  2. New business consultation and registration
  3. Contracting with and onboarding of new clients
  4. Submission of timesheets and expenses
  5. Payroll
  6. Customer service

We obviously hope that the situation is unlikely and will not occur but, should the worst happen and significant numbers of staff are unable to attend the office, we are 100% confident that we will be able to maintain all the above processes with minimal disruption.

  • We have identified key staff who will manage business critical activity in all areas.  We will adapt to any given circumstances and flexibility exists for the key staff to either work from the office or from home with equal efficiency.
  • We are confident that we would not lose any capability to support and pay our contractor employees.  Our confidence is borne from the fact that all of our major softwares which are intrinsic to processes are web-based and can therefore be accessed from anywhere.  Those that sit on our internal servers would be available via VPN connections.  Our external IT administrators have provided sufficient hardware capacity for multiple staff to be accessing the servers via VPN simultaneously.  Mobile equipment for staff remote working is already in place and tested. 
  • Our telephone system is also web-based and all key staff will have access to it via their mobile phones using a SWiP app.  This means that inbound calls can be taken on staff mobiles wherever they are, without the caller even being aware that the call has been re-routed.  Routing calls through our server also allows us to maintain our practice of recording all in and outbound calls.

"Please be assured that we are confident of maintaining ‘business as usual’ as best we can.  We are not however complacent and will continue to monitor developments to ensure we can react quickly.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions" - Nick Holmes, CEO

Government Launches ‘Meaningless’ Review of IR35 Changes

The Government has this week launched a review of the upcoming change to off-payroll (IR35) working rules. But the review has already been branded ‘limited’ and ‘meaningless’ by industry experts.

The review will gather evidence from contractors and large and medium-sized businesses and will determine if any further steps can be taken to ensure the ‘smooth implementation’ of the reforms.

Legislators will need to act quickly, however, because the reforms are still due to take effect in April 2020.

How Brexit Will Affect Contractors
marketing | 12 February 2019
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Brexit day is fast approaching and there is little certainty over how the negotiations will turn out.

Whatever happens, Brexit is likely to impact contractors in the UK. There may be some benefits in the short and long term, but many contractors are also likely to face some restrictions on their work.

In this blog post, we investigate the most likely Brexit outcomes and how they will affect contractors in the UK.

Umbrella.co.uk celebrating national freelancers day 2017
marketing | 8 June 2017
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Today is all about recognising the hard work and dedication that goes into operating as a freelance worker, and helping those workers be fully aware of how to manage their business as effectively and smoothly as possible.

Get a life in 2016
marketing | 21 December 2015
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New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to maintain past the second week of January. How many times have you told yourself that you’ll go to the gym more this year, drink less alcohol or make and save more money?

Sound like you? Perhaps you are just making the wrong resolutions. Make a commitment to go self-employed in 2016 and watch your other ambitions come true as you reclaim control over your life. 

Stephen Holt Wins Umbrella.co.uk December Employee of the Month
marketing | 14 January 2020
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We are delighted to announce that Stephen Holt, Payroll Assistant, has won December Umbrella.co.uk Employee of the Month.

“Stephen always goes the extra mile to help agencies and our internal teams, ensuring contractors get paid correctly and on time. A crucial team player who’s enthusiasm and positive attitude shines through every day.

Congratulations Stephen for your double December win…Employee of the Month and got engaged! Well done and keep up the good work.” Jon Biddle, Director.

Allison Gallagher Umbrella.co.uk July Employee of the Month
marketing | 5 August 2019
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Congratulations to Allison Gallagher, Finance & HR Manager, on winning July Umbrella.co.uk Employee of the Month.

Allison has been invaluable and hard working member of the team for 9 years.

“Well done to a very deserving winner!" Simon Pearson, Finance Director.

FreeAgent income soars by 41%

Cloud accounting software provider FreeAgent have seen their  income soar by 41% to £8m for the year to the end of March.

As Umbrella Accountant’s provider of choice for contractors and freelancers FreeAgent reported a net loss of £2.9m for the same period, including share-based payment expense of £0.8m, as the group continued to invest in scaling its business (2016: £1.3m).

Brexit and Budget 2016: how motorists may be affected
marketing | 8 March 2016
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With Mr Osborne set to deliver his 2016 Budget in less than a fortnight’s time and with debate roaring over Brexit, what are the possible implications for contractors and other business drivers?

In February, the BVRLA – the trade body for the car leasing industry – claimed that since 2010 the government’s company car taxation policies have exposed road users and indeed society as a whole to dirtier, more dangerous vehicles. Gerry Keaney, the BVRLA’s Chief Executive, labelled Mr Osborne’s “series of tax increases as both unfair and unsignposted”, pointing to 30,000 fewer employees who have chosen company car packages over the last five years.

HMRC issues warning re Contractor Loan Scheme
marketing | 11 June 2015
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HMRC have issued a warning to contractors or freelancers who took part in a tax avoidance scheme called– The Contractor Loan Scheme.

The scheme was designed to pay contractors a loan rather than a salary from a non UK employer with the aim that the loan payment would be tax free (in place of a taxable salary). HMRC are now warning that income tax may still be liable on these types of arrangements.

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