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Our Number 1 Umbrella

number of times viewed: 2298

Photo of Pulse Umbrella

Pulse Umbrella

Location:CheshireBenefits Score:7
Extras:VIP ClubCompliance:Confirmed
Summary:Safe but funNo. of views:2298
Fee:£27Member since:May 2010
Total score:109,943No. of reviews:16

the interview

our open, honest and frank Q&A

  • Q:
    What's this VIP club about?
  • A:
    That's what Pulse is. We send people away for spa days or weekend breaks. We arrange discounts on tickets to fun events. We get them a week's free accommodation somewhere nice. Of course, we expect something in return. We want our workers to recommend us to their friends, for example. Lots of them do! That's a good sign.
  • Q:
    Do you offer workers a portal?
  • A:
    Sure we do! The only way to make sure people get paid accurately and on-time is with robust automated systems that undergo a lot of testing. We have all that. Our workers submit their timesheets and expenses 24x7, invoices are generated automatically and we pay people the same day we get paid. We use Revenue-accredited systems to make sure the deductions are accurate. You can see the whole thing on-line. But we try to develop relationships with our workers too and we do fun things with them.
  • Q:
    Why do some umbrella companies pay more than others?
  • A:
    They don't. Every umbrella company works under the same laws. Given any one person's circumstances, the amount of tax due is the same no matter which umbrella company you're with. So there's not a whole lot of point in going round from one web site to the next comparing calculator results. The variations in the net pay you'll see are just variations in the guesses umbrellas make about your circumstances. Your actual pay will be the same no matter who you're with.
  • Q:
    But some umbrellas have higher dispensations, so workers can get paid more?
  • A:
    That's completely wrong. You must have receipts for everything. Some umbrellas might claim that they have a dispensation that changes the normal rules. The might tell you that you can claim a daily allowance for lunch without actually spending the money. This is absolute nonsense. Nobody has such a dispensation. That's not what dispenations are for. If you claim expenses you must actually spend the money and get a receipt, or else you're potentially in bother for tax evasion. Pulse protects you from that by sticking to the rules and you'll be better off using a company that knows the law.
  • Q:
    What other advice would you give to someone starting out?
  • A:
    If you're considering contracting through an umbrella, you're probably looking to enjoy the benefits of getting more cash into your pocket. So when you switch from being a temporary worker on the agency's payroll to being a contractor through an umbrella company, make sure you get your agency to quote you a contractor rate. It should be 14-25% higher than the temporary worker rate. It comes about mainly because responsibility for Employer's NI contributions and holiday pay moves from the agency to the umbrella. If you don't get a contractor rate, you'll lose out and your agency will pocket the difference.
  • Q:
    What do you think the future holds for contracting in the UK?
  • A:
    There will be continued pressure on umbrellas from HMRC to make sure they stick to the law. Some new laws early in 2011 will help temporary and contract workers to get the same benefits as permanent workers. All this will continue to squeeze umbrellas. The ones that survive will be the ones that are slick in their operations but give their customers an extra reason to stick with them. That's what our VIP Club is about and it's at the heart of everything we do.

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In addition to receiving our leading-edge payment service, our contractors and partners have access to an exclusive VIP club, providing a wide range of additional benefits, rewards, gifts and treats that touch all aspects of our contractors and partners life.

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