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Umbrella Company FAQs

Are you an agency, self employed or a contractor and considering working with an umbrella company for the first time?

Frequently Asked Questions



What are the benefits of becoming an Exchequer Solutions employee?

As an employee of Exchequer you are entitled to employment rights such as holiday pay, and can claim legitimate expenses with valid receipts in line with our company policy.

Why do I have to pay the Employers NI?

Exchequer Solutions has to pay all HMRC costs from the income we receive from the agency. The rate set by the agency includes an uplift for ERNI.

Why do I need to pay a margin to Exchequer?

Exchequer Solutions is a business and like any other business we need income to cover our overhead. Our margins are extremely competitive.

Why can’t my Agency give you my details for pay?

It’s important we speak to all our potential employees; this eliminates fraud and lets us comply with employment legislation.

How long does it take to register?

We can send you a weblink and you can register in 5 minutes at a time to suit you.

What ID do you need?

A passport or ID card depending on nationality, please call and we’ll be happy to help

Right to work – what documents do I need to present to Exchequer?

Please visit our Right to Work page which outlines all documents we require as proof of your right to work in the UK.

Do you pay limited companies?

Yes, as long as IR35 tests are met. Find out more about IR35 here.

When do I get a text message / payslip?

As soon as your payment is processed

When do you pay?

We run payrolls daily, 99% of payments hit workers accounts at 6am on a Friday morning

Where do I send my timesheet?

To your agency, they will confirm the work done to us

When do I receive my holiday pay?

You have a choice whether to receive your holiday pay each week on top of your basic pay, where it is clearly shown on your payslip, or for Exchequer Solutions to retain and pay it to you when you take a holiday. This option is clearly shown on your registration form.

What are legitimate business expenses?

Business expenses are classified as wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of your employment. You must send us the receipts for all the expenses you claim. Click here to find out more about how umbrella expenses work.

Why do I need to send in receipts?

If an expense has been genuinely incurred then there should be a receipt. We always ask for receipts from you as HMRC can challenge any of the expenses you claim. If receipts cannot be produced then HMRC can open a formal enquiry and scrutinise your tax affairs, which may lead to you facing penalties at a later date.

What insurance do you have for your employees?

All our employees are covered through our employers’ liability, public liability and professional indemnity insurance policies. Click here to find out more about how this works.

What if I don’t have a P45?

We will send a P46 form for you to complete. You will start on emergency tax until HMRC informs us of your correct tax code.

As an umbrella contractor will I have a pension?

At Exchequer Solutions all our umbrella contractors are treated in exactly the same way as an employee in any other organisation. This means that all our umbrella employees are auto-enrolled on our pension scheme in line with Government legislation. A contribution of 5% is made by the employee and 3% made by the employer, meaning a total of 8% is paid.

Our pension provider is Nest (National Employment Savings Trust.) Nest was set up by the Government to make auto enrolment as simple as possible. Members can access all their account information online and can keep their Nest pension if they change employer or become self-employed.

Can I opt out the Exchequer pension?

Yes. We are legally obliged to auto-enrol any contractor earning more than £10,000 a year but individuals have the right to opt out during the one month opt out period. To opt out you must contact the pension provider directly.

In some cases, people choose to opt out because they have alternative plans in place for their retirement, or they have other more immediate financial priorities. If you do opt out, we recommend reviewing your situation regularly.

I’m thinking of becoming self-employed. What should I do?

The construction industry has its own scheme for people who want to become self-employed contractors and subcontractors, called CIS, or the Construction Industry Scheme. A contractor will deduct money from a subcontractor’s payment, and subsequently pass this payment on to HMRC. These payments act as an advance payment for a subcontractor’s tax and NI.

To apply, you should contact your local HM Revenue and Customs office for your Unique Tax Reference (UTR) and to let them know that you intend to work on a self-employed basis. You should then sign up to the Construction Industry Scheme on the government website.

How do I pay tax and National Insurance?

You should pay your Class 2 National Insurance each week directly to HMRC. Log into the online CIS portal to do this – www.hmrc.gov.uk. You will then need to pay Class 4 National Insurance via your annual self-assessment tax return.

Do I get holiday pay if I’m CIS?

As you are self-employed, and not an employee or worker, you do not qualify for holiday pay. You also have no entitlement to sick pay or paternity/maternity pay from us, but you may qualify for payments from the government.

How do I claim expenses if I am registered CIS?

You claim your business expenses when you make your annual self-assessment tax return. Please remember that HMRC may ask to inspect your records at any time so you must keep all your expense receipts for up to six years.

What is self-assessment?

This is when you file your tax return for any income you have received from self-employed earnings or other sources during the year. You must file your self-assessment form on or before 31 January after the end of the relevant tax year, which runs from 6 April to the following 5 April. In your return you must declare all your income and claim any business expenses incurred during the same tax year, and if you miss this deadline, you will be fined.

HMRC calculates the amount of tax you owe based on your personal taxable profit. The monthly on account payments we make for you will offset the tax you owe so you may receive a tax refund if tax deducted is greater than the amount owed.

What are your margins when I work for you on a CIS basis?

Our margins are easy to understand, visit our margins page for full details.

How long do I have to stay with you?

You can work for us for as little or as long as you require. Our team are here to help you each step of the way.

As a CIS contractor will I be auto-enrolled into Exchequer’s pension

No, as a CIS contractor your tax and NI contributions are automatically deducted but the auto-enrolment rules don’t apply.