When choosing a payroll umbrella company to work with, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re given full transparency around what your pay will be for your upcoming assignment. Fortunately, there are now stringent regulations around pay transparency as stipulated by the two accreditation agencies for payroll umbrella companies, Professional Passport and the FCSA. These, along with many other regulations in place to protect workers, form part of a comprehensive compliance review carried out by these agencies. Payroll umbrella companies displaying either of these badges are required to give a full pay breakdown for the assignment to agencies and their candidates, in the form of a Key Information Document (KID).

Communicating your rate of pay to you and your agency

The KID clearly demonstrates how the proposed rate of pay is affected by the statutory payroll deductions and the margin deducted by the payroll umbrella company, and is drawn up in line with industry specifications. The KID is always provided before any contracts are signed, so all parties are clear in advance what the arrangement will be. The KID is first passed to the agency, which then passes it on to the candidate. Your holiday entitlement is also detailed on the Key Information Document. If your chosen payroll umbrella company isn't able to supply your agency with a Key Information Document, they’re not meeting industry regulations and we would advise against working with them.

Although it's not required by law or regulation, Competex Pro also directly supplies you with a personalised Joining Plan setting out a breakdown of your pay, deductions and margins based on the proposed rate for your assignment, as well as a test payslip generated by our payroll software. This is provided to you whether you’re working with an agency or directly with an end-client, and it contains the same information as the Key Information Document.

Every worker's pay is subject to the same statutory payroll deductions, regardless of which payroll umbrella company is running the payroll. The graphic at the end of this article illustrates what these deductions are.

Getting clear about holiday pay

It's also particularly important that you're given full clarity around your holiday pay and how to claim it. It has recently come to light that some non-compliant payroll umbrella companies have been withholding employee holiday pay and retaining any accrued holiday pay if workers do not actively claim it before the year end. Competex Pro communicates regularly with employees that choose to accrue their holiday pay, and any accrued holiday pay is always paid to candidates in the last payroll of the year. However, most of our employees choose to take holiday pay as part of their monthly pay, which is invariably the most straightforward option for flexible or short term assignments.

For more information about holiday pay, please download our Guide to Working through a Payroll Umbrella Company.

Pension contributions - what are your options?

With Competex Pro, part of your pay can be allocated to pay into a private pension scheme of your choice. We will also ask you at the outset if you wish to opt into auto-enrolment pension contributions. For more information about pension contributions and how they work, read our blog on pension contributions here.

Competex Pro prioritises transparency across all its processes and communications, and we are accredited by Professional Passport, which is the only independent, insurance-backed accreditation provider operating in the UK.

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