Contracting through Orange Genie Umbrella means that you’re employed by us, but why is that a good thing, and what does it mean in practical terms?
A single period of employment
As an Orange Genie employee, you’ll have a single period of employment across all your assignments. This means you can work for any number of recruitment agencies and clients without complicating your employment history. This can make it easier to access credit and mortgages, as well as making it easier to obtain a reference. You can also work for several different clients at the same time, and still only have one employer for all the work, and one tax code for all your payments.
Where you have periods of downtime between assignments, you’re still employed. This means your entitlements to important rights like sick pay and maternity/paternity pay are not interrupted, and you still have access to all your other employee benefits.
The most obvious consequence of your employment is that we’re responsible for paying you for the work you complete for the end client. You pay is processed via PAYE, which means all necessary deductions, including tax, National Insurance and workplace pension contributions are all taken care of – it’s extremely simple.
As an employee you are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year. You can choose whether your holiday pay is accrued or paid to you in each payment. Accrued holiday pay can be claimed whenever you like, though it’s obviously better to claim it when you take time off.
From time to time you may qualify for statutory payments like sick pay or maternity/paternity pay, and we will be responsible for paying you. Our dedicated Contractor Support Team will explain exactly how to claim.
As your employer, we are required to provide and contribute to a workplace pension scheme. If you’re aged between 22 and state pension age and you earn £10,000/year or more you’ll be automatically enrolled onto our pension scheme once you’ve been with us for three months.
We also have the facility to contribute to a pension scheme of your choice via salary sacrifice, either instead of or as well as joining our pension scheme.
Our umbrella company employees are covered by our professional indemnity, public liability and employers liability insurance, so there’s no need to arrange separate cover.
Support from our team when you need it
Our friendly and expert Contractor Support team are available to answer your queries and provide advice by phone, email and Live Chat. If you have a query about your payslip, your Orange Genie Companion benefits or anything at all regarding your employment, the team will be more than happy to help.
Unique employee benefits
As our employee, you will have access to Orange Genie Companion, our amazing employee benefits platform. This includes medical and support benefits to help you care for yourself and your family, a comprehensive discount outlet to help you make your money go further and a range of lifestyle tools to help you maintain and improve your health and wellbeing.
So far, we’ve concentrated on employment with a compliant umbrella company, and particularly what you can expect from us. Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves an umbrella company, and not everyone who does will operate in this way.
The contracting industry has for many years been plagued by non-compliant “umbrella companies” who offer increased take-home pay. All UK employers operate under the same rules, and there is no legitimate way for an umbrella to increase your take-home pay. If someone claims they can, they’re doing something they shouldn’t and will put you at risk.
Most importantly, if your umbrella company breaks the rules, you could be held liable for all the tax and National Insurance that has been “avoided”.
There are a number of warning signs to look out for:
Part of your pay is held back and paid to you as something else that the “umbrella” claims is not taxable. Most often this would be called a loan, credit facility or investment. Whatever they call it, this non-salary amount is known as “disguised remuneration”. It doesn’t legally reduce your tax and HMRC will come after their money, sometimes years after the payments were made. Hundreds of contractors have received life-changing tax bills as a result of involvement in this kind of scheme.
Your employment status is ambiguous. A compliant umbrella company will offer employment. If there’s a doubt about whether you’re employed and who by, this should be seen as a red flag.
The main selling point is your take-home pay. All umbrella companies operate under the same rules and will pay you roughly the same. Look for an umbrella that offers something more than just a take-home pay figure.
Obviously, the minimum you should expect from your employer is that they comply with the law and they don’t put you at risk. At Orange Genie, we strongly believe that you should not be content with the minimum, and that you deserve an umbrella company that looks after your interests as a contractor and cares about your wellbeing as their employee.