An umbrella payroll company is an organisation that acts as an employer to temporary and contract workers who work on fixed term contract assignments; usually through a recruitment agency. Umbrella companies tend to be used by individuals on short-term contracts in between permanent roles.

In brief, a Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) umbrella company will process timesheets on behalf of the temporary worker and issue an invoice to the hirer. When payment of the invoice is made, the umbrella company will typically pay the contractor using a standard PAYE model, deducting all necessary tax and National Insurance contributions.

Umbrella companies are largely used by contractors who want to focus their efforts on completing their current assignment, or identifying future contract opportunities, rather than processing timesheets or invoicing. As well as saving time, there is a financial aspect to consider; there are significant set-up and registration costs associated with setting up a limited company and now because of IR35 the public sector cannot. In addition, individuals would be entitled to statutory payments including holiday pay.

If you're currently employed by a different umbrella company and you wish to move to Payswell, the process is simple. All you need to do is contact our employee care team on 0800 690 6350 and we'll set you up on our system. We'll also manage the relationship with your agency or hirer for you.

With Payswell, you'll receive an easy to understand, itemised payslip that will include:

  • the money we received for your services/work for a given period,
  • the assignments you've worked on,
  • your job role and pay rate details of salary, including your holiday pay and statutory payments,
  • any deductions from your salary, including PAYE tax and employers NI.

IR35 is Government legislation relating to Intermediaries introduced on 6th April 2000 in the Finance Act 2000. It was introduced to stop Contractors avoiding tax and National Insurance through the use of Intermediaries such as Personal Service Companies or Partnerships. Historically people saved National Insurance contributions by drawing out "wages" via a dividend. IR35 ensures you pay tax similar to what you would pay if you were employed rather than being a contractor.

If you check your payslip at the beginning of the week and notice that your hours for the previous week are incorrect or missing, the first thing you need to do is call your agency as we do not input hours, these are provided to us by your agency. Any missing hours, provided that your agency and the end user agree, can be added prior to processing deadline.


We send all payments by electronic bank transfer to your account.

On the day we run your payroll we will e-mail you a payslip in PDF format.

Yes. Holiday pay is included in your pay rate by your agency. It is calculated at 12.07% of your hourly rate. For each payment, we calculate the holiday pay element and pay it to you every week as a portion of your total wage. We do not retain any holiday pay.


All contractors pay this. When you get paid through an umbrella, your agency is no longer responsible for the Employer's NI. They therefore generally uplift your PAYE pay rate by the Employer's NI element (13.8%) in order to give you the extra money for the NI. You are not therefore out of pocket.

The tax system is based around the annual tax free pay allowance split over 52 weeks of the tax year. Your tax code indicates how much your annual allowance is. We allow this weekly amount of tax-free pay when we work out your tax deductions. If the role you are being paid for through is a second income, or if you have a pension which attracts your tax allowance, you must inform us. If you don't, the tax code we use might be wrong and you might underpay tax which HMRC will eventually ask you to pay back.

We will send you a P60 soon after the end of the tax year. This is a summary of your taxable earnings and tax paid during the tax year. You should keep this safe as you may need the information it contains. The same information is sent to HMRC as a standard employer process.

If your only income in any particular tax year is paid through an umbrella company then all tax has been deducted at a source and you would not need to complete a self-assessment. You would however have to complete one if you have other untaxed income, or HMRC send you one for completion.

Not for expenses claimed whilst through the umbrella service. We submit a company P11D for all employees. As we have a dispensation most types of expense are exempt from P11D reporting.


If you have a P45 from your previous employer, please send the originals of parts 2 and 3 to us by e-mail or post.

We will ask you your employment circumstances over the phone to ensure we place you on the correct tax code. You can also complete a P46/new starter form. We will need to arrange with HMRC for them to instruct us of your correct tax code.

It takes up to four weeks for HMRC to send Payswell your new tax code after we apply. After two weeks HMRC will send a letter to your home address informing you that we have applied for your year to date figures. If after 7 days they have not received an appeal from yourself then they will continue to send our your new tax code. During the waiting period you will be placed on a W1 tax code. Any overpaid tax paid in this time will be reimbursed by HMRC after your new tax code is applied.

You will need to let your Account Manager know immediately.

You can simply continue with our service. If you have previously requested a P45, or not been paid for more than 2 calendar months we may have to restart your employment with us but this is not a problem. We cna liaise with your agency over the new contract details.

Again, not a problem. We can work with almost every agency and client. Just tell the new agency that you are with Payswell and pass them our contact details. Your Account Manager can liaise with the agency over the contract details.


Our costs can differ for different schemes when registering we will find the best scheme for you and then inform you of the cost. We are widely known in the industry to be one of the best value for money with one of the best levels of service.

No. We only take a fee when we run a payroll for you.


Again this depends which scheme you work under. If you chose our umbrella service you will enter into a formal employment contract with us. You are therefore a permanent employee of Umbrella-Company Ltd. This gives you the benefit of full employment rights with us.

Once we have made the last payment for you, you can request your P45. If you have not been paid for 3 calendar months, we will automatically issue you a P45 to end your formal employment with us. This ensures that you do not experience any tax difficulties with future employers. We issue P45s once a week so there should be no delay in you receiving it once we have processed your last payment. HMRC only allow a P45 to be sent by post and not electronically. We cannoy issue replacement copies so it is important that you give us your correct postal address.


You have an employment contract with Payswell. Payswell has a contract for service with the agency which has placede you in the role. This provides the legal foundation for you, as our employee working on the contract. Your agency may have also asked you to sign a contractual agreement with them to cover the recruitment services they provide to you.

You are a full-time and permanent employee of for as long as you wish to continue our service. You are therefore protected by all UK employment legislation.


You will receive a welcome e-mail from our Welcome Team in which they will tell you where to find more information on the service should you need it. They will also remind you of any further documentation we need.

We have a Customer Services Team who provide a hands on service to all our customers and any member of the team would be able to help you with any questions that might arise.


The agency will require an authorised timesheet from you each week/month in order to be able to pay you. Payswell will also need a claim for any expenses. You should always send these as soon as possible after the week/month end.

Different agencies work in different ways. They may have an electronic timesheet system, or they may simply need you to send a hard copy of the timesheet to them by e-mail or fax. Make sure you find out from them what their process is.


Yes, we have a secure online portal where you can manage your account. It is accessed via the login buttons on our home page:

You will receive a unique user name and password to access the portal. You can change these via the settings menu.

You can submit your hours and expenses if they are allowable on the portal. The portal contains all of the historical data related to your timesheets and payments.


Supervision is where someone is overseeing another person doing the work according to a required method. Direction involves advising another person to do their work in a certain way, generally by providing instructions, guidance and advice as to how the work is to be done. This can be via a procedure manual. Control is where you have someone dictating how they should go about doing that role.

Whether your role is under 'supervision, direction or control' or not, you can claim the costs of site to site travel as this defines you as a 'mobile worker'

If you are not under SDC, any type of expense incurred 'wholly, exclusively and necessarily' for work purposes are allowable. Travel can generally be reimbursed with your pay while other expenses can be claimed from HMRC at year end with receipts.

Your site to site mileage can be reimbursed through your pay. Public transport travel between sites can be claimed from HMRC at year end with receipts.

The simple answer is yes. You should always have it in mind to obtain receipts for all expenses you are going to claim.

You can submit them direct onto the online portal or send receipts into


Yes. We pride ourselves on providing services which are 100% compliant with HMRC contracting rules.

You should always send in fuel receipts to support any mileage claimed. We will monitor the value of fuel receipts you have submitted to ensure they are in keeping with the mileage claims you have submitted, and inform you if there is a is important that you retain all receipts for expenses which you might subsequently want to claim from Umbrella or HMRC.


Our implementation date for the Government's workplace pension scheme is the April of 2018. We work closely with a specialist contractor financial services advice company who can administer an individual pension for you. We make deductions at source from your salary and process them as tax relief for you.