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Umbrella Company FAQs

Our umbrella company, My Max, is the award winning umbrella company that covers it all, this makes it the simplest way to get paid for most contractors. My Max takes care of all of your Pay As You Earn and National Insurance contributions leaving you to get on with what you do best. How an umbrella company works really is simple so we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions below.

General Queries

An umbrella company employs contractors typically working on a number of fixed term assignments, which are often sourced by a recruitment business. The umbrella employs the contractor under an overarching contract of employment and is responsible for calculating and paying PAYE (Pay as You Earn) and National Insurance. Click here for additional information about how an umbrella company works.

There are no set up charges. It’s so easy to join us; you can sign up in just ten minutes! You can join by talking with one of our experienced advisers on 0161 929 6000 (option 1) who will go through what you need to do over the phone.

If you call our New Business team on 0161 929 6000 (option 1) we will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail. Or if you would like us to call you please complete the form below.

The umbrella margin is the amount an umbrella retains each week month from the funds it receives from an agency or client. This is usually agreed in advance with the agency or client.

When a contractor speaks to an umbrella company for the first time the umbrella company should disclose its agreed margin to the contractor and include the margin in an illustration given to the contractor.

When an umbrella company contracts with and receives funds from an agency or client the funds are used:

  • Firstly to cover its margin
  • Secondly to cover employer taxes being Employer’s NI and Apprenticeship levy
  • Thirdly to cover a contractor’s pay and holiday pay

There is no separate fee to the agency/client or the contractor. The margin received by the umbrella company is used to cover its own costs, including staffing costs, IT costs, processing fees, property overheads and bank charges, providing contractor insurances and also to pay for other costs such as SSP and SMP.

Statutory and other benefits

Yes. You need to contact us straight away to let us know if you are sick and unable to attend work. You can self-certify for the first 7 days (you can fill in the self-certification form HERE), thereafter we need to see a doctor’s certificate. Once we have received these we can check against the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) qualifying conditions and whether you qualify for SSP. If you qualify for SSP then we will make the necessary payments to you each Friday.

To claim Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) we need your completed MAT B1 Maternity Certificate and a letter notifying us of your personal dates. For Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) we need an SC3 form and for Adoption pay an SC6 form. Once we receive the relevant form from you our payroll department will look into the claim and see whether you are eligible.

Yes, as an employee of PayStream My Max Limited, you are automatically covered by our insurance. These include:

  • Employers Liability – up to £10,000,000
  • Public/Products Liability - up to £10,000,000
  • Professional Indemnity – up to £10,000,000**

A copy of your relevant insurance certificate is available in the 'Help' section of the portal.

** A cap below £10m applies in certain specialist sectors / professions. Please contact us if you require further clarification.

Yes, this may be advanced or accrued. Bank holidays are included in the annual holiday allowance. Please see Holiday Pay FAQs for further information. If your holiday pay is accrued, you can head online to our online portal to submit a request.

Umbrella companies don’t manage their own pension schemes but do auto-enrol its employees into a workplace pension run by an authorised pension provider. However, there is an opt-out available.

An umbrella company like PayStream’s MyMax is able to provide a tax efficient salary sacrifice arrangement which enables contributions to be made to a pension provider of the worker’s choice.

Getting Paid

Our payment terms reflect those of your Agency. We will pay you depending on the agency payment terms in place, normally weekly or monthly.

You will be paid into your nominated bank account based on a payment timing and frequency agreed with your agency.

Each time we make a payment to you, you will receive a payslip and a text message to inform you of the amount that is clearing in your bank. You will also be able to download additional copies of your payslip via the online portal after 6pm on your payment date.

Employment Status

No, as our employee you pay employed levels of tax and national insurance so IR35 is not applicable. Contractors who operate through their own limited company and withdraw funds as a dividend need to consider their IR35 status. If at any point you decide to look into operating through your own limited company, we can review your IR35 status to see if this would be a suitable option for you. For more information on this service please email our Contract Services team.

You are our employee. On joining you sign an employment contract and you are entitled to all the standard rights of an employee. We also take care of your insurance and pay all the necessary tax and NI contributions to HMRC on your behalf

You are employed by PayStream. You do not have any direct contractual agreement with your agency.

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