date posted: 04-12-2014

Yesterday the chancellor delivered his last Autumn statement before next years General Election. There were some positive announcements made that will benefit the majority of the population such as the new Stamp Duty rates, the increase in tax free personal allowance to £10,600 from April 2015 and the increase in the higher rate threshold from £41,865 to £42,385.

Good news for the construction industry was the pledge of £7 billion further investment for the North. This will see investment in our roads to reduce traffic jams, development of HS3, investments in science, oil and gas and much more.

However, the most relevant announcement to our industry was George Osborne’s plans to review Umbrella Companies, mainly regarding the claiming of business expenses when paid in conjunction with a salary sacrifice scheme. Sterling doesn’t operate a salary sacrifice scheme, we adhere to the national minimum wage and our employees receive all the statutory benefits any employee would be entitled to. Therefore we welcome any scrutiny without hesitation. This will hopefully put the spotlight on the Umbrella companies that do fail to act compliantly and in the best interests of the contractor, ultimately giving the whole industry including compliant providers like Sterling a bad name.

Sterling Umbrella has recently been audited by HMRC including a full review of our Expense procedure and were more than happy with how we operate. This approval along with our Professional Passport accreditation (the most widely recognised stamp of approval in our industry) and being an APSCo Affiliate member can only serve to demonstrate to you how compliant we are and how seriously we value the needs of our employees.

To protect yourself, make sure you use a compliant provider that is backed by industry accreditations such as Sterling Umbrella, and don’t be drawn in by offers or figures that seem too good to be true, as most likely they will be.

If you have any queries or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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