WELCOME TO THE DECEMBER EDITION OF THE STERLING E-NEWSLETTER
2014 has been a busy year for Sterling. We have had some challenges such as the False Self-Employment legislation back in April, but the strength of our company has seen us rise to these challenges and keep offering you a service we can be proud of. We are constantly listening to your suggestions and enhancing our services where we can based on the feedback you give us.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2015 from all at Sterling.
AUTUMN STATEMENT RESPONSE
The chancellor has now 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.
However, the most relevant announcement to our industry was George Osborne’s plans to look closely at Umbrella Companies as part of the government crackdown on tax avoidance. They have also informed of possible action at Budget 2015 regarding tax relief on travel expenses.
Sterling welcomes this 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.
HOLIDAYS ARE COMING
If you need to get in touch with us over the Christmas period please check our opening hours below.
|22nd December||08.00 - 19.00|
|23rd December||08.00 - 19.00|
|24th December||08:00 - 14:00|
|29th December||08.00 - 17.00|
|30th December||08.00 - 17.00|
|31st December||08:00 - 12:00|
|2nd January||08.00 - 17.00|
Don’t forget that if you are taking time off work over the festive holiday period then please request your holiday pay in advance. It is also beneficial to take this holiday pay when you are actually not working, as you will have the additional financial benefit of using that week’s free pay allowance of income tax and national insurance. All unpaid holiday pay will be processed on Friday 3rd April 2015.
MEET THE TEAM: LISA THOMAS, CUSTOMER ADMINISTRATION SUPERVISOR
What do you do at Sterling?
I am Supervisor of the Customer Liaison and Customer Administration team. Working within the Operations department keeps me busy, the role is very varied and includes many aspects of the joining process, such as assisting with new enquiries and overseeing application stage making sure all new contractors have a smooth joining experience.
What is a typical day like?
There is no such thing as a typical day. The department is constantly reactive to our customer needs and we always need to be prepared to deal with a range or requests to meet the requirements of our contractors and recruitment agencies.
What’s the best thing about working at Sterling?
I love being part of a big team. Everyone is very friendly at Sterling and all get along well. There is a lot of support towards each other and everyone works as a team.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work, I like to spend as much time as I can with my two gorgeous grandsons and my family.
COMING SOON FOR JANUARY 2015 - OUR IMPROVED EXPENSES PROCESS
We are very pleased to be able to inform you that our expense claim procedure is about to get easier!
We have listened to your feedback and have been working hard here at Sterling over the past few months enhancing our portal to provide our Sterling Umbrella employees with an improved way of claiming back business related expenses.
If you are with Sterling Umbrella, from January you will be able to submit all your claims online, taking away the hassle of having to rely on the post each week.
From January 2015, simply visit www.thesterlinggroup.co.uk/portal/ from here you will be able to log in using your email address and password that you gave us when you registered. Once you have logged in there will be a guide available to assist you should you require it. Until January please remember to keep on submitting your claims in the usual way.
The portal will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Meaning you will be able submit your expenses at a time that suits you. Please note; you will still need to submit your claim at least 2 days prior to your expected payment to ensure adequate time for validation before your payment is processed.
We really hope you will find this helpful, this is just another way in which our services are constantly evolving and being enhanced to offer you a service that you require and that we can be proud of.
Look out for further communication from us in January, as we will be in touch again once it is ready to start using, but if you do have any questions in the meantime please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our Customer Liaison team who will be more than happy to assist you.
Congratulations to Christopher Heighton from Northumberland who was the winner of our feedback competition. Christopher is now the proud owner of an iPad mini.
Sterling runs competitions and surveys from time to time, so keep checking our website regularly to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to win some great prizes.