date posted: 16-12-2013



2013 has been a great year for Sterling as we've helped more contractors from an increasing range of sectors. We were delighted to be named in the North West Top 200 Companies and members of the team even completed a half-marathon!


I’d like to thank you for being part of our successful year and wish you a very Happy Christmas.





If you need to get in touch with us over the Christmas period please check our opening hours below.


23rd December 08.00 - 19.00
24th December 08.00 - 12.00
25th December  Closed
26th December Closed
27th December 08.00 - 17.00
30th December 08.00 - 17.00
31st December 08.00 - 12.00
1st January Closed
2nd January 08.00 - 17.00
3rd 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 paid out on Friday 4th April 2014.





Agency workers now constitute a large and growing segment of the UK workforce, with an estimated 1 million workers in more than 17,000 businesses. Keeping this growing section of the workforce healthy and safe is vital. Our dedicated Health and Safety team are always on hand to offer advice and practical solutions for all Sterling contractors if issues are encountered during work assignments.


By law in every work assignment, all parties have health and safety duties to uphold.Health and safety is the responsibility of us, you, your recruitment agency and the end user of your services. 


These duties are defined by criminal statute (the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999) and cannot be passed on from one party to another by contract.


In the vast majority of work assignments, the end user, because they have a much greater knowledge of the hazards involved, will already have an effective health and safety management system to safeguard the health and safety of contractors.
However the extent and responsibilities of each party will depend on the circumstances and the terms of contract but the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued guidance on this subject. Therefore, as a contractor, you should expect the following degree of health and safety management when undertaking a work assignment:


All aspects of the work should be clearly identified and communicated.

You should have an understanding of the levels of performance expected.

Risk assessments and Safe Systems of Work (SSoW) must be made available so you can understand the hazards, risks and safety precautions of the work activity.

You should be made aware of how your work assignment will be managed, supervised and monitored.

Relevant health and safety information, instruction and training should be communicated and delivered when applicable.

Involvement in any consultation process where the work you undertake is to be altered.


The essence of the HSE guidance is that all parties work together with the single aim of ensuring that health and safety is properly managed.  Therefore if you believe that your health and/or safety is being compromised whilst working on assignment, or you would like practical advice on a particular health and safety issue please contact a member of the Sterling Health and Safety team on 01925 626200 or . Alternatively for out of hours enquires call our dedicated health and safety advice line on 01925 626237.





Did you know Sterling could help you maximise your income? Sterling Umbrella enables contractors to claim back business related expenses.

Explore the ways Sterling Umbrella helps you enjoy the benefits of being an employee whilst keeping the flexibility of contracting:


The ability to claim back business related expenses, such as travel and subsistence whilst on assignment.
The security of being employed and the advantages this brings (holiday pay, SSP, insurances) but with the flexibility of contracting.
Through being an employee and not in business on own account there is no burden of producing financial paper work or calculating tax liabilities.
The support of Human Resources and Health & Safety departments.
Personal accident cover to compensate for periods when unable to work due to an accident on assignment.
Continuous employment which improves credit status.
SMS update service for both payment and receipt of expenses.


Find out more about Sterling Umbrella here





What do you do at Sterling?
As Payroll Administrator it’s my job is to ensure all contractor payments are correct and processed promptly.


What is a typical day like?
I make sure contractors hours are recorded and invoiced accurately and sent to agencies within their deadlines. I process holiday and sick payments and ensure they are paid within strict timescales and work with the banking department to make sure payments are processed in the correct tax week. If there are any payment queries, I make sure these are resolved quickly and that the contractors’ accounts are updated with all details. My job also involves completing forms for government departments like the DWP and CSA as well as updating tax codes with P6’s and I also assist with the customer liaison team at busy times.


What’s the best thing about working at Sterling?
Sterling has a very friendly atmosphere and all the different teams really work together to make sure we provide the best service we can.


What do you do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time with my 3 daughters aged 13, 9 and 5 - they keep me very busy!





Nobody wants to start a new year with a big fine. To avoid penalties of up to £1300 don’t forget your online tax return must reach HMRC by midnight on 31 January 2014.


HMRC have a strict penalty system for late returns, made up as follows:


Penalties for missing the tax return deadline
Length of delay Penalty you will have to pay
1 day late A penalty of £100. This applies even if you have no tax to pay or have paid the tax you owe.
3 months late £10 for each following day - up to a 90 day maximum of £900. This is as well as the fixed penalty above.
6 months late £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher. This is as well as the penalties above.
12 months late £300 or 5% of the tax due, whichever is the higher.
In serious cases you may be asked to pay up to 100% of the tax due instead. In some cases the penalties can be even higher than this.
These are as well as the penalties above.


If you need some help working through your tax return remember that as a Sterling contractor you receive up to 40% discount on AGP fees, our preferred Chartered Accountants.


AGP know the contractor industry inside out. Here’s how AGP could benefit you:


Reduce stress and help you process your paperwork quicker.
Accounts processed and submitted on time.
Complete confidence knowing that you are totally compliant with HMRC guidelines.


In addition, AGP are able to provide specialist tax advice and tax planning. Let AGP reduce the stress of contracting and help you maximise your income. For a quote call 01925 418386 or email


Not found what you are looking for?

Contact Customer Services on 01925 626200 or email or you may wish to look on the about us page.