FAQ's

 

See below for some frequently asked questions.  If you do not see the answer to your question, please feel free to get in touch with us!

Use our extremely simple online form to request a Net Pay Example

General Questions

Fair Pay Services is available at one of the lowest weekly margins in the market. Additionally, if you are paid monthly, it is the equivalent of just 3 weeks margin rather than 4. —we truly are one of the lowest cost Umbrella solutions in the market with a huge host of benefits available!

Fair Pay Services provides the best returns for both agency and contractor, without compromising on service.

For our market beating margin, contractors get optimum returns, hassle free employment and full employment rights from a solution which is fully insured and fully compliant. All this without any hidden costs.

What’s more, agencies benefit from a fully employed and insured workforce on a compliant future-proof solution – one that is much more commercially viable than any other service currently available in the market.

You are not paying Fair Pay Services to pay your wages. We retain a competitive margin for employing you and supplying your services to your agency. Our margin covers:

 

  • £25 Million Employers Liability, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurances
  • Flexr Rewards subscription with typical savings of £800-£1000 per year
  • Faster payment of funds
  • Dedicated helpdesk
  • Flexr- The Employment Management Platform which provides instant access to your timesheets, payslips, and absence records including leave requests and sickness.  If you choose to accrue holiday pay, you will have visibility of the amount accrued at any point through your Flexr portal
  • Fully compliant business model to facilitate working with agencies

Our standard margin is £20 (weekly paid) and £60 (monthly paid), which is very competitive in the marketplace. 

We do have existing discounts in place with specific recruitment agencies, and agencies that are members of recruitment trade bodies, such as REC, APSCo, TEAM & MembersOnly.  Please inform us of the agency that you work with, and we’ll be able to advise if there are any discounts or promotions in place.

Yes, that is correct.  We only retain a margin once for a single payment per week or month (depending on your pay frequency), irrespective of how many days you work in the week or month.  If you do not work at all, and we don’t produce a payslip in a particular period, there is no margin retrospectively charged either.

With a global infrastructure, highly robust and scalable technologies and over 300 specialists worldwide, we are able to pass on the savings we make through their economies of scale to you.

No. The service has been specifically designed so that it is free to join and free to leave. Not only this, contractors receive free faster payments, free perks & discounts and free insurances as part of the package.

Employment Costs / Holiday Pay Questions

This is the amount of Employers Costs, such as Employers NI, Apprenticeship Levy, Employers Pension (if applicable) and Holiday Pay, which Fair Pay Services must pay based on your earnings. This is itemised on your payslip alongside the margin retained by us.

Agencies will increase the PAYE hourly rate to Umbrella Contractors to include these costs to ensure that Umbrella employees are not worse off than equivalent PAYE workers.

Your contract rate is the rate agreed between the agency and the umbrella company for your assignment, rather than your pay rate.  All we retain from the transaction is our margin, therefore Employment Costs such as Employers NI must be calculated within the contract rate before we arrive at your pay rate.  You then pay Employees NI based on your Gross Pay like any other employee.  If you were a PAYE employee of the agency, the Employers NI would still need to be paid, but the agency would pay you a lower PAYE rate and then account for this separately.

Apprenticeship Levy is an additional tax levied against large employers in the UK.  An employer with a payroll bill over £3 million per year is subject to an additional 0.5% tax.  This is calculated as 0.5% of Gross Pay, and is shown on the umbrella reconciliation as an Employment Cost, alongside Employers NI etc…  

The vast majority of Umbrella companies are subject to this due to the amount of Umbrella employees that we work with on behalf of agencies and clients.

Agencies will increase the PAYE hourly rate to Umbrella Contractors to include these costs to ensure that Umbrella employees are not worse off than equivalent PAYE workers.

The Employment Costs are broken down for transparency and it’s also combined as an overall Employment Costs figure.  It’s only deducted from the total invoiced amount once though.  You’ll see that the Total Invoiced, minus Margin, minus Employment Costs, Minus Holiday Pay, equals the Pay amount.

You receive statutory holiday pay every time you’re paid in respect of your entitlement to paid leave. This is shown as HOLIDAY ACCRUED on your payslip. Standard statutory holiday pay is currently 12.07% of your pay rate, although your individual accrual rate may vary due to AWR and increased comparator entitlements such as additional annual leave etc…

Yes, absolutely.  Our standard position is that holiday pay is accrued for later use, you can then request it as pay when you take time off work.  If you do choose to have your holiday pay advanced to you each time you are paid, we have a form that needs to be completed by you detailing this request.  You will be given the choice when you sign up with Fair Pay Services and are free to change your mind at any point.

Your contract rate includes our margin, Employment Costs and Holiday Pay.  Holiday Pay has to be removed in the 1st part of the reconciliation.  It is then your choice whether you have it accrued for later use, or added to your payslip to be taxed and advanced to you in the current week.  We’re happy to provide illustrations of both options.

Over a full year, it is broadly the same and is more to do with your preference of whether you want your holiday pay in advance, or held in a fund to claim while you are not working.

Salary / Bonus Questions

Salary is always the number of hours worked at National Minimum Wage.  If your usual working day was 8 hours x 5 days per week, you would see 40 hours at NMW (currently £10.42) respectively for this.  We’re happy to provide detailed examples to show the full breakdowns, deductions and net pay.

Bonus is the remainder of your Gross Pay after Salary at NMW is calculated.  It is taxable and part of Gross Pay, but the reason it is shown this way is to account for fluctuations in hours worked / employment costs / different assignments etc to ensure that the contract of employment (available to view within your Flexr portal) is always valid and refers to the assignment schedule (provided by your agency or client) for the actual contract rate.

Payroll Questions

As an employee you are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP). SSP is paid when the employee is sick for 4 days in a row. You start receiving SSP from the fourth day (if you normally work that day) as the first three are so called ‘waiting days’ or ‘qualifying days’

As an employer we do not advise on the tax credit system due to the complexities and the individual nature of each claim but we are able to give the following information that may assist; 

Tax Credits are reviewed on an annual basis and therefore the amount received and assessed will be the amount from all sources of income in any given Fiscal Year. The amount you can provide as an estimate of earnings should be the Gross Income through PAYE that you expect to receive in the year and if that is significantly different to previous years we would advise that you communicate this to avoid any further overpayment occurring.

Whilst you are working with the Tax Credit department to resolve the overpayment your income will not be reduced. If the over claim is not resolved then they have the power to apply for an attachment of earnings order which would be collected through your payroll

You will receive maternity pay & leave if you are eligible.  If you are, at least 15 weeks before the baby is expected, you must tell us the date that:

  • the baby is due
  • when you want to start your maternity leave – you can change this with 28 days’ notice

You can see further details of maternity pay & leave, including eligibility and providing proof of eligibility at https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave

Please note that it is also your responsibility to advise your Agency / Hirer of the pregnancy and any maternity leave that is permitted.

You will receive paternity pay & leave if you are eligible. If you are, you can choose to take either 1 or 2 weeks. Leave cannot start before the birth and it must end within 56 days of the birth (or due date if the baby is early).

You can see further details of paternity pay & leave, including eligibility and providing proof of eligibility at https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave

Please note that it is also your responsibility to advise your Agency / Hirer of the pregnancy and any paternity leave that is permitted.

No, you would become our employee and at the end of the tax year, we will issue you a P60 detailing your total income and total taxes etc…. These figures should be entered into your tax return if you need to do one for other reasons and will be considered as part of your overall tax liability and tax paid.

If you are earning over £100,000 a year, you must file a Self Assessment tax return with HMRC. If you are employed by us on April 5th (the end of the tax year), we will issue you a P60 detailing your total income and total taxes etc…  This will be issued by the end of May following the tax year end. These figures should be entered into your Self Assessment tax return and will be considered as part of your overall tax liability and tax paid.  If you leave our employment at any point during the tax year, we will issue you a P45 instead.  The figures on the P45 can be used by your new employer, or entered into your Self Assessment tax return if appropriate.

Yes, by joining Fair Pay Services you would become our employee, and we issue P60’s by the end of May, following each tax year end.

The ‘336 Hours annually employment contract’ refers to clause 7.3 of our contract of employment.  

We as umbrella companies, are businesses that take on contractors, agency workers and other types of temporary workers as our own employees with continuous contracts of employment. Our sole purpose is to employ people like this. To meet the rules to be a ‘continuous’ employment, we must provide a guarantee of at least 336 hours of work per year at the minimum wage.

We have an internal process to monitor employees who are not working at least 8 hours per week, to discuss with them if they are able to accept and work the guaranteed 336 hours.  It is then their choice whether to accept or reject those hours.

The contract of employment is the same document to cover all employees, but has clause 2.1 which refers to the assignment schedule for specific information.  The assignment schedule is provided by your agency and has specific information such as hours of work, contracts rates, notice periods etc…  This information then takes precedence over the contract of employment.

When you start repaying your loan and how much you repay depends on your repayment plan.  If you’re not sure which repayment plan you are on, you can find out more by clicking https://www.gov.uk/repaying-your-student-loan/which-repayment-plan-you-are-on

Pension Questions

Fair Pay Services have chosen to work with Nest Pensions, as they are the workplace pension scheme set up by the government.  You can find out more about Nest Pensions at  https://www.nestpensions.org.uk/schemeweb/nest/my-nest-pension.html, and you can find more information regarding workplace pensions at https://www.gov.uk/workplace-pensions/joining-a-workplace-pension

There are 2 different options that you can choose when it comes to contributing to a pension when working for us.  

Auto-enrolment into a workplace pension scheme is the most common method of contributing. Under auto-enrolment, 8% of your qualifying earnings would be contributed to your pension fund. This is broken down as a 3% employer contribution, and a 5% employee contribution. If you have not already chosen a salary sacrifice pension, or enrolled early into our standard workplace pension, we are required by law to enrol all eligible workers into our workplace pension after 3 months.  As above, you are able to enrol at any point prior to auto-enrolment at 3 months.  Just let us know if you would like to do this. 

Salary sacrifice is an alternative way of contributing, which can increase the amount you pay into your pension pot as it is more tax efficient. Any contributions made in this way are made as an employers pension contribution.  This is deducted at source, therefore saving on the Employer’s National Insurance Contributions, the Apprenticeship Levy and personal deductions such as Income Tax / Employee’s National Insurance etc…  Some key points to be aware of regarding salary sacrifice are;

 

  • Salary sacrifice should always be based on a percentage rather than a fixed amount, to account for weeks where you may not work as much as usual.  
  • Salary sacrifice may not be suitable if your income is lower, as any contributions could take your earnings below the National Minimum Wage.  
  • You should consider that salary sacrifice arrangements reduce your taxable pay, therefore could affect you if you are applying for loans or mortgages, or when calculating entitlements for employment benefits such as Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) etc… 

We can only pay into NEST pension funds and unfortunately cannot contribute directly into private pension funds.  If you don’t want to be enrolled into the standard workplace pension scheme, we can still administer a salary sacrifice pension but the contributions do need to be made to NEST.  

If you would like to do this, you just need to advise what percentage of your Gross Pay you would like to contribute into your NEST pension.  We will happily send you over a revised pay example showing this deduction and contribution. This is more tax efficient than a standard auto-enrolment pension scheme.

When your assignment ends and you are no longer paying into the pension, you can then transfer out of NEST into a pension of your choice.  NEST don’t charge anything to do this, and there is further information at https://www.nestpensions.org.uk/schemeweb/nest/my-nest-pension/transfer-your-pension-pots/transferring-your-money-out-of-nest.html

If you have a salary sacrifice arrangement in place, we wouldn’t have a legal responsibility to auto-enrol you into the standard workplace pension scheme after 12 weeks.

Let's GET IN TOUCH

Please call or email now to find out more!

Payroll Enquiries / Customer Services (Option 1)
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm
[email protected]
New Registrations (Option 2)
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm
[email protected]
Sales / All Other Queries (Option 3)
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
[email protected]

 

Out of Hours

Outside of our opening hours, you can leave a voicemail which will be actioned by the relevant team as soon as we open. If you have an urgent out of hours query, please send an email to [email protected] and we will do our best to assist you.

Vulcan Works, 34-38 Guildhall Road, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN1 1EW