Umbrella companies

In recent years, the use of so-called 'umbrella companies' has spread across the economy, although the problem is much worse in some sectors than in others. The basic purpose of an umbrella company arrangement is to shift responsibility for tax, employers' national insurance and employee rights from the business onto the worker.

Construction union Unite has described the use of umbrella companies as "an extreme form of workplace exploitation", which often goes hand-in-hand with workers being forced to work on zero hours contracts.

As well as the construction sector, umbrella companies are increasingly prevalent in supply teaching.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

What is WorkSmart?

A career coach that works for everyone.

Hourglass

Enjoy bite-sized activities delivered to you every week.

Lightbulb brain

Equip yourself with essential skills to be the best you yet.

Certificate

Get the guidance you need to stay focused and reach your goals.

Worksmart circle