Covered in this topic:
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.