drag me to share Brookson
Free guide download Contact Us
a callback
New Business 0800 230 0213
Customer Services 0345 058 1200

Umbrella Company Pros and Cons

Have a Specific Question?

Call us today on 0800 230 0213, or make an enquiry for free and friendly advice.

Want to know more?

Umbrella company guide download

Our free guide provides a jargon free overview of the Brookson Umbrella Employment Solution.

Download Our FREE Guide

An Umbrella Company provides contractors, freelancers self-employed professionals with a simple, compliant and low risk alternative to setting-up and running your own company.

This page is a great starting point if you are thinking of working through an Umbrella Company and want to understand the benefits, responsibilities and commitment needed and also the steps you need to take to running your own business. If you want to know more, our FREE guide to working through an Umbrella Company is full of useful insights.


What is an Umbrella Employee?

If you choose to work through an Umbrella Company, you become an employee of that company. It then contracts out your services to the end client or agency. The umbrella company pays you directly after making the necessary deductions for tax and National Insurance contributions on a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) basis.

You remain an employee of the umbrella company regardless of whether you move to a new assignment, start a project with a new end client or agency or are temporarily between assignments. The choice of umbrella company employer is entirely up to you and you can build up a long-term relationship independent of the client or the agency you are working for.

In terms of administration, there is none. As an employee, it is all taken care of for you. The umbrella company will, however, retain a margin from the revenue it receives for providing your services. This is why, if you are working via an agency, they may offer you a higher rate of pay if you wish to become an employee of an umbrella company than if you were to be paid via the agency payroll.


What are the benefits?

Brookson offers a complete solution and can help you take advantage of the benefits of working as an umbrella employee, they include:

  • Ease of setup & use – It’s quick & easy set up and all you have to do is simply submit your timesheets and expenses through Connect, our secure web portal. All holiday pay and insurance are included.
  • Low risk – All tax and national insurance is automatically deducted so there is no need to worry about tax returns or yea-end accounts.
  • Suitable for any period – Umbrella working is appropriate for any length of contracts, regardless of how short or long they are.
  • Claim expenses – You can claim back certain expenses for travel, subsistence, tools and equipment
  • Work safely – we provide a full health & safety review for every assignment you work on
  • Faster payment – As a Brookson umbrella employee you will be paid week and receive an SMS to confirm the amount each week.
  • Insurance included – you’ll benefit from up to £5 million professional indemnity and public liability insurance plus £25 million employee’s liability insurance
  • Financial advice - You can access specialist financial advice on things like pensions, mortgages and investments through our partner companies.
  • Employee discount scheme - Our discount scheme gives you savings on the highstreet and online.

Despite these benefits, Umbrella working may not suit everyone. Employees will not be able to claim as much tax relief as a limited company director, the timing of the payment will not be in your control. Also, your status in the eyes of the end client may show you as being less established or experienced.


To discuss your working options & arrange your FREE ways of working consultation, including a tailored take home pay illustration:

Call 0800 230 0213 and talk to one of Brookson's Specialist Advisors or fill in the form below and one of their advisors will be in touch.

* Umbrella Employees cannot claim travel expenses if they fail SDC


"I have been with Brookson since the beginning of 2011. I have always found the staff very helpful and efficient. Working through Brookson's umbrella solution makes running my business easy. I have recommended Brookson to a number of colleagues in the past and will continue to do so in the future."

Marvin Slaytor