Umbrella Workers FAQs

Call 0161 703 2549 or email info@championcontractors.co.uk

Employment Solutions – FAQs

When using the Champion employment solution, you become an employee of the Champion business (Champion Contract Services Limited) and we act as an intermediary between you and your recruitment agency.

The first benefit you receive from Champion is the fact that we handle all of the administration and payroll associated with your assignment, allowing you to concentrate 100% on doing your job.

You will be reassured to know that Champion provide you with the same employment benefits as an agency employee (i.e.  statutory sick pay, holiday pay and workplace pension) and we also provide the required commercial insurances (Professional Indemnity, Public & Employers liability) to enable you to carry out the assignment.

Please click here to see the other great benefits you receive as an employee of Champion Contract Services Limited.

Using the Champion Employment Solution

Please contact Champion on 0161 703 2549 and speak to one of our expert advisors.

We will provide you with a personal consultation and if you are then happy to proceed we will take your details over the phone. Alternatively, you can request a call back at a time that is convenient to you.

Once we have provided you with a personal consultation, Champion only need a further 5 minutes of your time to take the personal/assignment/agency details we require from you.

If you prefer, you can download an application form by clicking here – please complete the form and email it to info@championcontractors.co.uk

Champion need to obtain your personal information as well as relevant details about your agency and the contract assignment you will undertake.

After taking information from you, Champion will contact your agency consultant to let them know that you wish to use our service. We will provide the agency with all of the commercial details they need and will ask them to issue a Contract for Service to the Champion business.

As a courtesy action, Champion suggest that you also directly confirm your intentions to your agency.

To enable Champion to comply with money laundering and eligibility to work regulations, we will require you to send us a copy of your passport or photo ID driving license along with a copy of a recent utility bill (not mobile phone) or bank statement.

A full list of acceptable ID documents can be found by clicking here: - http://www.champion-contractors.co.uk/pdfs/right.pdf

Yes. Your P45 will confirm your current tax code and will provide details of the Income Tax that you have already paid in this financial year. The P45 allows Champion to ensure that all of your future payments are calculated correctly.

If you do not have a P45 please complete a HMRC New Starter Checklist Form and return it to Champion.

This form enables Champion to request a tax code on your behalf from HMRC. Until the tax code is issued, your payments will be processed via a standard tax code using a Week 1 / Month 1 basis or a basic rate tax code if you have another job or receive a state or occupational pension.

Yes. If you are with another provider then you will simply need to inform them that you no longer wish to use their services – you must also ask them to issue your P45 at the earliest opportunity.

Note: Your former provider will not be able to send your P45 to you until they have processed any final payment due. It is important that you send parts 2 & 3 of the P45 to Champion as soon as you receive it.

No. There are no set up costs attached to the Champion service.

If your assignment comes to end and you no longer wish to use the Champion service, please ask for your P45 to be issued. You can request this by email (payroll@championcontractors.co.uk) – when making the request, please confirm the last working day of your assignment.

Champion will not be able to issue a P45 until we have processed your final payment.  If your address and contact details are going to change, please confirm all new information within the email requesting your P45.

Note: In circumstances where you have not been paid by Champion for 2 calendar months and you have also not confirmed your intention to continue to use our services, we will automatically send your P45 to the address that we hold on file.

No. There are no leaving costs attached to the Champion service.

Enjoying the Champion Service

Once you have registered with Champion, you will be sent an email containing links to your electronic welcome pack. The pack will contain the following:

  • Assignment Confirmation Note
  • Contract of Employment
  • Health & Safety Questionnaire

You will be asked to log into an electronic portal – this allows you to review, sign and return the documents to Champion.

In addition to the above, Champion will confirm all relevant details to your agency.

Champion will make payment to you when we receive funds from your agency.

It is essential that you liaise with your agency consultant prior to the start of the assignment so that you can fully understand the weekly/monthly timesheet process they need you to follow. If applicable, the consultant will also confirm the process to follow when claiming any reimbursable expenses (e.g. expenses incurred on behalf of the client) incurred.

Champion do not require a copy of your agency timesheet, however we would ask that you email a note of your hours/days worked each week/month to payroll@championcontractors.co.uk

You will receive an electronic payslip before 10.00am on the day each week/month that you are paid by Champion.

Your payslip will be password protected so only you can open it. The password will be confirmed within your welcome pack.

Champion will send your payment to your personal bank account upon receipt of funds from your agency.

The payment will be sent by electronic bank transfer (Faster Payment Method) meaning funds will clear your account within 3 hours of them being despatched.

In these circumstances please contact the Champion payroll team by phone (0161 703 2549) or email (payroll@championcontractors.co.uk) so we can call your agency on your behalf.

After speaking to your agency, the Champion payroll team will call you to provide an update and manage your expectations.

Yes. Holiday pay is included within the pay rate you have agreed with your agency.

Champion will provide you with the option whereby we can retain holiday pay on your behalf and pay you these funds when you take annual leave or, alternatively, we can pay you the funds every week to allow you to personally save them aside for your vacations.

This matter will be discussed with you prior to the issue of your Champion welcome pack.

Note: You may wish to contact your agency consultant if you would like to understand how they have calculated your holiday pay rate.

The employers costs include the Employers National Insurance Contributions and the recently introduced (April 2017) Apprenticeship Levy.

Employers National Insurance Contributions (ENICS)

When you are in permanent employment your employer has a statutory liability to pay Employers National Insurance Contributions (ENIC).

If you work via the Champion employment solution, the process is exactly the same. ENIC still needs to be paid on your assignment income and it is therefore imperative that your agency adjusts your rate to account for the burden. If your agency does not account for ENIC within the funds paid to Champion then you will actually take home less money than you would do if the agency paid you via their own internal payroll function.

For information, ENIC is calculated at 13.8% on earnings above £162.00 per week and is uncapped. If, for example, the agency PAYE rate of an assignment was £20.00 per hour, the agency should then uplift the rate to £22.76 per hour if you want to use the Champion employment solution. Please bear this in mind before you accept a rate from your agency and do not hesitate to call a Champion advisor if further clarity is required.v

Apprenticeship Levy (AL)

The AL was introduced on 6th April 2017 for all businesses (including umbrella companies) who have a wage bill in excess of £3 million per annum. As with the Employers NI contribution the AL will have been worked into your Limited hourly/daily rate (0.5% of the gross for tax).

The funds collected for the AL are allocated to an apprenticeship training fund (run by the government) and therefore Champion Contractors will not benefit financially from these deductions except for apprenticeship training purposes.

The net amount you are paid is based on a number of different factors. These are your rate of pay, the number of hours worked, your tax code/allowance and, where applicable, the value of expense claims you have submitted. If these factors are constant, then you should receive the same net payment every week/month.

In each financial year HMRC will provide you with an updated tax code - this confirms your tax free allowance. The higher the tax code, the more you can earn before you are liable for Income Tax.

Example: For the 2018/19 financial year the standard tax free allowance is £11,850 and the majority of UK tax payers will be put on an 1185L tax code. If they were paid weekly, each individual would be entitled to receive the first £227.88 of their income free of any Income Tax deductions.

If you have another job or if you are in receipt of a pension that already uses your tax allowance then your earnings through Champion will be taxed as secondary income, meaning you will pay more Income Tax. 

If you are not in receipt of any other income and you have provided Champion with a P45 or an HMRC New Starter Checklist Form then this may suggest that HMRC do not have your up to date information on file. If this is the case then you will need to personally contact HMRC and speak to one of their advisors.

You can call HMRC on 0300 200 3300 – you will need to quote your National Insurance number and may also need to confirm the Champion Tax Office reference number which is 080/TA31008.

Once you have spoken to HMRC they will automatically provide Champion with an update of your new tax code/allowance.

Yes. A  P60 is a summary of your taxable earnings and tax that has been paid during the financial year – this will be issued automatically to you if you are using the Champion employment solution on 5th April every year and you should receive it by the end of April

Note: If you leave Champion prior to the 5th April, you will receive a P45.

If your only income in the tax year is paid through an employment solution then all tax will have been deducted at source and you will not need to complete a self-assessment tax return (SATR).

Note: if you have travel/subsistence expenses to claim and you have not been subject to Supervision, Direction or Control rules then you do need to submit a SATR to HMRC. If the claim is for less than £2,500 your claim can be made via the submission of a P87.

Yes. We work with Busy Bees and we can make deductions from your salary in exchange for vouchers.

This is a top line deduction meaning you benefit from the tax relief.

Yes. Pending eligibility, you will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme after 12 weeks on your assignment. Deductions are taken at source meaning you obtain appropriate tax relief.

The Champion workplace pension scheme is operated by Now: Pensions Limited and they will contact you ahead of the 12 week stage to provide further information about their service.

If you are categorized as ‘non-eligible’, you will not be automatically enrolled into the scheme. Similarly, if you are categorized as an ‘entitled worker’, you will not be automatically enrolled but you can choose to do so. All ‘eligible workers’ are required to be enrolled after 12 weeks. More information on the different categories can be found at www.nowpensions.com.

If you would prefer to opt out of the Champion workplace pension scheme and use your own pension provider instead then please contact our payroll team.


It used to be the case that if you worked through an employment solution and you intended to undertake multiple assignments then you would be able to claim tax relief on your travel and subsistence (T&S) expenditure.

However, on 6th April 2016 new legislation was brought in to restrict T&S tax relief. The relief was deemed to be unfair because staff employees who work alongside contractors cannot claim the same tax advantage.

The new rules will prevent a majority of workers who use the Champion employment solution from making T&S claims.

What does this mean for me?

It was not the intention of the new rules to discriminate against genuine freelance contractors and therefore HMRC do appreciate there are some workers who should still be able to claim their T&S expenses.

To be able to claim any expenses you will need to be able to demonstrate that you are not considered to be under Supervision, Direction or Control (SDC) of any person (working for the client or agency) in the manner in which you undertake the assignment.

To assist you to clarify your SDC status, Champion have developed a robust assessment process that will be issued to you as soon as your assignment has commenced.  

If you are able to pass the assessment then you will be able to claim all T&S expenses that are deemed ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily’ to fulfil the terms of your assignment.

How do I know if I can claim?

Once we have reviewed your SDC assessment, we will communicate the result to you via email. This will occur within 48 hours of you submitting the information to Champion.

If you are able to claim your expenses then we will issue you with a full guidance pack to confirm your entitlements and the process we need you to follow when claiming.

How will my expenses be paid?

If you are incurring mileage then this will be calculated and processed within your pay on a weekly/ monthly basis.

If any other T&S expenses are incurred then these need to be claimed at the end of the financial year via a Self-Assessment Tax Return or P87. Champion will provide support with these claims.

If I can claim will I need to keep receipts?

Yes. It has always been the case that you should be able to provide evidence that a cost has been incurred for each expense.

For further information on expenses you can access our online expense form or read our guidance documents here.

If your agency or client has agreed to reimburse any expenses to you, providing these are genuine business related expenses they should be paid back to without deductions of PAYE tax or National Insurance however, to ensure this is the case, Champion must be furnished with a copy of your agency or client expense form along with all VAT receipts.

Please note – Champion are unable to pay the expenses to you until we receive the expense form and receipts so that we can verify that no tax deductions would be due.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

SSP is a statutory payment in relation to sick leave from work that you may be entitled to receive.
If you have undergone work on your contract and earn a minimum of £116 per week and have been absent from work due to illness for 4 or more consecutive days, you are entitled to be paid SSP.
You will receive £92.05 per week for SSP.
SSP is claimable for up to 28 weeks of your illness
For sickness that lasts 7 days or more, a doctor’s note is required. You are able to self-certify if your absence from work is less than 7 days.
SSP is paid on your usual payment date.
No, we do not apply a margin to payments of SSP alone.
You will receive an SSP1 form from us which you can use to apply for Employment and Support Allowance from your local government.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

SMP is a statutory payment in relation to maternity pay that you may be entitled to receive.

You must meet the below criteria to be eligible to claim for SMP:

  • Be on our payroll in the ‘qualifying week’ - the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.
  • Provide proof you are pregnant (usually via SMP1 form provided by the midwife).
  • Have worked for us continuously for at least 26 weeks up to any day in the qualifying week.
  • Earn at least £116 a week (gross) in an 8-week ‘relevant period’.
SMP is claimable for up to 39 weeks.
You will receive 90% of your average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks of your maternity and £145.18 per week for the remaining 33 weeks.
SMP is paid on your usual payment date.
No, we do not apply a margin to payments of SMP alone.
You will receive an SMP1 form from us which you can use to apply for Maternity Allowance from your local government.