Parasol features on BBC Radio 4’s “The New Workplace” programme

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If you tuned in to BBC Radio 4 on Saturday evening, you may have heard a familiar name pop up.

Our founder and chief executive Rob Crossland appeared on “The New Workplace” programme as part of journalist Michael Robinson’s investigation into umbrella companies. Describing us as “one of the largest and longest-established” firms in the industry, the report also interviewed one of our contractors, IT consultant Peter Meace.

In the programme, Rob was quizzed about how much contractors could realistically take home if they joined an umbrella company. With a quick internet search returning claims of 80% to even 90%, Rob said that the figure was more likely to be 70%.

Despite other companies promising more, Rob warned contractors that it may not be in their best interest to follow the money and risk a compliance headache. This is because HMRC is able to launch tax enquiries for up to 20 years if it suspects any wrongdoing.

Commenting on the programme, Rob said: “Umbrella companies have come under heavy fire in recent months, with the government and some unions claiming that vulnerable workers are being exploited. While we have always acknowledged that there are some unscrupulous providers in the market, we think it’s important not to tar everybody with the same brush and risk damaging the reputation of a vital industry.

“I would like to thank Michael Robinson for his well-balanced report, and for the opportunity to put our thoughts across. Compliant umbrella companies, such as Parasol, provide an important service to the UK’s contractor workforce, so I’m very pleased that this has finally been recognised.

“I’d also like to thank Peter Meace for his participation in the programme. Peter has been an advocate of ours for many years, and his continued help and support is very much appreciated.”

Mr Meace was asked about the benefits a contracting career provides. He said that as a contractor, he earns at least £10,000 more each year than he would as a permanent employee.

The ability to claim legitimate business expenses was also an important factor, with Mr Meace saying it could add up to as much as £300 a month.

Hear for yourself

If you want to catch the programme, it’s repeated again on Wednesday 19th August at 3pm. Alternatively, you can listen now via BBC iPlayer here.

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