Contractor FAQ’s

Please see our Contractor FAQ’s below to see some answers to your questions

If you can secure an outside IR35 contract then, using a limited company, the main benefits are a vastly increased level of income. Also, due to the way that an outside IR35 contract is worded, you can take on more than one contract at a time – as long as you can complete all the deliverables as agreed with each client, so there is also a lot of money that you can make. On an inside IR35 contract basis via an umbrella company, whilst the financial advantages, compared to a permanent job, are reduced you will generally receive a much better ‘wage’ in terms of the money deposited in your account every pay day. You can also choose to be paid weekly or monthly, allowing more flexibility.
One of the main benefits of contracting is that you don’t have any HR accountability. There are no formal 1-2-1’s, objectives or line management responsibilities to take care of, allowing you to focus fully on the job in hand with a lot less distraction! As a result of not being employed directly by the end client you can also avoid a lot of the politics that exist, particularly in large organisations. The strategy of the overall business is not your concern, as you are just there to complete the work you’re being assigned which some contractors find very liberating.

If you are on an inside IR35 contract then you don’t need to register your own limited company, as you will need to register with an umbrella company. If you have previously worked through a limited company on an outside IR35 contract, you don’t have to close the company down but you will still need to come through an umbrella company. This is the case even if you pay yourself via PAYE in your own limited company.

An umbrella company is a PAYE payroll service for contractors and freelancers. The contractor will become an employee of the umbrella company and will be paid by them, minus deductions including tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC). The beauty of an umbrella company is that it takes care of all the administration that would be involved in calculating payroll, managing tax returns and almost removes the need for an accountant. Your umbrella company will sign a contract with the recruitment agency you were initially contacted by. The end client will pay your recruitment agency their agreed rate, the recruitment agency will then pay the umbrella company, before the umbrella company pays you your wages, minus deductions.

When you work through an umbrella company you are entitled to the same benefits as those who are in full-time employment including Holiday Pay, Sick Pay, Maternity Pay and Paternity Pay. Holiday Pay is calculated at 12.07% of your own pay and it is reallocated to you on your payslip, meaning you are no better or worse of.

There is always an element of risk when it comes to contracting but the financial rewards can be great. The notice periods are generally shorter (around 2 weeks) although these can be negotiated particularly on an inside IR35 role. There may also be periods in between contracts where you haven’t secured an engagement at the end of one, or a project is unexpectedly canned, which you will need to budget for. However, if you are good at what you do then there is generally a likelihood that your contract will be extended if the work is there to do. Even when a project ends, if you’ve done a good job and other projects come up, you will find your clients will reach out to you further down the line. There will always be contract opportunities in the project space because of the nature of that work and actually, given the hybrid/remote working options that are now available, the market is probably as active as it ever has been as location is no longer a limit. Whilst permanent employment is definitely more secure, this market has been more volatile over recent years so, in terms of security, the gap has reduced significantly.

As with any role, the day rates that you can command depend on your skills & experience, the industry or market the contract exists in, and the client themselves. To give you an indication of the day rates available in the IT Project space, the below table highlights the rough bandings for a few roles and levels.

Resource DescriptionIndicative Day RateLevelRationale
Outside IR35Inside IR35
Programme Manager£800-£1,200£900-£1,300Senior5+ years experience as a Programme Manager leading large scale IT and/or Business change programmes with budgets >£5m
IT, Business or Data£700-£900£700-£900Mid Range5+ years experience as a Programme Manager leading large scale IT and/or Business change programmes with budgets >£1m
Analyst£600-£800£650-£850Senior10+ years experience managing large scale IT and/or Business change projects with budgets >£2m
IT, Business or Data£450-£700£450-£650Mid Range5+ years experience managing medium to large scale IT and/or Business change projects with budgets >£1m
 £350-£450£350-£450Junior2+ years experience managing small IT and/or Business change projects
Architect£700-£900£800-£1,100Senior10+ years experience being responsible for the Solution/Business/Data architecture on enterprise level programme/projects
 £500-£800£600-£850Mid range5+ years experience being responsible for the Solution/Business/Data architecture on any programme/projects
Project Manager£550-£800£650-£850Senior10+ years Analysis experience in field e.g. Business, Systems or Data in Insurance market, incl. 3+ years Team Lead experience
IT, Business or Data£400-£600£450-£650Mid Range5+ years Analysis experience in field e.g. Business, Systems or Data in Insurance market
 £300-£400£350-£450Junior2+ years Analysis experience in field e.g. Business, Systems or Data
Developer£600-£900£650-£850Senior10+ years Analysis experience in field e.g. IT or Data in Insurance market, potentially Developer Lead experience
Front End, Back End, Data & BI et al£450-£600£450-£650Mid Range5+ years Analysis experience in field e.g. IT or Data in Insurance market
 £350-£450£350-£450Junior3+ years Analysis experience in Developer role – skillset specific to requirement

This can depend on the lender but whether working on an inside or outside IR35 basis, a contractor who has switched from a permanent role will find it harder to secure a competitive mortgage than someone in permanent employment. This is usually the case until a contractor has built up around 2 years worth of history as a contractor and has a 6 month contract (or thereabouts) in place. Obviously other factors are also taken into account by lenders e.g. personal credit rating which will always have an impact but if you’re looking to secure a mortgage or re-mortgage in the near future, it may be worth waiting until after that to move into the contract market.

The short answer is “yes”. This protects the umbrella company and ultimately the end client from any liability coming from your work on the contract. The required limits may vary from client to client depending on the size of the project but, generally speaking, the cost for all of these should be in the region of £500-£700 for the year as a general rule of thumb. There maybe some specific insurances required by clients in certain market, industries e.g. Cyber insurance so it’s worth confirming this before signing up to anything.

Employers are legally required to enrol their employees into a workplace pension so, as the employer, an umbrella company is legally required to auto-enrol their employees into a workplace pension scheme. When you register with your umbrella company, you’ll be sent information regarding pensions and auto-enrolment. Each umbrella company will have a preferred pension provider but you should expect to be auto-enrolled to NEST – the workplace pension scheme set up by the government.

If you have any other questions, please get in touch here.

Rob was an absolute pleasure to work with. He quickly understood all my requirements and used his extensive knowledge and experience to produce a comprehensive job spec which was better than anything I could have conceived. He also identified alternative candidate types which I hadn’t previously considered and this proved instrumental in making an offer for the role. Professional and highly recommended!

S Hughes

It’s been a pleasure working with Rob. He’s efficient – Kept me up-to-date in a timely manner and with the right amount of information. He’s also professional and friendly at the same time. Thank you Rob.

Jacqueline Henderson

After a long period in a very difficult job market, Rob was able to help me find the perfect role. He understood my strengths and skills and was able to place me in a fantastic company!

I would highly recommend Rob whether you’re a candidate or client. I couldn’t have asked for a better service.

Abigail Britnell

Working with Rob at Finstech was a real pleasure. Rob’s professionalism was evidenced by his ability to listen to our needs, his accurate selection of candidates, right through to the support he provided during final negotiations with the successful candidate. His willingness and friendliness simply added to the mix. I highly recommend Finstech and will be working with them again in the future.

David Burton

Rob was introduced to me via a connection during my latest job search. He was extremely professional and empathetic, not only did he offer to help with my job search, but he also went above and beyond, providing me with feedback on my CV, along with some solid advice for developing my professional profile according to my interests and experience.

I would recommend Rob to anyone that I know, without hesitation.

Alexandra Burton

Rob was a pleasure to deal with, professional, communicative and efficient. Would highly recommend to anyone seeking a contract.

Jonny Coombes

Rob was a pleasure to deal with, professional, communicative and efficient. Would highly recommend to anyone seeking a contract.

Jonny Coombes

Rob from Finstech is an absolute pleasure to work with. He is organised, thorough and everyone that works with him has great things to say. Has a plethora of experience and understanding when it comes to recruitment, especially in the insurance, IT and finance sectors. I would definitely recommend his recruitment services!

John Parnell

Rob is the best recruitment agency I have ever worked with and I have worked with lots over the years to recruit staff and most recently to look for a role after being made redundant myself.

Rob is professional, caring and honest his service is out of this world.

Joanna Fisher

Rob is a pleasure to work with and the perfect intermediary. Rob knows how to make everyone feel comfortable and is clear, transparent and trustworthy. So please to have had the pleasure to cooperate!

Teresa Watkins

Rob is an excellent professional! Very attentive, honest and available. It is a real pleasure to talk and work with him. I highly recommend his services.

Mari Ana

Rob knows how to build trust, which is an essential skill to fulfill succesfully his missions. It is nice working with him!

Frédéric Prévost

Great advice from a very professional and thorough gentleman. Rob Greenhalgh managed to accurately target the proper job opportunities for me. I highly recommend his services.

Jules Rousselet

Honest, upfront and professional. Would highly recommend.