Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We know that sometimes, you just need to know a little bit more about the way we work or the terminology we use. Of course, you can Contact Us or use the live chat facility during office hours to have some real-time interaction; but we’ve also put together this FAQs page to help answer some of the questions we’re frequently asked.
Can I register online?
What Right to Work checks do you do?
At Quest Pay Solutions, we are fully compliant with HMRC guidelines and follow the strict rules of the UK Visa and Immigration agency when conducting Right to Work checks.
When registering with Quest Pay Solutions, you will be required to submit a valid proof of name from list 1 AND a valid proof of address from list 2.
Failure to produce these documents could result in delays in payment.
- A passport showing that the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a British citizen or a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, having the right of abode in the United Kingdom.
- A passport or national identity card showing that the holder, or a person named in the passport as the child of the holder, is a national of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
- A Registration Certificate or Documentation Certifying Permanent Residence issued by the Home Office, to a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
- A permanent residence card issued by the Home Office or the Visas and Immigration Agency to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
- A current Biometric Immigration Document (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
- A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
- A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has not time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
- A birth (short or long) or adoption certificate issued in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance Number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
- A birth (short or long) or adoption certificate issued in the Channel Island, the Isle of Man or Ireland, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
- A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
- A utility bill (gas, electric or water) issued within the last three months.
- Local Authority council tax bill for the current council tax year.
- Current Full Driving Licence (Not provisional)
- Bank, Building Society or Credit Union Statement or passbook dated within the last three months.
- Original Mortgage statement from a recognised lender for the last full year.
- Solicitors letter confirming a recent house purchase or land registry confirmation of address.
- Council or housing association rental card or tenancy agreement for the current year.
- Benefit book or original notification letter from a Benefits Agency.
- Inland Revenue Self-Assessment or tax demand
What do you mean with Supervision, Direction, Control (SDC)?
At Quest Pay Solutions we have comprehensive checks in place to ensure that where SDC exists, none of the relevant legislation is ever breached. We work with industry leading tax experts who advise and help us to stay fully compliant.
On top of existing IR35 legislation, in 2014, HMRC introduced new measures to tackle what they consider to be ‘false self-employment’.
False self-employment is a term used to describe a situation whereby the employment status of an individual is deemed to be disguised as ‘self-employed’ rather than ‘employed’. False Self-employment may occur when a company is attempting to evade payments of Employers National Insurance to reduce their own costs.
The key parameter used to measure false self-employment is establishing if SDC exists within an assignment. SDC is broken down and defined as below;
- “Supervision” means the extent to which your client oversees your work and how you perform it to a standard they have specified.
- “Direction” means your client directing how you complete your assignment, by providing instructions, guidance, and advice as to how the work is to be done. Someone providing direction will often coordinate how the work is done as it progresses.
- “Control” is where you have someone dictating the work you do and how you go about it. This also includes the power to move you from task to task as priorities change.
A good understanding of how to properly assess contractors for SDC is the key to becoming fully compliant with this legislation. The underlying theme for the legislation is that when assessing the contractor, role, and description, it isn’t the ‘where’ and ‘when’ a contractor performs the job, but it is the manner of ‘how’ they do their job. In other words, there could be SDC in existence, for health and safety reasons, but at the point at which a worker physically begins working, the ‘how’ element is what should be assessed in terms of whether SDC exists.
In April 2016, further to the above, HMRC also introduced further measures to tackle what they deemed to be tax avoidance – this time by workers working via Umbrella Companies. In a controversial move, the new rules meant that contractors, across all industries, were no longer able to claim travel and subsistence expenses if the contract assignment that they were working on fell within scope of SDC. Clearly establishing the existence of SDC is of huge importance considering all of the above.
At Quest Pay Solutions we have comprehensive checks in place to ensure that where SDC exists, none of the above legislation is ever breached. We work with industry leading tax experts who advise and help us to stay fully compliant.
If you have any queries relating to SDC or any of the above-mentioned legislation, please call 01244 555123 and we will be happy to assist you.
When do Quest Pay process payments to workers and contractors?
Aside from the normal overnight payments made on Thursday (received by workers/ contractors early on Friday mornings), for any late payment instructions received, we also run payments on Fridays at 11am, 1pm and 4pm. If you are expecting a later payment, dependant on when the agency has submitted the instruction to us, your payment will be included on one of these payment runs.
If you are unsure, we advise checking with your agency to ensure instruction has been made to us to make payment.
What is the deadline for a holiday form to be submitted?
Holiday pay forms can be submitted on our website, HERE.
It is imperative that this form is submitted at least one week prior to the first holiday day requested.
Holiday forms received after 5pm on a Tuesday will not be processed until the following week.
What is the deadline for a registration form to be received in order to make the Thursday overnight payment run?
Any registration forms of contractors that are due payment in the same week, must be received before 11am on a Thursday in order to be able to be processed on the overnight Thursday payment run.
Any forms received after this time will be included on the 11am payment run on Friday morning so please bear this in mind if your payment is received later than expected.
What is the difference between PAYE and Umbrella payment models?
This is important to understand. Like PAYE, Umbrella is a PAYE payment model so all relevant tax deductions are made at source and managed for you. Uniquely, the Umbrella model allows workers to work on different assignment whilst continuing to hold one continuous employment.
This allows flexibility for people working through temporary recruitment agencies and ensures that workers are not required to hold multiple different employment through different agencies.
The key difference is to do with how the rate agreed is calculated and paid. The Umbrella rate agreed is often referred to as an ‘assignment rate’. An assignment rate includes money that will need to be deducted and paid to HMRC such as Employers NI and Pension which is why you would see these deductions before your income is then available to be taxed and paid to you. People sometimes mistakenly think that these deductions are being taken from the workers wages which is not the case as these deductions are made before the workers pay is calculated. PAYE rates will typically be agreed to be lower than the equivalent Umbrella rate. This is because, when setting the rates, a recruitment agency will need to factor in the additional employer deductions first rather than wrapping them up into the equivalent umbrella rate.
For further help on understanding how Umbrella companies work, GOV.UK have recently published some new guidance which can be accessed HERE.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme and how does it affect workers?
Due to changes implemented as part of Brexit, the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) now applies to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals. This will result in a significant change to the ‘Right to Work’ (RTW) checks and processes all employers must follow for employees living and working in the UK.
What does it mean? Who does it apply to? When will it apply?
The EUSS essentially determines who can and cannot live and work in the UK.
For workers engaging with Recruitment Agencies and Umbrella companies these changes will impact the checking processes involved.
Impacted contractors are those who are EU, EEA or Swiss nationals.
Workers who do not yet have indefinite leave to enter the UK or indefinite leave to remain in the UK but wish to continue to live and work here after 30th June 2021 must apply to the EUSS before deadline. Failing to do so will result in workers becoming unlawful residents of the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, those who entered the UK after December 2020 are not eligible to apply to the scheme.
Applying to the EU Settlement Scheme – What you need to do as a worker?
It is essential that all impacted contractors, including umbrella contractors, who are EU, EEA or Swiss nationals, begin the application process as soon as possible with the deadline for applying to the scheme being 30th June 2021. Contractors can apply through the EUSS website and using the EU Exit: ID Document Check app. Applications to the scheme will require proof of identity and proof of residence in the UK in the six months leading up to 31st December 2020 in order to apply.
Potential application outcomes
Applications can take a few weeks to be reviewed, but upon this they will either:
- Receive settled status
You typically receive this status if you have been living in the UK for a continuous 5-year period.
- Receive pre-settled status
For those that have not lived in the UK for five years continuously, you will typically receive pre-settled status (as long as you were living in the UK by 31st December 2020).
- Be unsuccessful
An unsuccessful application will unfortunately mean that you are no longer able to remain and work in the UK.
How will this impact RTW checking for employers in the future, including Quest Pay Solutions?
Successful applicants will receive a share code to provide to current and future employers and Right to Work will subsequently be checked via the government site using a share code.
Fortunately, there is no mandatory requirement for employers to undertake retrospective checks on EEA citizens who were employed on or before 30th June 2021 which means that, as long as all correct RTW procedures have been followed previously, we can continue to pay impacted workers, post 30th June 2021, with the understanding that a share code will eventually be provide for the status to be checked.
Further help is available to impacted workers via the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre: 0300 123 7379. More information can also be found via the following home office information document and can be downloaded with this link.
Send your EUSS Sharecode HERE
CIS FAQ for contractors
What is CIS?
The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) was introduced by the HMRC and outlines rules for how payments to subcontractors for construction work must be handled.
Under the scheme, all payments made to subcontractors must take account of the subcontractor’s tax status as determined by the HMRC. This is done through a verification of a Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR).
It is important to note that not everyone in construction can work under the CIS and we have checked all of our trades with our insurers to ensure that the approved roles don’t fall under Supervision, Direction, and Control (SDC) due to the False Self Employment Legislation (2016).
If you think you are eligible to go self-employed and would like further information please call 01244 555 123 and our team will be happy to answer any queries.
I'm eligible for CIS but don't have a UTR number. What do I need to do?
If you are new to CIS and don’t have a UTR number you will need to apply for a UTR number via the HMRC. They will then issue you with a UTR number for tax purposes.
To apply for a UTR number and for help registering on the scheme, please contact the HMRC General Queries Helpline on 0300 200 2310.
I have a UTR number and I'm eligible for CIS, what is my next step?
I have registered with QPS, what happens next?
Now that you have registered we will process your timesheets weekly, deducting tax at the correct rate and our weekly margin (as outlined in your registrations email). You will receive a text message advising the amount you will be paid and will also receive a self-bill each week.
Need help with your self-assessment?
Umbrella (Professional Contracting) FAQ for contractors
What is an Umbrella (Professional Contracting) scheme?
Our Professional Contracting option offers full employment status to workers enabling flexible working in the temporary work space. When employed under this contract, workers are paid a salary and enjoy full statutory employment benefits such holiday pay and SSP.
You can also check out the HMRC guidance into working through an umbrella company.
How does it work?
QPS will receive an instruction of the assignment rate as agreed with your agency. From this, we will then, first, make our employer deductions. These deductions include Employer’s NI, Employers Pension Contributions (if applicable), the Government’s initiative of Apprenticeship Levy, and our Company Margin (as outlined in your registration email).
The amount left is essentially your income of which income tax, NI and employee pension contributions (if applicable) are then deducted to bring you to your net take home pay.
You will receive a text message to inform you of your net take home pay and will also receive a payslip each week.
What are the benefits of using this scheme?
As an employee of Quest Pay Solutions NE you have the security of being legally treated as an employee including all statutory benefits.
This does vary to your entitlements as a paye ‘worker’ paid directly by any agency.
‘Workers’ do not enjoy the same benefits to that of an employee.
When engaging with a company such as QPS, you able to complete multiple assignments under the same employment ‘Umbrella’ that we provide, meaning your tax code stays in one place and you aren’t ever subject to being overtaxed on a ‘second job’.
What is Employer's NI?
Employers NI is a cost that all employers are legally obliged to pay to HMRC when paying their employees. Employers NI contribution is included in the assignment rate we receive from your agency and this rate should be previously agreed between yourself and the agency before the start of the assignment.
Employers NI is charged at 13.8% on earnings above £169 per week, £8,778 per year as of the tax year 2020/2021. This will be shown as part of the employer deductions on your payslip.
What is Apprenticeship Levy?
The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017 and affects all eligible UK employers. The main objective of this scheme is to aid the Government’s commitment to boost productivity by investing in human capital and developing vocational skills. The government committed to an additional 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020.
Like Employers NI, the Apprenticeship levy is included in the assignment rate previously agreed between you and your agency. It is therefore deducted as an employer cost. This will also be shown as part of the employer deductions on your payslip.
Why are pension contributions being deducted? Can I opt out?
Due to Pensions Legislation, there is now a legal requirement for all UK employers to enroll their employees into a pension scheme and, as a fully compliant Umbrella company, we follow the correct procedure.
From the date you are automatically enrolled (usually after 90 days) you will have a month to chose not to join or to ‘opt out’. If you do nothing you will be enrolled in the scheme and you will make weekly contributions to your pension ‘pot’.
Am I entitled to holidays?
During your employment with us, you are entitled to 28 days of annual leave per year in accordance with Working Time Regulations 1998. This equates to 12.07% of each weekly payment that the company makes to an employee.
When you register you have the option to have this holiday pay paid immediately or accrued, this is selected on the registration form.
Looking to register or have further questions? No problem! Please call us on 01244 555123 and we will be happy to assist.
I have registered with Quest Pay Solutions NE, what is my next step?
Firstly thank you for registering with Quest Pay Solutions. Now that you have completed the online link, please ensure that you have submitted the following:
- P45/ P46 information
- Right to work documents
Once we have all of this information and your record is complete you will receive a weekly text message and payslip when payments are processed.
Can you tell me more about Quest Pay Solutions?
Quest Pay Solutions offer a variety of unique services suitable for all sectors of the temporary recruitment market. Whether your business provides Skilled Tradesmen to construction sites, HGV drivers to haulage companies or Theatre Nurses to hospitals, Quest Pay Solutions has a suitable service for you and your candidates. Quest Pay Solutions was formed by experienced and successful recruiters, so we understand the pressures that recruitment business owners and consultants face. We have therefore made it our mission to take as much of those pressures away by delivering a first-rate service.
At Quest Pay Solutions we take pride in our reputation as being highly flexible, personable in the way in which we deal with our customers, and honest in the way in which we conduct ourselves and deliver our service. It is therefore unsurprising that more and more recruitment businesses are choosing to work with us.
In an industry littered with legislation and a host of ‘black market’ services offered by many, Quest Pay Solutions are very happy to offer transparent and compliant solutions and deliver them seamlessly with a top class service enabling our clients and employees to work with comfort without having to worry about breaching any of the many industry legislation in place. We believe in all the ‘melee’ surrounding legislation, other companies have quite simply forgotten how to deliver ‘the basics’.
Quest Pay Solutions do not adopt an aggressive sales strategy, instead preferring to look after candidates who choose to work with us, even when working via different agencies.
Contact us today for an informal chat, and see why more and more businesses are choosing Quest Pay Solutions as their ‘next move’.
What checks do you do with CIS workers re: False Self Employment?
When operating in construction via CIS, Quest Pay Solutions (QPS) take compliance extremely seriously.
It is important to note that not everyone working in the construction industry can work as a CIS sub-contractor. The rules of false self-employment state that individuals that do not meet a certain criterion are not able to be engaged in this way and QPS have a series of measures in place to test against this and ensure that compliance is always maintained.
The underlying rule for determining who can be engaged under CIS centres around the existence of Supervision, Direction and Control (SDC) when on assignment. More specifically, when assessing for this, Quest Pay scrutinise the engagement with the following checks.
- Checking the Job title undertaken with external industry leading employment status experts.
- Cross reference rates against job roles.
- Checking the description of the assignment and nature of the work to be undertaken with external industry leading employment status experts
- Completing a multiple question questionnaire with every contractor to establish more facts from them regarding the engagement.
When complying with SDC rules, it is important to understand the way in which information about the assignments and engagement are checked. When determining whether SDC exists, QPS are careful not to focus on the ‘where’ and ‘when’ of the engagement but rather the ‘how’ the work is carried out.
Failure to comply with false self-employment rules could result in heavy penalties for a number of the parties involved. This is why QPS take this so seriously and will only engage contractors via CIS if satisfied that they are genuinely of self-employment status. For further information about this process or to see if you are eligible for CIS contact our team on 01244 555123.
Can you help with cash flow issues?
If cashflow problems are stifling your recruitment business from growing, Quest Pay Solutions can now help via our new QPS Cashflow Freedom product.
Partnering with our sister company Recruitment Funding Solutions (RFS), we are now able to offer risk free credit to our agency partners.
Find out more HERE.