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A guide to compliant umbrella companies

As the UK’s leading membership organisation for professional employment service providers, the FCSA is committed to setting umbrella employer standards in order to stamp out any poor or exploitative practices.

We have therefore published this important guide to help agencies, end hirers, and contractors to better understand how a compliant umbrella firm operates and the benefits of choosing to work this way.

In this guide we explain:


  • What is an umbrella?
  • The key benefits of an umbrella employer to the:
    • Agency
    • End hirer
    • Contractor
  • How is pay calculated?
  • Why have umbrella employers become so prevalent?
  • Misunderstandings about umbrella employers

We hope you find this guide helpful.

Download Guide to Compliant Umbrella Companies

You can also read our blog “How to spot a non-compliant umbrella company” which provides a helpful checklist on the key warning signs to look out for.

Looking for a compliant umbrella employer for your contractor workforce? Check they’re FCSA Accredited

FCSA Accredited Members are rightly proud of being able to demonstrate the highest standard of compliance in the professional employment services sector.  Not only are they required to adhere to FCSA’s Charter, they are also tested for compliance with FCSA’s standards.  

Our Accredited Members have been independently audited by leading accountancy and legal professionals to confirm that they adhere to the rigorous FCSA Codes of Compliance. 

This stringent test of their business operations is a clear commercial differentiator for umbrella companies, contractor accountants and CIS payroll providers, and minimises the risk for your customers.

It is the only compliance standard recognised and endorsed by all of the UK’s leading recruitment bodies, including REC, APSCo and TEAM.

Find an FCSA Accredited Member