Save the date for FCSA Forum 2024 – Tuesday July 2nd in London



We’ve put together a selection of FAQs where we try to answer, erm, your FAQs

No, FCSA is not a regulator. We are a not-for-profit membership organisation and our members have to comply with our Charter and Codes as well as undergo rigorous and regular compliance assessments carried out by nationally renowned professional services firms. 

FCSA members therefore have a legally-binding contractual obligation to abide by our Charter and Codes.

  • We can, and do, sanction members if they breach the Charter or Codes
  • We can, and do, help settle legitimate grievances against our members often facilitating and/or expediting resolutions.

In fact, we support appropriate and relevant regulation.

Whilst FCSA is not a regulator, we do believe that the industry could become regulated in a well-informed and carefully considered manner. That’s why we work with BEIS, HMT, HMRC and other stakeholders to ensure that our Codes are fully up-to-date with both tax and employment law and often go above and beyond what is currently required.

Yes. We do ask that the provider’s own grievance/complaint procedure has been exhausted and we do need to know precisely which of our Codes the worker believes to have been breached and, of course, we cannot intervene in a dispute where the Courts or Tribunals are already involved, but we aim to deal with legitimate grievances in a fair and open manner as soon as we can.

We carefully consider every grievance or complaint we receive and to date we’ve upheld about 50% of them and, so far, almost all of the resolutions have met with approval from the original complainant.

Most grievances are actually just a misunderstanding of the way umbrella providers are obliged to work and a lot of those arise from misunderstanding of HMRC rules and guidelines. These can usually be resolved very quickly.

For example we often receive queries about salary sacrifice, especially when the worker wants to make changes but hasn’t been allowed to by their provider. This is usually because HMRC do not permit changes midway through the year unless there’s been a significant life event (e.g. marriage, divorce) – once we explain that to the worker then we have to conbsider the matter closed.

No, members have to undertake a significant and rigorously checked application process, including due diligence on the applying company and its directors as individuals and then undergo the assessment process. Only about 50% of applicants pass through the entire process.

These checks are repeated on a regular basis and “mystery shopping” takes place to ensure continued compliance.

No. In fact, most of our members are relatively small companies and about 25% of them have less than 1000 umbrella employees.

No. Existing members have no say on new members joining.

Provided that a new applicant can pass all our checks and fulfil the obligations placed on them by our Charter and Codes, then they will be accepted as a member.