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Friday, July 25, 2014

Contractor's Q&A

by Samantha Langan
Office Manager
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I've never contracted before; do I need to have my own limited company? The vast majority of IT contractors work through their own Limited Company. You can register your new limited company through Companies House and contact your bank to set up a business bank account in the company name.

I've never contracted before; do I need to have my own limited company?
The vast majority of IT contractors work through their own Limited Company. You can register your new limited company through Companies House and contact your bank to set up a business bank account in the company name.

Alternatively, an Umbrella Company provides a ready-made invoicing vehicle for contractors whilst also removing the administrative duties normally associated with contracting. We would be happy to provide you with a list of our preferred suppliers to find out any further information.
 
How often will I be paid?
We offer a weekly payroll option providing the timesheets deadlines are met. Alternatively, if you wish to be paid monthly we can arrange this for you.
 
When are the timesheet and invoice deadlines?
The timesheet and invoice deadline is every Monday before 5pm.                                                            
Please note: The only time this would change is when we have a Bank Holiday. Our payroll team notify us usually a month in advance so that we have plenty of time to notify our contractors.
 
What should I do if my manager isn’t in to approve my timesheet?
If you are aware that your manager will be on holiday 
You will either need them to get your timesheet approved before they go away or you will have to find out who the next line manager would be so that they can approve your timesheet. If this happens, please inform me.
 
If your manager is away or ill and you haven’t been informed
You would need to find out who the next line manager would be to approve your timesheet. Sometimes we have two authorising line managers on our timesheet portal so you would just have to inform that manager that they need to approve your timesheet.
 
If it is a new manager
I would need to be notified so that we can create their log in credentials. 
 
Please note: To avoid delayed payment, please ensure you contact me (samantha.langan@pcrdigital.com) in the morning so that I have enough time to add the manager onto the portal. Once the manager has been added to the portal I will notify you to go ahead and submit your timesheet.
 
Whoops, I’ve missed the deadline. What are my options?
You have three possibilities:
Wait until the following Friday and be paid as normal
BACs payment- It would take three days to process your payment. Please note: If you go ahead with a BACs payment there would be an admin fee of £15. This would be deducted from your pay
CHAPs payment- This is an express payment that can only be done before 11am Monday to Friday. If you would like a CHAPs we would need to know before 11am so that our payroll team have time to process the payment for the same day. Please note: If you go ahead with a CHAPs payment there would be an admin fee of £100. This would be deducted from your pay
What’s self-billing?
A self-billing arrangement is where a customer (PCR) prepares VAT invoices on behalf of their VAT-registered supplier (the contractor). The customer sends a copy of the invoice to the supplier with the payment. This is a process that some of our contractors use: 
 
Reasons to use self-billing:
• It’s very simple
• Less paperwork
• Free of charge service
 
If you want to use self-billing, once you have submitted your timesheet and your manager has approved it our payroll team will do the rest! All you would need to do is sign a self-billing agreement.
 
Reasons not to use self-billing:
• You have an accountant who generates invoices for you
• You would rather do the paperwork yourself
 
If you opt out of the self-billing process, you will have to, along with submitting your timesheet and getting it approved by your manager, send us an invoice for the days you have worked each week. 
 
Why do I need Public Liability and Professional Indemnity cover?
With regards to Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance we require a minimum of £1million cover for each. PCR are obliged to provide evidence of insurance to our clients and therefore require that our suppliers (i.e. your Ltd company through which you supply services to PCR) also have cover in place. 
 
While it is not a legal requirement to have Public Liability cover, most businesses are expected to have a minimum cover of £1m. Although claims are rare, in the event a claim is made against a company these are often extremely high, sometimes running into the hundreds of thousands. This means that a business which isn't covered could be in serious financial trouble if it found itself liable to pay damages or compensation from its own pocket. This is why PCR expect our Contractors to have Liability Insurance in place when starting a contract with them for any length of time. 
 
Most businesses and self-employed individuals involved with professional services take out Professional Indemnity Insurance to protect against the financial consequences of making mistakes when carrying out work for clients. 
Professional Indemnity insurance covers your business from claims against it by clients who have suffered financial loss (directly or indirectly) as a result of using your services. This usually happens in situations where you are negligent in the advice you are giving or in the service you are providing. Your insurance would cover compensation claims by your client along with all reasonable costs relating to the defence of the claim, such as legal fees.

This website may be very useful to you in buying company insurance. (link): http://www.contractoruk.com/insurance/contractor_insurance_guide.html

You can visit Hiscox website to provide you with a quote 
(Link):
http://www.hiscox.co.uk/ContractorUK/?s=70000021&p=2&m=
10&c=226&utm_campaign=dc&utm_source=contractoruk&utm_
medium=partner&utm_content=it-pii-textlink
 
Alternatively you can find other insurance providers on Google.
 
Please note: This is always needed before the contractor starts their contract. If this is not received before the start date of their contract it can result in the contractor not being allowed on site.

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