What makes the Meades Umbrella different?

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The Meades Umbrella was born from our desire to serve our contractor clients in the best possible way.

In 2017 HMRC changed which entity is responsible for determining IR35 contract status in the public sector, in 2021 the private sector will follow suit. These changes mean that contractors will need an umbrella service to work alongside and in conjunction with their accountant. We looked for a solution to recommend, but all those we considered fell short of our expectations and the service levels our contractor clients deserve.

Here’s why.

With the Umbrella services we considered, we discovered contractors would not have access to a qualified accountant to advise them. This is critical if you are going to make as much money as possible through contracting.

You need to be able to switch between contracting through your umbrella or your personal service company (PSC) to make certain you’re always being as tax efficient as possible within the constraints of your chosen contract.

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When we couldn’t find a service to meet our expectations, we built one.

Meades Umbrella gives you:

  • Access to a qualified accountant
  • Flexibility to switch between Meades Umbrella and your PSC
  • Peace of mind that your umbrella contracts are run professionally and affordably
  • Support from a friendly and approachable team of experts.

Click here to become an Umbrella Client

Can’t I wait until 2021?

Smart contractors are choosing their umbrella now. It doesn’t cost you anything to sign up, and you’ll be able to enter negotiations for your next contract knowing what your take-home pay will be.

Do you really need a qualified accountant when using an Umbrella? YES!

Working with a qualified accountant who can take a holistic view of your remuneration will help you make more money and sleep soundly at night.

An unqualified person cannot help you answer the questions that will make you wealthier. Not sure what we mean? Check out the myth busters below – and these are just a handful of queries our ACCA accredited team can help you with.

Maintaining your independence as a contractor

Contracting should always be on your terms and the Meades Umbrella will help you to retain your independence and give you the opportunity to secure more lucrative contracts.

Operating without an umbrella could leave you dependent on a specific agency. In our experience, reliance on an agency can lead to contractors taking on less desirable contracts to maintain the relationship.

Maintain your employment rights

Switching between agencies would result in you losing your longevity of service and the associated benefits. Working through an umbrella your employment status is retained even when you change agencies or end-user clients. Key benefits are:

  • Statutory maternity pay
  • Statutory paternity pay
  • Statutory adoption pay
  • Statutory sick pay
  • Statutory holiday pay

The Meades Umbrella takes care of all of this for you.

Continuity and security

The Meades Umbrella will give you uninterrupted payroll services, no matter who you contract with. You will avoid the inevitable delays in setting up a new payroll for each new contract.

And there’s more, working with a familiar system you will be able to check the status of your payments and income 24/7/365. You’ll receive an SMS message when you get paid. With the Meades experts on hand to provide support, you will be in control of your finances.

What will I earn?

Contractor Calculator

Take-home pay calculators give you an indication of take-home pay, however, they don’t consider your income in the tax year from your limited company or other sources.

Online calculators alone should not be used to compare Umbrella services. Here’s why:

The calculation of tax and National Insurance will be the same regardless of which umbrella you choose. You may see different results on different calculators, this is because of the parameters used – one calculator might default to a 40-hour week, another 37.5 hours, some include their fees, others do not.

Our team will be able to give you an accurate take-home pay figure. Simply give them a call on 01923 729 517.

If you want an indication of your take-home pay, you can use the Meades Umbrella calculator by clicking the button below:

Use The Meades Umbrella Calculator

Questions about Contractor Umbrellas

We’re happy to answer your questions. We promise to always be transparent in our answers. In fact – we’ve gathered answers to the most common questions we’re asked in a dedicated section of this site. Click here to read the full contractor umbrella frequently asked questions now.

Click here to read more Contractor Umbrella FAQ’s

Myth busters

Working through your umbrella means you cannot claim business expenses through your PSC


Allowable expenses depend on your specific situation and you should always consult with your accountant, but many business expenses can be legitimately claimed, even if you’re currently operating a contract through an umbrella.

If you’re receiving PAYE through your umbrella you should stop your salary through your PSC.


This is not the case in some scenarios. It is essential to speak to a qualified accountant who can advise you on your personal circumstances, but in some cases continuing to draw funds from your PSC is more tax efficient.

If you’re receiving PAYE through your umbrella you should stop your spouse’s salary through your PSC.


Your PSC can continue to operate and the role your spouse plays in the business can continue, so it might be beneficial to pay them but it would depend on a case by case basis so ask your accountant about it.

You’ve taken a contract through an umbrella so you should not draw dividends from your PSC


Again, your PSC can continue to operate, and dividends are still available to you if the business has reserves. As with all remuneration planning, you need to consult with a qualified accountant to plan the best strategy for you.

If you take a contract through your umbrella you should shut your company down


This is not always the most tax-efficient, or flexible way for you to operate. It is possible with Meades Umbrella to switch to a different service level to keep your PSC running in the background while you contract through the Umbrella.

You should shut down your PSC and claim Entrepreneurs Relief


There are many considerations to make when thinking of closing your company that may outweigh the advantage of Entrepreneurs Relief. Again, advice from an accountant is needed.

You should stop your pension contributions through your PSC when contracting through your umbrella


Pension contributions are one of the most tax-efficient ways to extract funds from your PSC for your benefit. If you have funds available, it might benefit you to continue to contribute to your pension.

How to get started

Just like our regular accountancy services for contractors, with Meades Umbrella you’ll be working with real people. We’re not going to ask you to fill out lots of forms before you get to speak to someone, we invite you to pick up the phone and speak to one of our experienced team. They’ll help you find the right package to suit your needs. They’ll even be able to tell you what your take-home pay will be.

Start now, call 01923 729 517, email us, or click the button below.

Click here to become an Umbrella Client