On Friday 4th April, 30+ Agency Electricians walked off of the job at Three Bridges Station, Crawley, Sussex, because of the new Umbrella tax system. The Client is Network Rail, the Main Contractor is Volker Fitzpatrick and the M&E Contractor is NG Bailey.
There had been unrest and grumblings all week as it was becoming clearer as to the extent that the average construction worker will lose out by being forced into moving onto the Umbrella tax scam through an agency. On Wednesday, Mechanical and Electrical workers walked off at AWE Aldermaston and this provided the impetus for yesterdays action.
Two members of the South East Construction Branch (twitter - @unitesec ) met the workers before they went on to site to give them the facts of what the new schemes and systems mean in real terms.
Once everyone had got on site, the workers then called a meeting, they had a discussion, had a show of hands and walked off the job.
They agreed unanimously that having their wages cut by over £100 a week was not going to happen and they demanded that they would not come back to work until they were offered jobs on the cards on FULL JIB Terms and Conditions.
Within the hour, NG Baileys management were on the phone begging the workers to come back to site with the offer of ALL workers will be Directly Employed from Monday morning.
They agreed as long as one final demand was met, that they were paid for the full day as well, which was also met.
News some how filtered through to the Agency Exxell of the goings on and in the afternoon two of them showed their face. But the workers told them where to go.
ALL of them were working through an Agency, they stuck together, and they got a the result they wanted.
New Starters pack will be on site Monday morning waiting for the 30+ new employees.
These workers are an example to ALL of us, if we stick together we can get the result we want. I cant afford to drop below £500 a week, let alone anywhere near £400 a week. Its an absolute joke, the only answer is to follow the example of the Three Bridges Sparks. They have proved that WE have the power, without US they cannot complete the work. If we walk, they shit it.
FIRST THING on Monday morning we ALL need to be having site meetings, Agency workers across the WHOLE UK need to be having site meetings. Enough is enough, we want full Direct Employment, not Umbrella tax dodging shit.
NG Baileys management called an emergency meeting late last night as there are growing concerns that other sites will follow suit.
London Bridge Station and Tottenham Court Road Station are heavily laden with Agency Labour who should ALL be directly employed and WILL be if they take the appropriate action.
The Calculations and Facts:
Unite The Union Information on what's happening
Agency CIS (bogus self employment)
+ 41.5 hours x £16 =£664.00
- Payroll/Ins fee @20 =£644.00
- 20% CIS @£128.80 =£515.20
Take Home = £515.20
From April 6th 2014, Agency workers will no longer be able to legally use the CIS system. It is there for the GENUINELY SELF EMPLOYED. As an Agency Worker you should be covered by the Agency Worker Regulations 2010 and receive exactly the same rights and benefits as direct company employees. CIS has been used by companies and agencies as a side step for tax dodging and have been forcing Agency Workers into committing Tax Fraud.
Agency Umbrella - Elective Deductive Model - Link here
+ 41.5 hours x £16 =£664.00
- Employers NI @£51.24 =£612.76 YOU PAY Employers NI Contributions
- Employee NI @£44.42 =£568.34
- PAYE @£67.36 =£500.98
- Payroll/Ins Fee @£20.00 =£480.98 YOU STILL PAY to receive your OWN wages
- Holiday Pay @£69.36 =£411.62 YOU PAY for your OWN Holiday pay
- Employee Pension @£3.28 =£407.52 YOU PAY Employers Pension Contributions
- Employer Pension @£4.10 =£404.24
Take Home £404.24
Worked out with Sprite Umbrella Calculator - Link
As the CIS system is no longer legally available to Agency workers. Agencies and Payroll companies are forcing workers on to the Umbrella Schemes. This is what so infuriated the workers at Three Bridges Station. Out of the seven deductions in the above, FOUR of them are what the company or agency should be paying. NOT the worker.
You should NOT be paying the Employers NI, the Employers Pension, YOUR OWN Holiday Pay or paying to receive your own wages. Its a tax scam.
Agencies and Umbrella companies are telling workers to commit tax fraud to boost their wages. THIS IS ILLEGAL. ALL expenses you claim for need to be receipted. IF you are found to have claimed for expenses that you have not actually spent, then YOU will be liable and fined, not the agency.
Umbrella Company Travel Expenses LINK
You will no longer receive a large Tax rebate at the end of the year either, as you will be claiming your expenses on a weekly basis.
Directly Employed by a JIB Company
London JIB Approved Electrician Rates
+ 37.5 hours x £16.64
+ 4 hours x £24.96 =£723.84
- Income Tax @£106.31 =£617.53
- Employee NI @£68.50 =£549.03
+ plus any Travel Time or Travel Allowance payments, dependant on where the office is located.
Take home (minimum of) £549.03
As an employee you get many benefits on top of the holiday pay, bank holidays, notice, redundancy, Actual legal rights just to name a few.
The main one I will look forward to, is no longer having to deal with Agencies on a weekly basis and no more spending over ONE THOUSAND POUNDS a year to receive your own wages. And then paying an Accountant £300 to sort it all out for you.
Daniel Dobson explains the comparison very well in this previous blog post LINK
You know what you have to do