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Umbrella Employment Contract FAQs

What is the purpose of the umbrella employment contract?

This document, when you join or rejoin SmartWork Umbrella, is a general document that is sent out for signature. Its purpose is to serve as the overall agreement between yourself and SmartWork, functioning in the background.

Why are there no details of my assignment in the contract?

Many of the clauses in this document contain necessary information to meet the requirements of UK employment law and qualify as an employment contract. However, it is important to note that this document will not provide specific information regarding your assignment. Instead, you can find such information in your Agency/Assignment Contract and/or the Assignment Details email that will be sent to you by our Contracts Team.

Who do I report to?

While you are employed by SmartWork, it is important to remember that during your assignment, you will report to your line manager.

Why are my employment and contract start dates different?

The commencement date of your employment package pertains to the day you enrolled with SmartWork, rather than the day your assignment commenced. Once we have received your assignment details from your agency, we will provide you with the precise start date for your specific assignment.

Why does the contract say I’ll be paid minimum wage?

The contract refers to you receiving payment in accordance with the National Minimum Wage and an Additional Taxable Pay (ATP). The ATP is directly linked to your actual pay rate for the specific assignment.

There are two reasons for dividing your earnings in this manner. Firstly, it ensures you receive at least the minimum wage and holiday pay for all assignments undertaken through SmartWork. This division is documented in our employment contract to demonstrate compliance with this requirement.

Secondly, this approach allows for a comprehensive employment contract that can be applied to any assignment you undertake through SmartWork. This is also reflected in your payslips, which can be accessed through the SmartPortal.

The specific rate for each assignment will be confirmed in your assignment schedule, which will be provided to you once we receive the necessary information from your agency.

What is the restriction clause about?

The non-compete clause in our contracts between umbrellas and agencies is a standard practice. It prohibits you from approaching the end client or any customers you have worked with during your employment or for a certain period after your employment ends. This is to ensure that the agency is not cut out of the agreement.

However, if your agency has given you permission to work directly with the end client or if there is an existing agreement, then this clause does not apply. If you are considering taking this action, it is important to discuss it with your agency. If a similar clause is not found in the assignment contract or master agreement, the restrictive covenant will not apply to your assignment.

Who owns the intellectual property created on-site?

IPR refers to the exclusive rights granted to individuals for their creations, including copyright and trademark. This concept is common in contracting arrangements, such as working on assignments through an umbrella.

Our agreement with the agency reflects this clause, and it is expected that the agency has a similar agreement with the end client. As a result, the end client retains the IPR for any work created on-site.

It is important to note that this clause does not apply to any business or work conducted outside of your assignment with SmartWork. SmartWork does not intend to extend this clause to cover such activities.

Why do I need to check in with you regularly?

When working with SmartWork, it is important to pursue assignments for yourself actively. Therefore, reaching out to us once a month during a period of inactivity confirms that you are still interested in utilizing our services as a courtesy.

What is the notice period if I want to leave SmartWork?

To end your contract or close your account, you can follow a few simple steps. There is no need to give a notice period to terminate your employment with SmartWork.

As long as there are no ongoing payments to you, we can usually close your account within five working days. However, if we are processing your payroll, we must wait until you receive your payment. Once you leave SmartWork or request your P45, your employment with us will end, and we will no longer be able to process your payroll.

Please note that your notice period with SmartWork differs from the period required to terminate your assignment. Ending your assignment does not automatically terminate your employment with us.