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Working as an umbrella company employee

Working through our umbrella is straight forward. We can set you up in one phone call and then you simply submit timesheets to your agency who will advise Ship Shape of the hours you worked and rate.

Most importantly Ship Shape has a market leading rate from just £7.40 per week – amongst the lowest of the major umbrella suppliers.

In most cases we automatically release your holiday pay in each payment so it’s not necessary to remember to claim that at the end of the assignment. Umbrella is suitable for any length of contract and gaps between assignments are no problem.

For your peace of mind all applicable taxes and National Insurance are automatically deducted so there are no unexpected tax bills at the end of the year.

Unfortunately, since April 2016 its not possible to claim tax relief on travel (home to site) & subsistence, although travel from site to site may still be claimed at the end of the year and Ship Shape offers a free tax claim service to help you get back anything you may be owed. For a higher level of tax efficiency you may wish to discuss a Personal Service Company with Ship Shape Accounting.

Why join Ship Shape Pay as an umbrella employee?

Quite simply price and benefits!

Ship Shape Pay Gabem Parasol
£7.40 £27.50 £32.50

*Source “Top 10 umbrella” April 2016.

Benefits you get with Ship Shape:

Free company mobile MyShipShape online account Childcare vouchers
Cycle to Work scheme Free personal tax returns Free CSCS test


HMRC compliant

Ship Shape has passed HMRC reviews in 2009, 2012 and 2016. In addition we have been audited and approved by industry experts and tax accountants Saffrey Champness and legal counsel Brabners. We are BACS Bureau accredited.

Accident Insurance

We have arranged Public Liability insurance cover of £5 million, plus Accident insurance paying £300 a week income support for up to two years. All for just £2.99 per week.

Free company mobile

Never pay a mobile bill again! We supply you with a Vodafone SIM to use in your current handset, providing unlimited minutes, unlimited SMS and 5GB of data each month, all free of charge.

MyShipShape online account is your own personal online account where you can access all your pay and tax history in one place. You can view your payslips here at any time during, or after, you work through Ship Shape. This is also the place to find the free tax return service questionnaire, payslip explanations and guide to making an insurance claim. You will be sent an email confirming your personal password to access the site.

Childcare vouchers

Our innovative scheme is designed to help parents afford high quality childcare. You are able to claim up to £55 weekly or £243 monthly made as a salary sacrifice from your Gross earnings before we calculate any tax and national insurance. If the full £243 per month allowance is used then a basic rate taxpayer would expect to receive relief of £1,365 a year!

Cycle to work scheme

Once being paid through Ship Shape Pay, choose a bike from one of the 1,000+ cycle scheme partner stores. Then apply for the scheme online, entering our employer code and signing an online hire scheme. The tax savings allowed by the Government, encouraging us to all to be fit and ‘Green’, mean that you will get your new bike at almost half price! Have a shop for your bike now and work out exactly what you’ll save at

Holiday pay

Ship Shape processes holiday pay on a weekly basis and it will be shown on a separate line on your payslip. You do not need to claim additional holiday payments outside of your agreed contract rate.

Legal Complance

If you operate as an umbrella contract employee, you will be asked to provide proof of your Right to Work in the UK, this is a legal requirement for any UK employer and worker regardless of nationality. You will also be asked to agree to an employment contract, which protects both our interests in the unlikely event of any dispute.


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Four weeks free at each new job

Make Ship Shape Pay your personal payroll and take it with you when you change jobs. We’ll keep all your records in one place and charge no payroll margin for the first 4 weeks when you introduce Ship Shape as your payroll provider at a new agency/end hirer. This could save you £120 on payroll fees that you will otherwise pay if forced onto a new payroll service.

Referral bonus

We offer generous referral bonuses including:

  • £250 bonus paid where your new agency/employer decide to use Ship Shape Pay as a preferred supplier
  • £25 bonus for each new friend you introduce (up to £500 bonus).