Frequently asked questions
Why a Co-operative?
First, it’s simple, transparent and gives its employee members control. No black boxes into which money disappears and reappears. You see everything and in return are expected to contribute to the running of the operation.
Second, the legal structure is a UK resident private limited company in which you and your fellow contractors own an equal share. At no point does money leave the UK.
Who runs the Contractor Co-op?
We do not however expect employee members who after all, have a full time job, to spend considerable time in the administration of the Contractor Co-op. There is a Shareholder Board of the Contractor Co-op and this will meet as required, at least annually, to decide upon the strategic direction of the business. Instructions are passed to a Managing Board which is chaired by a full time Chief Executive (Chris Mattingly). Chris is an employee of and paid by the Contractor Co-op.
The Managing Board is responsible for day to day operations of the Contractor Co-op.
Who are WTT?
WTT started as a tax consultancy and specialises in contractor tax issues. It has never been involved in selling or promoting any schemes or arrangements and is therefore unbiased and objective in its assessment of contractor tax positions.
Clients of WTT Consulting have long asked about alternatives to the traditional models of working as a contractor as more and more of them have come under HMRC scrutiny. After long and careful thought, the Contractor Co-op was formed.
The Contractor Co-op therefore has the benefit of WTT Consulting’s deep knowledge of the contractor sector and its challenges, plus a whole range of skills and processes designed with the sole aim of running the day to day operation of the Contractor Co-op, including bespoke IT platforms and most importantly, its own dedicated and committed team.
Who owns the Contractor Co-op?
In order to setup the legal structure of the Contractor Co-op the two directors of WTT became founder members, Graham Webber and Rhys Thomas both have one share each. Chris Mattingly the Contractor Co-op’s Chief Executive is also a founder member and has a single share in the Contractor Co-op.
You are not legally obliged to own a share but we would hope that all employees would want to become members of the Contractor Co-op.
Can I transfer my share to another party?
Not without the permission of the Board and this would be done only in exceptional circumstances.
The Articles of Association and the Member Handbook have more detail.
When will the Contractor Co-op pay me?
We operate a weekly payroll each Friday or monthly payroll on or around the 25th of each month. All payroll payments are made the same day using the Faster Payment Service. We are happy to arrange full advances on receipt of client funds at no additional charge.
Pensions are a good idea, does the Contractor Co-op offer them?
Yes. The Contractor Co-op is obliged to offer a pension scheme and is more than happy to do so. Our pension provider is The People’s Pension, a not for profit organisation and contributions will be set at the minimum statutory levels. You will be enrolled in this scheme upon joining, but have the option to opt out after the first month.
If you decide to opt out, the Contractor Co-op can introduce you to a number of alternative pension providers that may offer more flexible terms for your work and income pattern.
Can the Contractor Co-op offer other tax or investment options?
No. The Contractor Co-op is not authorised to offer investment advice and is not a platform for tax planning.
We do have a number of trusted partners in these areas and in the event that you wish to have such advice, you can be introduced to suitable parties. You will be required to confirm that you have taken suitable advice and understand the risks involved.
What happens if my contract ends?
You will remain an employee member of the Contractor Co-op. You will be encouraged and helped to find a new contract.
So I buy and may later have to sell shares in the Contractor Co-op?
When you agree to become an employee of the Contractor Co-op, you will be offered a Co-operative membership share for £1. If you leave the employment of the Contractor Co-op at a later date, you will be obliged to sell that share for £1.
What happens to the company I have been using?
This is largely your choice. You can keep it and make it dormant. You can liquidate it. You can sell it. You can continue to use it, but the company cannot be a member of the Contractor Co-op nor hold membership shares in the Contractor Co-op directly.
The Contractor Co-op can refer you to WTT Consulting for advice on this issue, if you wish.
Can I move from my Umbrella Company arrangement?
I'm new to contracting, can I still use the Contractor Co-op?
Can the Contractor Co-op work with my agency?
Yes, the Contractor Co-op welcomes the opportunity to work with your Agency. We understand that agencies play an important role in providing resource and services to the end client. When required we will be happy to engage with the Agency on your behalf, to include the agreement of any bespoke terms the Agency or end client may wish to put in place. For more information visit our Recruiters page.
What about insurance?
The Contractor Co-op has £20m Combined Insurance Cover which includes:
£5m Professional Indemnity Insurance
£5m Public and Products Liability Insurance
£10m Employers Liability Insurance
How do I apply?
You will need to make an application for employment with the Contractor Co-op. Once this has been received, the Contractor Co-op will contact your agency or client and make the necessary arrangements with them.
For a personal projection of your pay or to start the application process please call us on 020 3468 0009.
The Contractor Co-op does not pay expenses to its employees. For more information please see our Expenses guide.