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We understand that as a contractor, it can be pretty easy to lose track of your documents (and the days!) when it comes to starting your first week on site.

That’s why we’ve created this useful list of some of the classic contractor mistakes that you firstly, should be aware of and secondly, try to avoid as a contractor!

1. Not submitting your timesheet

As an umbrella business, this is one of our number one queries! When a contractor begins a job through an agency, they are sometimes unclear of who Bar2 are and how we differentiate from their agency. More often than we’d like, this can lead to contractors not being paid correctly or worse, at all.

So here’s what happens. You will work a week in hand which will then be paid on the following Friday. However, in order to be paid, you must submit your hours by sending a completed timesheet to either your agency or site agent. The agency will then deal directly with us to notify us of the money you are due, so you are paid correctly and on time.

2. Not being clear on your Pay Rate

Another thing contractors tend to get caught up on is their hourly/day rate.

We will often receive calls on a Friday from contractors who are unclear on the hourly/day rate which has been agreed with their agency and client, so it’s very important to clarify this before you begin working! After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than pay day arriving and seeing you are out of pocket!

3. Not sending your ID into us

In order to ensure Bar2 remain compliant with government rules and regulations, we require ID from every contractor that we register. Unfortunately, due to data protection guidelines, we are unable to gain this information from your agency – so you must provide us with this! Without it, we won’t be able to fully register you for payment!

4. Forgetting your tools!

Excuse the obvious, but you will be surprised how many contractors arrive on site without the appropriate tools to complete the job! If you are unsure whether or not your tools will be supplied on the job, please make sure you check with your agency…it is likely you will be sent home without pay if you don’t have what’s required of you.

5. Not having the correct qualifications to work on site

This one’s an important one. Not only is it imperative that all contractors working on site possess a CSCS card, but it is also essential that you hold the qualifications required to complete the job you are enrolled in.  

Bar2 take the health and safety of our contractors very seriously and if you are found to be working on site without the correct tickets, you will not be paid!

It doesn’t stop there! The same goes for PPE - If contractors are found to not be adhering to rules surrounding PPE (particularly following Covid-19), then unfortunately they will not be paid.

6. Not activating your UTR Number

When applying for your UTR number, it’s super important that you look out for it in the post! A big mistake we tend to see time and time again is contractors misplacing letters and therefore struggling when it comes down to understanding why their tax sits at a higher than normal rate!

In order to reduce your tax deduction to 20%, your UTR needs to be activated online as soon as it arrives. Data protection guidelines prevents us from offering any support to contractors when it comes to activating your UTR, please look out for your letter in the post prompting you to do so and remember to do this as soon as possible!

7. Thinking we are the same as the agency

This one is also a common one for us. We have countless numbers of contractors coming to us with queries about their contract agreement, the site details (and all the rest!) , however these are all questions that will need to be answered by your agency!

To put it simply, your agency are the team that deal with your work and will be your point of contact when it comes downto getting you on site, managing your contract and agreements and submitting your timesheets.

Bar2 on the other hand, solely deal with the processing of your payments – so please feel free to come and chat to a friendly member of our team if you have any queries in relation to your payslips! It may also be useful for you to keep a nifty eye on our support and advice and Facebook page, where you can keep up to date with all things contracting!

8. Not submitting your Tax Return

As a self-employed contractor, you will need to submit a tax return every year - it’s super important you do this in order to avoid a hefty fine!

It’s not common, but we do occasionally come across workers who register for the CIS scheme, not realising that they need to do so. 

When it comes to submitting your tax return, the Bar2 team are unfortunately not able to do this on your behalf. If you however, are seeking further support in the subject matter, you you can head over to our ‘Self-Assessment’ blog and we can also provide you with a Statement of Earnings for the financial year which will prove handy when it comes to completing the self-assessment!

9. Thinking Bar2 can provide you with a loan!

As much as we’d love to, sadly the Bar2 team are unable to provide contractors with ad-hoc payments to tie you over until payday.

Under some special circumstances, your agency may submit a request to us to advance you for work you are completing; however this is purely at the discretion of the agency you are working alongside.

10. Sending in fake ID and expecting it to go unnoticed

We’ve got you sussed! Any ID’s that come through the Bar2 system are thoroughly checked by both the trained eye of our team and most up-to date online technology platforms.

Sending in false identification or Visa’s is a criminal offence, and we take it very seriously – if we believe your documentation is fake, we will not pay you!

11. Expecting to see payment first thing on a Friday

When our lovely payroll team process your pay, it is completed via a same day payment. Once the payment has been made, you will receive a message to confirm that everything has been submitted.

Due to the nature of same day payments, it can sometimes take a little while for the funds to arrive into your account, so if it’s not showing first thing in the morning – don’t panic!

12. Being unsure of why you’ve received certain deductions to your pay

When you receive your payslip, you will get a clear breakdown of each deduction that has been taken, including National Insurance.

When you are paid through an Umbrella company like Bar2, there are additional deductions that you will notice. Luckily, you will often find that the agency you work alongside will raise your hourly rate in order to cover the cost of these additional deductions.

For further information, you can head over to our ‘understanding your umbrella payslip’ blog.

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