It’s not uncommon for contractors to lose track of what’s what and who’s who when it comes to starting on site. We’ve therefore created a list of some of the classic mistakes that you should try to avoid as a contractor!
1. Not submitting your timesheet
Our number one query! 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 the deal. You will work a week in hand – so basically, this week’s work will be paid on the following Friday and in order to submit your hours, you will need to send a completed timesheet to either your agency or the 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
When payment is received on a Friday, we will often receive calls from contractors who are unclear on the hourly/day rate which has been agreed with their agency and client. It’s so important to clarify this before you begin working! There’s nothing more disappointing than pay day arriving and seeing you are out of pocket, so please make sure you are fully aware of how much you will be paid before beginning on site!
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!
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
You’ve applied for your UTR number - your welcome letter has arrived, and you’ve proceeded to close it into a ‘Narnia’ drawer filled with hundreds of other letters and completely forgotten about. Big mistake. 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, so please remember to do so as soon as you receive your letter!
7. Thinking we are the same as the agency
This one is a common one for us. We have countless contractors coming to us with queries about their contract agreement, the site details, and SOMETHING. 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 – getting you on site, managing your contract and agreements and submitting your timesheets.
Bar2 on the other hand, solely deal with the processing of payments.
8. Not submitting your Tax Return
As a self-employed contractor, you will need to submit a tax return every year. 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 and ultimately end up with some pretty hefty fines.
When it comes to submitting your tax return, the Bar2 team are unfortunately not able to do this on your behalf. Our amazing customer support team, however will be more than happy to offer some guidance if you are a little unsure on what you need to do or have any other queries regarding the submission. 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 both by the trained eye of our team and through online technology.
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! There’s no need to contact the team if you notice that your money is taking a little while, but if you haven’t received payment by TIME?, please feel free to contact us via our handy online chat.
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 such as X & X. WHY? 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.